WHEN YOUR CHILD IS AFRAID by Robert & Carole Spearin McCauley Schachter


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An extensive compilation of the common fears and phobias of childhood and adolescence. Psychologist Schachter (Cornell Med. Center/N.Y.) and writer McCauley (Pregnancy After 35) list symptoms, psychological and developmental causes, and parental techniques for helping the child cope and recover. The material on fears is arranged chronologically, starting with infancy (fears of separation, falling, strangers, sleep) and concluding with older children's anxieties concerning sex, parental divorce, mugging, nuclear war, etc. Discussions of the psychoological and age-related foundations of various fears are succinct--only occasionally to the point of oversimplification--while up to ten parental strategies may be listed. Some are obvious (praise a bath-fearful child who is washed without fussing), some more subtle (explain that it's impossible to be sucked down a drain). Certain fears of infancy and early childhood (strangers, nightmare-related sleep disturbances) are natural to our species, say the authors, and will pass with a modicum of compassionate assistance unless reinforced by inappropriate parental behavior (punishment, ridicule, too much sympathetic fuss). The final section on phobias deals with long-term compulsive/disruptive fears of school, success, the outdoors, animals, crowds, violence, etc. It explains how parents can tell when a fear has turned phobic, how the parental role can help the child ameliorate tangled emotions and compulsive strategies, and when outside help (teachers, school counselors, psychiatrists) should be called upon for assistance. A well-organized, compendious and useful parental reference work.

Pub Date: April 11th, 1988
ISBN: 0671673424
Publisher: Simon & Schuster