You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe


First Person

Donna Pincus on reducing children’s anxiety and fears

In her new book, ‘Growing Up Brave,’ the Boston University professor says certain parenting styles can actually encourage problems.

There’s a difference between feeling some anxiety and having an anxiety disorder. Ninety percent of kids can identify having a couple of fears. IT’S NORMAL FOR INFANTS TO FEAR STRANGERS, for preschoolers to fear monsters. Most adults recall fearing something as a child, and they didn’t get treatment — it just went away.

I called my book Growing Up Brave because it’s about teaching a child that fear is just a natural human emotion, that you can do a lot of things, even if you feel a little uncomfortable. ANXIETY CAN BE HELPFUL. It helps us perform better on a test; it makes us more alert.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week