Road Construction: I-65 Bridge Repairs in Downtown Indianapolis

Portions of Interstate 65 in downtown Indianapolis will be closed for bridge repairs beginning on or after July 1. Construction may impact travel to IU Health facilities in the area. Learn more.

Construcción del camino: reparaciones del puente de I-65 en el centro de Indianápolis

Partes de la Interestatal 65 en el centro de Indianápolis estarán cerradas para reparaciones de puentes que empiezan en o después del 1 de Julio. La construcción puede afectar el viaje a los centros hospitalarios de IU Health en el área.

Book Appointment Online with select physicians.
Request Appointment Online to schedule with one of our coordinators.
1.888.IUHEALTH for
Same-Day Primary Care Appointments.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

Help Your Child Conquer Their Fears

Blog Help Your Child Conquer Their Fears

Whether it’s monsters in the closet or a bug on the sidewalk, fears are a normal part of childhood development. In fact, experts say learning how to get past fears helps children become competent adults. Here’s how to ease your child’s anxiety.

Plan ahead. 

Transition times are often when fearful behaviors arise, says Dr. Michael McKenna, a pediatrician with Riley at IU Health. “Children frequently regress during times of change, whether it’s starting a new school, moving, or having a new baby in the house.” If you know in advance about a situation that will most likely be upsetting to your child, take steps to head off any concerns. For example, if you're moving, introduce your child to the new home beforehand, if you can. If you're taking a vacation without your children, make sure the babysitter comes to the house a lot before you leave. Helping your child feel safe and comfortable will reduce his tendency to develop a fear that’s seemingly unrelated to the issue at hand.

Get sidetracked. 

Diversions are another tactic for offsetting fearful events. If your child is worried about going to the doctor’s office for a shot, tell her you’ll do something fun or interesting on the way home, and let her pick from a few special choices. Or bring his or her favorite books, toys or game to the office to help keep her mind off the appointment.

Be creative. 

Find ways that work to cope with those fears from the child's point of view. For example, if your child is afraid of the dark, add a nightlight or keep the door cracked open. If monsters are a problem, get some “monster spray” (a spray bottle with water will do the trick) and do a "monster check" each day, or get a stuffed animal that’s designed to fight monsters.

Encourage but don’t command. 

“It’s reasonable to push your child a little bit—we all grow when we are a little uncomfortable,” says Dr. McKenna. That said, if your child seems especially distressed, it’s time to lay off. “You want to set your child up for success, not failure. You are encouraging them to succeed.” And if your child seems especially anxious or worried, talk to your pediatrician, who can help offer some guidance on how to successfully reduce fears for good.   

Kids’ Typical Fears Through The Ages

Age                                       Fear                                                                           

Infants (5-12 months)           Objects coming toward them, sudden noises, strangers

Toddlers (1-2 years)             Being left alone

Preschool (3-4 years)           Animals, snakes, the dark, monsters

School age (5-9)                   Social or school fears

Early adolescence (10-12)   Heights, criminals, older kids, parental anger, catastrophes

Teens                                   Changes in bodies, isolation, sex, world events 

Viewing all posts in …

Other Blog Posts That May Interest You


Screen time strategies for parents

Family Care

Computers, video games, smartphones, tablets and television–you name it, and today’s children have...

Continue reading
Blog Ways to Prevent Your Child from Getting the Flu

Ways to Prevent Your Child from Getting the Flu

Family Care

It’s coming. Sniffles, fevers, coughing, chills and more. There’s no doubt that flu season is...

Continue reading

Summer strategies for a better school year

Family Care

While summer break always seems to fly by, there’s still enough time for children to forget some of...

Continue reading

Viewing all posts in …