Fear in Children
Children are the most innocent and naïve beings around you. They still do not understand many things that are going on around them. Since they do not understand they tend to fear them.
A recent study shows that 43% of children between the ages of 6-12 had fears and phobias of different things. A few of the most common fears in this age are fear of dark, supernatural creatures, being alone, strangers, lonely places and health.
Fear of the dark: Children are often scared of the dark because they don’t know what is happening around them and they cannot see anything with makes them feel vulnerable and unprotected. Parents can help them by letting them decide the level of darkness they are comfortable with and slowly increasing it over time. Parents should not force it onto their children and let them decide what they are comfortable with.
Fear of supernatural creatures: At a tender age children tend to believe in supernatural creatures because of TV and other media. Hence naturally they get scared of it being around. Like for example under their bed or behind the curtains. Parents should make their children believe that there are no such things. Even after that parents can check under the bed and curtains to make their child feel safe. Also to make it more believable for the child parents can hang a sign on their door.
Fear of strangers: It is one of the positive fears in children. It is protective measure the child takes for himself. This can only be a problem when he has to make new friends. He might not welcome anyone because they are strangers. In such cases parents should give time to their children to know a particular person before expecting them to be friendly. Also parents can interactive with the stranger to set an example so that they think it is okay.
Fear of being alone: This fear is in correlation with the fear of the dark. Children feel unprotected when they are alone and also week. Hence parents should slowly cultivate the feeling of being alone is okay in children. They should start by sitting far apart in same room and then slowly graduating from there until their children are okay with being alone for short periods of time.
Fear of health: Fear of health is closely related to fear of doctors. In the mind of children doctors bring along with them injections and blood which are a big no for them. They are also scared of bad health because they think it leads to death. Parents should tell them what is right in the right situation. They should prepare their children in advance and they can also give them rewards for understanding and complying.
I believe that parents play an important role in helping children get over their fears. Parents should be more understanding towards their children’s needs rather than making them feel less about themselves. Parents should expose them to their fears and train them to deal with it effectively. Parents should build and nurture confidence in their children so that they can face anything that has to be offered to them.
Author: Niketha Mohan
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