Fear and anxiety are emotions that are experienced one time or another by every human being. Although these emotions can be unsettling, in children they are not only common but necessary. Dealing with fears and anxieties not only help children become more cautious but also prepare them to handle challenging situations in life.
Children are afraid of different things in different stages of life. Babies and infants are often fearful of strangers. Toddlers and preschoolers feel separation anxiety. They fear to be away from their parents and loved ones. Fearing to pretend monsters or creatures is prevalent amongst young children.
There are several ways to deal with childhood fears some of them are:
Draw it out
Whenever your child experiences an episode of a fearful situation, help your child acknowledge it and express it in the form of drawings. Let your child color his emotions on the piece of paper.
Talk with your child
Encourage your child to talk about his fears and anxieties and listen to them patiently and be sympathetic. Do not belittle his feelings especially in front of his/her peers.
Shake hands with newer things
Introduce new things and people gradually to them. During their developmental age, they can learn and apply teachings quickly and adequately. Let the surroundings be conducive to their fears.
Breathe and count
Instil the habit of deep breathing in your child and ask your child to count backward in order to distract him from the fearful stimuli.
Sit with them while they are watching T.V or reading. Ask them as to what have they understood from the shows and books that they are regularly acquainted with. Some kids can handle anything they see, while others will turn it into a fear building nightmare for them.
Appreciate and Encourage
Appreciate your child’s perseverance in the fearful situation and encourage your child in overcoming the fear by using positive statements like “I am here with you and we will overcome it together. Don’t worry.”
Conquer the fear within you!