It’s normal for a child to have a certain amount of fear. We teach them to be wary and afraid of things like accepting candy from strangers, looking both ways before running into the street and not touching sharp items like scissors or knives. It’s a parent’s way of teaching them to be cautious. However, it’s the parent’s responsibility to reassure a child who is afraid and make them feel safe and secure. Here are some great ways to do so, that have worked for me.
1. Fear of Separation:
Children in the early stages of childhood have a fear of being separated from their mom and dad. They can’t comprehend that when their parents leave, they will definitely return. Begin by leaving for short periods of time and slowly increase the time you are away. Hug and kiss your child goodbye and reassure them that you will return, but never make the goodbyes long and drawn out.
2. Fear of Thunderstorms
It’s not cognitively possible for a child to understand that a thunderstorm is a weather condition brought on by nature. Children pick up on adult fears, so if you are showing fear, they will also be afraid and worry the next time a storm comes around. Find other activities to distract them, and it will help keep their minds off the storm.
3. Fear of the Dark
t’s common for children to become afraid of the dark. They may have woken up from a bad nightmare, or may have become afraid waking up in a totally darkened room. It’s perfectly normal for a child to sleep with a nightlight or light on when they sleep. This won’t interrupt their sleep and as they become mature and more comfortable, they will begin to turn the light off on their own. If your child wakes up in the middle of the night afraid, don’t place them in your own bed, as this will be a hard habit to break. Stay with them in their own room and comfort them instead.
4. Fear of Going to School
School phobias may have numerous causes and it is the responsibility of the parent to assess the situation and find out if the problem is real or imaginary. If they are afraid of school, determine if it’s a teacher, the bus ride, homework or another student causing the anxiety. To lessen their fears, enlist the aide of their teacher in finding them a buddy that could alleviate their stress. Ease their mind and let them know that when they come home at the end of the day, you will be there for them. Discuss the school day with your child at dinner and focus on the enjoyable experiences.
5. Fear of the Dentist
Going to the dentist can be a traumatic experience for a young child, because this is something that isn’t done on a regular basis. The dental instruments can also look frightening to anyone. To help ease their fears, choose a dentist carefully and search for someone specializing in children’s dentistry. Begin when your child is young, so they can get used to simple checkups. Teach your child how to brush their teeth and to practice good dental hygiene to keep the trips to the dentist’s office minimal.
About the author: Craig Pelt is an expert write on parenting, cooking & insurance. You may checkout his site www.travelinsurance.org.