There are some concerns that do not need parental intervention to overcome.
Fears are part of childhood. Who hasn’t hidden under the covers when hearing a sound, made sure there were no monsters in the closet, or even avoided going to sleep without the help of the mother?
When these concerns arise, the natural instinct of parents is to try to calm the child. In practice, however, parents cannot and should not always be present to comfort the child.
Teaching a child how to manage his or her fears without parental involvement helps them build the confidence and independence they need to feel in control of their fears, whether they are young or old.
When adults are afraid of something, they think about reassuring themselves and deconstructing and dealing with the fears, which is called self-regulation. It is an invisible skill based on managing our emotions and behavior correctly.
For children, building self-regulation takes time and space to learn, which means that parents need to leave their children a bit to explore and realize fears.
Fear is healthy for growth
Psychologists say that fear is a normal and healthy part of growing up, and while children sometimes encounter really frightening things, most of the various childhood fears do not present a real threat to children.
The monster in the closet is just an old coat hanging, the sounds at night are the movement of the neighbors in the building or nearby buildings. So the idea of self-regulation is important, but it’s easier said than done at this time.
When one of us sees his child in a state of fear, he quickly wants to reassure him. Although temporary reassurance may help the child feel better, in the long term, he may not learn how to calm himself, and the implicit message the child will receive will be that “Mom and Dad will always be here to reassure me,” which prevents the child from learning opportunities How to do it himself.
How do you help your child?
Not stimulating self-regulation, withdrawing all support so that we suddenly put the child in a dark room and tell him bye, be brave, see you in the morning. But the goal is to gently guide the child until he is able to take matters into his own hands.
Hence, parents should help children talk about what they are afraid of, but children do not always have specific words for their fears. It can help to raise specific questions to the child. For example, if a child is afraid of dogs, ask, “What makes dogs scary? Has a dog ever been afraid of you?” Once parents better understand what the child is afraid of, they will have a clearer idea of how to help him move past the fear.
Some common childhood fears:
- the darkness
- Dogs or wild animals
- go to the doctor
- Uncommon loud sounds
- Fantasy monsters hiding in different places.
Once parents know why their children are afraid, they should take it seriously. Instead of making fun of the child’s feelings or making fun of his fears, tell him that you appreciate it, that there are a lot of children feeling his feelings, and start helping him feel brave and get to the point where he can manage his own fear.
start a plan
It is necessary to start by creating a plan with the child to set possible goals. For example, a child may need to accompany him to fall asleep, then try to sleep alone at the end of the week, or read a book and turn off the lights and then sit quietly until sleep without talking or playing, and the next night read a book and then go out and leave a light light, and the room door is not completely closed . And so gradually until the child is reassured and reaches the stage of going to bed alone without fear.
Give encouragement and be patient
Parents should always remember that change takes time, and that fear is a very powerful feeling. Stay consistent and praise the progress your child is making, so that he feels more confident.
Children, especially younger children, may need a few attempts before the matter is regular and the child overcomes his fears, so parents should not give in to the child’s attempts to return to the first point.
Not all fears are equal
Helping children overcome life-crippling fears is essential, but there are some fears that don’t need intervention.
For example, if the child does not like scary movies or violent sports, his choice should be respected, and at the same time if the fears persist greatly without improvement, and limit the child’s ability to enjoy his life, or participate in school or social activities, here the doctor should be consulted For more help.