Tips for talking to kids about fear (from the Child Mind Institute):
Talk about the source of the fear. Ask specific questions to try to get a grasp on the fear. If a kid is afraid of dogs, find out what about dogs is scary or if a dog in the past did something scary. Clarifying can help you work through the fears.
Validate the fear and move on quickly. Instead of saying, "there's nothing to fear" acknowledge that it's scary to the child. Don't dwell on comforting, either, because that can reinforce that comfort is needed in the situation.
Make a plan. Set reasonable goals. Be patient and offer encouragement as he or she conquers the fear. Praise the work along the way.
Recognize a serious issue. Panic attacks, compulsive and disruptive behaviors and withdrawals from activities can be more serious and require help from a professional.
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