How to Deal with the Fears of Your Child
At different stages of life, fears are different.
Some are normal for childhood, while others are not. Some of them are useful because they learn how to protect themselves – from cars, from medicines, from dangerous substances and objects, from elements, from strangers, while others can become long-lasting phobias. Make sure to get our trauma counselling & therapy.
If you are afraid, show understanding. Let the child talk. Listen carefully, actively, to identify the source of the fear or to identify the cause. If the child is screaming because you have left him alone in bed, let your voice hear. If he is hiding behind you in a meeting with a stranger, respect his choice. Don’t worry, he needs time, experience and more information, he watches. So, don’t label yourself “shy”, “cowardly”. Let it naturally outgrow this period without fixation on it.
Overcome the fear of the dark with lots of games and creativity.
The completely dark room looks completely different in the child’s perceptions. For babies, the discomfort comes from not seeing familiar objects in the usual places. For older adults, he paints monstrous paintings – ghosts, vampires, tentacles… That’s why it’s important for a child to feel safe from the familiar environment. Describe where his belongings are, his favorite toys, what’s next to him. Leave light on and door open. Avoid the extra anxiety of keeping strict silence. The child needs to hear your voice in order to be calm. She/ he is already used to it in the womb.
Say that objects in the dark look different. Give an example of the game of shadows – “look, with both hands I make a tiger, a funny tiger without a tail, and with my fingers a dog and a snake.” Swap roles. The hats create strange characters from the shadows. The more absurd the ideas, the more the laughter. It is a natural source for voltage reduction. Experiences should not be underestimated. Also useful are the games of Hiding in the Dark, Guess Who I Am, do you find anything else there and more. If the child wakes up in the middle of the night, calm his or her senses. You can do that with touch (kissing), hearing with your voice, vision with the appearance of a loved one. Do not rush to carry the baby to your bed. Instead, stay by it, even though it may be long – talk, sing, start reading. At the same time bring textiles, a piece of cloth, a towel, a small scarf, a soft toy. Hand-to-hand transfer, pulling, twisting or crushing soothes the baby and soon he or she falls asleep.
The fear of water is common in most children. So, take time for bathing and prepare for many games. Bring soap bubbles in the bathroom, which you are happy to do in the park. Extend this fun by including foam and soap bubbles. Replace the enjoyment of the game in the sandbox with water.