Washington, November 14 (ANI): Parents fretting over their children's fears of real and imaginary creatures can breathe a sigh of relief because researchers have come up with ideas on how to better address the problem.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, sought to identify coping strategies that can be carried out by kids in tackling their worries.
Boffins found that when a child's fear was caused by real creatures, they would prefer to do something than think positive thoughts.
Boys more often would resort to fighting in such situations, while girls more often wanted to avoid the creature, the study said.
Also, children between ages 4 and 7, displayed more understanding that people's thoughts and beliefs can both cause and reduce fear.
Experts recommended that preschoolers may benefit from viewing things in a more positive light ("Let's pretend the dragon is nice"), while older kids may fare better when they focus on what's real and what's not ("Dragons aren't real").
The researchers said: "These results should help parents by reminding them to keep in mind their children's age-appropriate abilities when helping them deal with their fears, particularly fears of imaginary creatures."
The study was published in the November/December 2009 issue of the journal Child Development. (ANI)