Children are inquisitive beings they represent the innocence of humanity’s desire to know and acquire knowledge
They easily get hurt as a result and often develop fear or aversion to the cause of their pain. This is a common concern for many parents irrespective of region or nationality. However, what every parent needs to know is that it is just as easy for children to overcome their fears. Especially at preschool age.The most common kinds of fear are born in dark places, from loud sounds, dizzying heights, and upon separation from parents. Often, the imagination of a child may bring about a sense of fear as well. Dealing with a child’s fear is a delicate subject: they need both the understanding someone only their age can provide and the tough nudge an adult can give when it counts. Inappropriately dealing with this issue might make it difficult for your child to rely on you. Thus, to help parents overcome this hurdle, here’s a list containing five points to keep in mind when helping your child overcome their fears and apprehensions:
1. A ‘Different’ Kind of Support System Is Required for Fears
Probably the most important aspect of a child’s development is parental support. However, a support system built around helping a child overcome their fear is slightly different from the norm. While patience and care are universal, as mentioned above, it is not enough. The support given to a child when they battle a fear must include both care and severity. It is similar to the way a parent lets go of their hold on the bicycle to let their child ride without support. Except here, you need to be a little more explicit. For example, if your child fears deep water, like in pools or rivers, you can sit with them near the edge and let your feet dangle in the water. Slowly, you can enter the water body while holding them close. Then, you can decrease contact by increasing distance. Hold their hands at this stage. Once their curiosity kicks in, they might even willingly let go of you. Alternatively, you can help them by providing a swim ring (floating tube) as well. However, please keep in mind that it is ultimately a crutch.
2. You Must Understand Your Child’s Fears
The fears of a child must not be looked at from the lens of an adult; children deserve the same attention, understanding, and care an adult would otherwise get. Their fears must not be belittled, or looked down upon. This does not mean that a parent needs to behave and speak like a child. Children simply desire validation and genuine attention. In fact, making fun of a child’s fear may permanently scar them. Please pay attention to that.
3. You Must Let Your Child Confront Their Fear Alone
It sounds tough, I know. But, as stated before, you must let go of your child to allow them to confront their fears. Only then would they become confident and brave. However, the method need not be severe or hard-handed. Like the example with water or cycling, you can subtly let go of your child without them knowing. By the time your child realises it, they would learn how to handle themself on their own.
4. Some Fears Do Not Need Attention
While this may sound hard to believe, it is quite true. It is perfectly normal for children to have some fears that do not require being dealt with; scary movies, things that do not affect a child’s ability to adapt to situations in the future, and things that adults generally avoid for safety concerns come under this category.
5. You Might Need External Support
If your child’s experience with something painful or dangerous was traumatic and caused them great harm, like drowning in a pool, or falling from a big height, and their reaction to it was severe, then it might be best to take the problem even more seriously and seek a counsellor or therapist for them. They may have developed a phobia, which is an extreme aversion to something, often linked to a past traumatic event. There are several ways to identify the existence of a phobia. A phobia of heights may make your child stop playing on the slide, or quit climbing stairs to high places. Thus, a parent must be extra careful in observing their child after such an event to see if they have developed an aversion to it, and to what extent. Children are not difficult to understand, as long as one is patient and open-minded with them. While the true inner workings of a child’s mind may elude many, and harsh behaviour with them may negatively affect their development, they are ultimately free of the vices and complexities of adulthood. Building a strong foundation for them in their early years of development is extremely important. A parent understands this better than anybody else. So, let us at Bella Mente work together with you to ensure your little pre-schooler grows up well.