Kids! What childhood fears?
Childhood fears – what is it? How do they work? How to help your child cope with them? Where is the line between an age characteristic and pathological fear, when you look for help? These and many other questions are often of concern to parents of children of preschool age.
Fear is one of the main emotions that signal about the threat to the welfare, health, human life; fear is not always a symptom of nervous or mental disease. From the point of view of human evolution, it plays a protective and educational role, contributing to the knowledge of the outside world. In the development of the child’s fear is also a way of separating their own “I” from all foreign and dangerous .
All children’s fears can be divided into two groups: “age, compulsory” and “purchased, the optional” . Under “age” is proposed to understand the fears caused by the patterns of development of the child’s psyche. For example, one-year old child is afraid to release the mother from view. This is because children of this age the concept of time is very vague. They can hardly imagine how much it’s two hours, three days, a month or a year. And if mom and dad disappear from sight, even for a very short time – that for the child it is like forever.
The most diverse fears of children aged three to five years, this is due to the rapid development of imagination, creative thinking combined with naivety and suggestibility. The child is especially susceptible to anxiety than the more emotional and anxious.
What are the causes of children’s fears?
Although every child is usually their reasons for the emergence of fear or anxiety, some causes anxiety typical in preschool age.
1. Parental bullying in education.
Parents often do not notice how their statements they contribute to the emergence of fears of child. If the baby cries, sometimes, instead of consolation can get something like: “‘ll cry – I’ll give someone else my aunt!”. First, the child may believe what he hears, then he feels a sense of insecurity and upset due to the fact that the source of fear becomes the closest person for him. Secondly, if the child is old enough to understand what’s really mom will never realize what it promises, it undermines the parent’s authority in the eyes of a child. The baby gradually begins to trust my mom’s the word in critical situations for him. Thirdly, the child himself learns to intimidation in situations where it is difficult to achieve otherwise.
2. Misunderstanding of the meaning of words
The child may tell you about their fears, but he is still not well understand the speech of adults. And this, in turn, can become a source of fear. The baby hears snatches of adult conversation, often takes the word out of context, does not understand the language games of hyperbole or irony. Hearing in response to normal: “How are you?” parent: “Die quite…”, the child may come to dread. The same applies to television broadcasts. Often need to explain to your child the value of what was said, to prevent unjustified fears.
3. The conflict situation in the family.
In a family where conflict between parents is not uncommon, children often fear-based. The tense atmosphere in the family makes children more anxious than their peers from families with more favorable psychological climate.
4. A traumatic event.
In this case, fear becomes a real event that happened with a child. For example, the child may be afraid of dogs, if there ever was bitten, or afraid to go out into the yard, if he’s scared. Such fears are more easily amenable to correction and if unpleasant events are not repeated, often go away on their own. It is fear of this type are often the source of bad sleep, his nightmares. The child’s mind is restored, again and again playing for child traumatic situation.
What to do if your child has any fears?
Any fears children require parents attentive and considerate relationship. If your child is afraid to sleep in the dark or stay alone in the room, in no case be subjected to “hardening” and locked alone in a dark room, “used to”. In this case, it will not get rid of your fear and will only acquire new fears or other disability.
Removing a child fear when it arises, to a large extent depends on how the parents manage to calm the child’s return to his composure; how parents understand the child and how to relate to his fears. You need to create a family environment so that children understand that they, without hesitation can say about all that scared them. And they’ll do it only if you will not be afraid of the parents, and feel that they do not condemn them, and understand. Talking about the traumatic event, the child pushes him away, making distant and vague, muting the brightness perception.
Fresh traumatic event can be beat. For example, if a child accidentally found himself in a dark room and scared, OK will help the game in the “Hide and seek” or “hide and seek”.
Game “Hide ”, thus, allows to remove the fears of darkness, of loneliness, of an enclosed space. Specify in advance the places where it is impossible to hide. Then turn off the light, only the light. Leading bypasses apartment with humorous threats hiding. Hiding sitting in the dark and try not to give out. Better immediately when a child becomes the leader, it allows him to overcome his fear and indecision. Good results can be achieved when the leading adult “surrender”, and not finding a hiding child.
The game «hide and seek” helps the child to learn to perceive the darkness not only as a source of danger, but as the playing area.
It really helps to play in fears the use of the “glove” dolls. Play with the baby in the “terrible”, he “save” hare or cubs from the dangers, advise him to become bolder. Thus, through play the child can understand how to deal with unpleasant, disturbing live feeling. Explain to your child that he can now behave as a courageous hero, it is not necessary, let the realization will occur on a metaphorical level.
Drawing fears also helps reduce their intensity. You can combine figure hobgoblin with writing tales about him. The fairy-tale ending is possible to vary, alter, come up with multiple endings, for example, to find fear of friends who will help him to change and stop being terrible. A series of obtained images (showing the dynamics of changes of fear) can become the Filmstrip, if the drawings are connected to each other. Each show with explanations will be to increase the distance between the baby and his fear.
Fear, characteristic of age, should be distinguished from neuroses and obsessions . when to make your family forces is not possible. In neurosis or mental illness experiences of fear differ from normal fears special brightness, narrative structure. They are usually accompanied by palpitations, sweating, chills, flashes, sleep disturbances, appetite . They are characterized by a strong concern and anxiety, sometimes reaching the degree of terror, panic. With neurotic fears the child becomes more passive, does not seek for new knowledge, goes to their problems. In these cases, the fear loses its useful function, adaptive emotions and points to the impotence, a loss of faith in himself and takes the non-adaptive functions.