Fighting the Fear

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Fear is a natural mechanism , primarly used to activate the human being to protect himself from danger and improve the possibilities for survival. The frightening stimulus makes the brain process the facts and combined with the data that has been stored withing the years of experince makes the person decide  to run or hide.

The usual fears of children are darkness, separation from parents ( or animals), being rejected by peers or even natural disasters. It is allright for children to be a bit worried about these things, but we must make sure they don’t exaggerate.

When should we worry?

-When there is no actually real danger

-When this fear leads to extreme anxiety

-When the child’s routine changes; eg he doesn’t want to go to school etc.

How can we help?

1 . Our reaction is very important. The children look up to us to be inspired. Our optimism and confidence helps them realise that maybe things are not as serious as the seem

2.We must recognise their feelings. The child does feel afraid. The reality of the certain obect of fear is a relative thing. With our guidance we can help get over it.We can explain meanings like anxiety and fear in our everyday life; make a story about them;or even invite the child to draw about it

3.Our thought is the most important key to the solution. Thoughts may make us be afraid, but they can also make us forget about our fear by concentrating in other things.

4.We can also suggest our children to stop and observe a)how possible is what are afraid to happen and b) to have a plan about what can be done if their fear comes real. It would be nice to say “what would your favorite hero do in such a case?”or c)find things that makes him relax in every day life

5.Remember to reward them if the make a step towards their fear, however small it may be

6.In the end,if everything fails and cannot get over it through the years, we could ask for help from a specialist

What do you think?What are your children’s fear?What do you do to help them? Share your stories!

 

6 thoughts on “Fighting the Fear

  1. My almost 4 year old daughter woke up recently in the middle of the night, very anxious as she had a nightmare with a very big and wild tiger, which stood in front of her bed, trying to attack her. No idea where she took this violent picture from, as we really avoid to confront her with such scenes. It was really hard to calm her down. In the next day she kept mentioning the bad dream, claimed that never ever would she sleep in her room again and what is more she built 0a sort of barricade in front of the window in her room, so the tiger could not make it to her bed. Both her father and I tried several times to explain that her fear was unjustified, we showed her pictures and found also a book, describing life of wild animals,
    appropriate for her age. Without any success.
    Before going to bed again, she even evacuated her favorite toys in our bedroom so the tiger could not take them away. Seeing her worried eyes, I could not take it anymore. In my desperation, I went to the bathroom took an old Red spray bottle from the drawer filled it with water and some drops of lavender oil. Back in her room I told her that I found a treatment to keep the tiger forever away and showed her the bottle. Together we applied the special “potion” everywhere in the room. She seemed really relieved and slept some minutes later. I don’ t know if this is an approved by experts action, but it definitely helped to calm her down temporarily. Being more relaxed in the next day she was able to accept the rational explanation that tigers are not visiting people at home. Well, at least not in Germany!

  2. My daughter who is 8 yo does not feel comfortable to try new activities or go to summer camp. She says it makes her unhappy and does not want to try . How can I help her get over it ?

  3. My little one has just begun elementary school and says that he is a bit anxious. Last week I took him to swimming lessons, where he used to go also last year, but was very anxious too and didn’t want to go.How can I persuade him that it is alright?

    1. One tactic would be to go with him and stay throughout his activity. I, myself, also want a company when I take up a new activity, at least for the first times. Of course, he should not take this for granted, because sometimes he will have to be on his own.

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