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10 things your children worry about continued

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6. Death

Tell them they're going to have a very long, happy life, and they don't have to worry about death until they're very old. Obviously, you have no way of knowing this will be the case, but it's better to give them information which is appropriate to their age, rather than scaring them with 'the truth.' That can wait until they're older.

7. Dogs

Maybe they've been hurt or scared by a dog in the park and haven't forgotten it. Or maybe you're nervous around them and they've picked up your anxiety. The best solution is to find a friend with a small, well-behaved dog and introduce them. Also point out that not all dogs are nice, but they all need to be treated with respect.

8. Bullying

Many kids bottle up their worries about bullies at school. Make a habit of talking to your child about anything and everything, so they're more likely to confide in you when things go wrong. All schools have anti-bullying policies, so go down that route first. Sometimes, however, you have to accept that children DO get bullied.

9. Falling out with friends

Listen to what they say and ask gentle questions. Can the fall-out be sorted with a bit of pride swallowing and an apology? If they can't patch things up, help them to move on. Explain that these things happen in life, that friendships form and friendships break. And, while you understand why they feel sad, it will get better.

10. Going to the doctor/dentist

If they're older, they might be worried because they've had a bad experience. Acknowledge their worries and say, 'That did sound awful, so let's tell the doctor/dentist you didn't like that bit, and see if he/she can do it a different way? Ask younger, less experienced children what they are worried will happen, and work through their concerns.

For more information

- Kidscape Advice on bullying and child protection
- Child Bereavement Trust
- Childline

Continued below...


More help and advice

- What to do if your child is being bullied
- One mum's story of why it's important to be honest about death
- Help your child cope with change

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