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The Parenting Issue: ‘My Son Is Afraid of Dogs’

The event with the labrador didn’t make much of an impression on Cindy herself, but on her son all the more: “Recently a dog jumped up against my son Diego while walking. Nothing bad happened, there was only a scratch from the dog’s nail on Diego’s poor. But my son is so shocked that he is now on the side of the street for dogs and no longer wants to play with his boyfriend because they have a dog there. I find that so sin and unnecessary. How do I help him? “

Discussing the bad moment with your child can help to reduce the fear, advises Annelies Bobeldijk of WOW! Parenting coaching: “Let your son retell what exactly happened. And what did he feel then? By creating a re-experience together, you prevent your child from creating his own story in his head that often increases the fear. viewed the situation as it was and not made worse or bigger. That way the sharp edges are removed. “

It is also important to help your child put things into perspective – something that children have yet to learn. “Ask your child how many times in his life he has seen a dog. And how often has it happened that a dog has jumped on him? That’s right. Your child’s fear is not unfounded, because dogs can sometimes be unpredictable. But by asking these kinds of questions, you help your child to see that the chances of an incident happening are very small. “

Just in the bench

“If your child is afraid of dogs on the street, you train him to deal with them step by step. First you walk on the other side of the street, or on the same sidewalk but all the way to the side. And ask him how bad he thought that was. important: ask what your child needs. Maybe it helps if you hold his hand. Or that his friend’s dog can stay in the crate the first time they play together again. This is how your child builds it up little by little contact with dogs again. “

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