Focusing on Anxieties, Fears, or Phobias
Try to answer the following questions honestly:
Is your child's fear and behavior related to it typical for your child's age?
If the answer to this question is yes, it's a good bet that your child's fears will resolve before they become a serious cause for concern. This isn't to say that the anxiety should be discounted or ignored; rather, it should be considered as a factor in your child's normal development.
Many kids experience age-appropriate fears, such as being afraid of the dark. Most, with some reassurance and perhaps a night-light, will overcome or outgrow it. However, if they continue to have trouble or there's anxiety about other things, the intervention may have to be more intensive.
What are the symptoms of the fear, and how do they affect your child's personal, social, and academic functioning?
If symptoms can be identified and considered in light of your child's everyday activities, adjustments can be made to alleviate some of the stress factors.
Does the fear seem unreasonable in relation to the reality of the situation; and could it be a sign of a more serious problem?
If your child's fear seems out of proportion to the cause of the stress, this may signal the need to seek outside help, such as a counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist.
Parents should look for patterns. If an isolated incident is resolved, don't make it more significant than it is. But if a pattern emerges that's persistent or pervasive, you should take action. If you don't, the phobia is likely to continue to affect your child.
Contact your doctor and/or a mental health professional who has expertise in working with kids and adolescents.