Our daughter is very fearful…..

by Rod Smith

“Our daughter (10) is riddled with fear. She won’t sleep in her room, get up in the night without one of us getting up with her, or even enter her own room after dark to get her clothes for the next morning. She is able to speak very openly and graphically about her fears. Please shed some light on how we can handle this.”

No blame or shame...

Your child’s fears probably don’t originate with your child. This sounds like family anxiety passed from generation to generation and your daughter is the recipient of unresolved generational anxieties. An effective family therapist will serve you well. He or she will give everyone in the family (as many people and generations as your can gather for a meeting) assignments to explore the family’s unresolved complexities. Reconnecting with each other, being willing to sit down as a tribe will increase the likelihood of calming everyone in the family’s cumulative anxiety, even if at first it appears to make it worse.

Encourage your daughter to write her immediate and long-term goals. Encourage her to plan small steps of growth like being willing to sleep in her own room one or two nights a week. Do not punish her for her worries and concerns – they did not begin with her.

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