Home > Health & Wellness > Health Library > Childhood Fears and Exposure to Violence
Your child may seem
anxious about everyday occurrences. School-age children usually are still
dealing with a number of fears that first developed during their early
childhood, such as fear of ghosts, of the dark, or even of dying. Every child's
fears are different. Parents may not even recognize that some behaviors are
based on fears (for example, when a child refuses to eat a food that is
touching another food on the plate).
Children this age try to deal
with, minimize, or possibly eliminate these fears. They battle fears by playing
good-guy, bad-guy superheroes, by watching scary movies, and by acting tough
and fearless. They may become fascinated by what they are afraid of and try to
overcome their fear by becoming experts on the subject. For this reason, some
children respond positively to detailed information about subjects that
Other children may seek greater control over
situations in response to fear. They may enjoy fantasy shows and books where
the characters are extremely brave, smart, and clever or who have unusual
powers. For example, they may be attracted to shows and books that feature boy
and girl superheroes.
Usually children need more than assurance
from their parents to overcome a fear (for example, that ghosts do not exist).
Over time, most children accept the truth and let go of their fears.
Most children in the
United States and Canada are exposed to violence on television, in movies, and
in other media. Some children even experience violence directly.
Here are some guidelines to help children deal with exposure to violence
or violent issues:
As a self-protection measure, your child may react in ways
that concern you. Don't be alarmed by common reactions to violence, such
Current as of:
November 18, 2013
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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