Children’s fears – how to outgrow them?
Strange sounds, menacing shadows and terrifying darkness- perhaps it seems excessive, but for the children all these fears are real and justified! Children’s fears should not be neglected, but try not to pay special attention.
Dr.Donna Pincus, the founder of The Child Anxiety Network, estimates that 90% of children live with some or different kinds of fear. The most common include fear of separation, darkness, monsters under the bed, bad weather, clowns and mascots, and fear of animals.
Kids spontaneously outgrow the largest number of fears, but here are a few universal tips that can help:
– Children enjoy routine and generally grow up happier with the predetermined schedule. For them, the routine means security and stability.
– The toddlers have a vivid imagination that make difficult to determine what is reality and what is fantasy. Try the explanations that they can understand, so that no reason for fear.
– Laugh is the perfect cure! Tell or read funny stories in which heroes are faced with fears like his/her.
– Show understanding, but avoid focusing only on fear. Act as if everything is OK, although carefully monitoring your child.
– If you are too busy, making sure that fear does not become a way in which a child can come to your attention and time spent jointly.
– Don’t mock the child and don’t talk about his/her fears in front of others.
Fears of the dark and monsters
Fear of the dark is fear of the unknown and is present in adults. It may be accompanied by fear of monsters in the closet or under the bed. Try to introduce a bedtime routine. If you have time routine can include showering, good night story and cuddling at bedtime. If you do not have time, a good night kiss and covering in the warm bed can be quite sufficient. You can together check that no one and nothing is under the bed. Leave the door open or turn on night lamp. If your toddler has a favorite toy, it may help him/her to sleep peacefully.
Fear of separation
Fear of separation is one of the most common and occurs for about 8th months of a baby’s life. The best you can do is to make a healthy good-buy routine. Always leave the child with familiar and trusted person. Don’t sneak away! Instead, hug and kiss the child every time before going out. You may just say: Mom will be back soon- it will be quite sufficient. After returning kiss the child (if (s)he is awake) and say – Mom’s back. Make sure to arrange at least couple minutes for the child.
The basis of this fear is that the child does not know whether you (primary caregivers) will ever come back, and doesn’t enjoy in separation. When (s)he realize that you are going and coming back to a steady rhythm (routine) your child will be OK with that.
The terrible storm
The sounds typical for the bad weather can frighten children, especially if you are outdoors. If you already know for this fear, you may try to show him (from the safety of the home) that there is no reason for concern. Try to explain how natural phenomena works. Look the storm through the window – this can give excellent results.
Mascots and clowns
Many children don’t like clowns and masked men in general. Experts believe that the root of fear in oversized mascots and the fact that children do not know whether and who is below them. To facilitate the child, do not insist on images with them if (s)he does not want. For the toddler and for you is easier to avoid places with clowns and mascots, than to fight with hard-to-explain fear!
And finally, do not forget that fears are hereditary. If parents are frightened of animals, it is unlikely that the child will feel comfortable when meeting them. The best way to raise good people is trying to live that way!
Enjoy growing up!
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