Children’s fears and how to deal with them
Some parents do not attach importance to the fears of children. It happens that parents stubbornly ignore the fear of a child or, even worse, ridiculed him, scolded, punished. But there comes a time and parents are forced to notice the fear of the child, because the consequences of fears become too obvious (aggression, sleep disturbance, confusion, neurosis). Only in this case to help a child is much more difficult.
Fear is based on the instinct of self-preservation, has a protective nature and is accompanied by certain physiological changes in higher nervous activity, which affects heart rate and respiration, blood pressure, the secretion of gastric juice.
In the most General form of the emotion of fear arises in response to a threatening stimulus. There are two threats that have universal and at the same time fatal in its outcome. It’s death and the collapse of values, in contrast to such concepts as life, health, assertiveness, personal and social well-being. But in addition to extreme expressions of fear always involves the experience of any real or imagined danger.
Understanding the dangers is formed in the process of life experiences and interpersonal relationships, while some are indifferent to child stimuli gradually acquire the character of threatening impacts. Usually in these cases suggest the emergence of traumatic experiences (fear, pain, disease, conflict, failure, defeats, etc.).
Much more common are the so-called ingrained fears. Their source — the adults around the child (parents, grandparents, caregivers of children’s institution, etc.) that inadvertently infect the child with fear, persistently, emotionally stressed pointing to the presence of danger. As a result the child actually perceives only the second part of phrases such as «stay out — fall», «don’t touch — burned», «surface — bite», «come out — there Babai» etc.
A young child is not yet clear what all this is threatened, but he already recognizes the alarm, and, of course, he has a fear reaction . as a regulator of behavior. But if to intimidate «unnecessarily», just in case, the child loses the spontaneity in behavior and confidence. Then the fears and begin to multiply without any restrictions, and the child is becoming more tense, uptight and cautious.
Childhood fears, what to do:
Never try to scare children for the sake of obedience to nothing and nobody. All fear is fear of death. To scare than ever — so scare of death! When the time comes, you will gradually acquaint the child with the real danger, but do not invent imaginary and non-existing dangers. The consequences of such intimidation – suspiciousness, anxiety, passivity, undue caution, inhibition of development initiatives.
Never Studite child for fear. A manifestation of fear of the child is for the parents to signal for help, but not a reason for ridicule. Ashamed about fear, the child learns to hide it, but without a trace he is not going anywhere, and is only amplified. If not to help the child cope with his fear, then fear will take hold of the psyche of the child and he will feel lonely, helpless. In an effort to get rid of fear and without the help of parents, he will resort to actions that will persist like bad habits: I’ll start biting nails, sucking thumb, etc. it is significant that women are better equipped to overcome fear, because over their fears, their pain in childhood nobody laughs, their fears, understand them, forgive them and try to explain the nature of fear. What is the phrase, “fear Not, you’re a man!”
Never leave child alone in a strange and not understandable contexts. The gradual study of the unknown, painlessly passes just next to adult status. At different ages, in response to fear, are different reactions from call for help to protect themselves. However, if the child is not taught adequate reactions, it will likely be only at the behavioral level will be fixed the earliest children’s reaction is to hide, to hide, not to move. The child’s parents will be in constant fear and anxiety. No cognition of the world cannot be and speeches.
No shock therapy. The child does not cope with fear. To think that the child will be able to experience fear is a big misconception. Mastering a new skill is a rational process – “left-brain”, an experience that is “right-brained” process. While there will be anxiety, teach anything efficiently and without consequences is impossible. For example: my friend is a very good swimmer, but is experiencing a panic when water gets on the hair. She had been taught to swim, throwing the boat in the water a couple of times she sobbed. If you want to teach a child to fall asleep independently, do not ignore his desire to ensure that you are near, come to him. Of course, if you ignore his cry, he has to learn to fall asleep independently, but it will be an exhausted sleep by the cry of a child. Bold from this, the child will not grow, but this fear he will carry with you all your life.
In the emergence of fears the role of the instinct of self-prescribing to be wary of the unknown. Therefore, the frightened child in a loud, strange sound, afraid of the unknown object, strangers and even their own parents, when they stand before him in an unknown way.
Develop your child. The child is afraid of the unknown and incomprehensible, so apply the maximum effort to ensure that the child came to know this world. The more he knows, and understand, the less he will have reason to fear. But don’t try to kid to cram the knowledge that he is not ready yet.
Nurture in children the optimism, confidence and independence. Keep your baby away from the grim details, let us only that which he can perceive, in accordance with their age. Death, funeral, disaster, disease should not be a subject of thought and discussion, while the child is not ready for this.
If you notice symptoms of fear, very good figure. Figure children are endowed with greater strength and abilities, which contributes to the experience of fear. If a child draws an unknown monster, he can draw in armor and a sword. Here parental intuition will help you, but don’t ignore the fears is important.
The game is very strong tool in the work with fear. The child can try out different roles, even in the role of Baba Yaga, but most importantly it is next to an adult. In the game, overcome the fear of symbolic action, when a terrible defeat, turning it into a scary.
If an adult helps the child to cope with his fear, the child is enriched by new experience, becomes free and uninhibited. Overcoming fears leads to greater confidence to people and to life, to greater kindness and optimism.
Dmitry Telecon, psychologist, specialist in education parent Club of excellence.