Childhood is a potentially exciting stage, but it is also full of fears. At such a young age, little ones tend to adopt a type of reasoning called magical thinking, which makes them prone to inventing entities that are behind things going on around them and don’t fully understand. The uncertainty this produces can make them feel intimidated in some types of normal day-to-day situations.
In this article, we will look at several tips on how to help children overcome their most irrational fears, Both in terms of the world around them and in terms of how they perceive themselves, and what we can do as parents and educators to make them trust their skills in a reasonable and realistic way.
What to do to help children overcome their fears
The advice that you will find below must be adapted to the reality of each family and each child, because its effectiveness always depends on the context in which it is lived and the characteristics of each of the minors we are going to help. Both the material environment in which it developed and the relational dynamics that have been consolidated between children and their familiesAs well as the personality and self-concept (self-perception) of each child, are very important elements to consider.
With that said, let’s take a look at specific tips on what is recommended for children to overcome their fears.
1. Open an honest channel of communication with the child.
First of all, it is essential to create the conditions for the child to feel that he can express his fears freely and honestly. without feeling judged or judged or contributing to putting on a derogatory “label”. In Western societies, fears are often seen as weaknesses and therefore tend to be hidden. But if we have shown an interest in knowing them in order to overcome them, things are changing.
The main thing, therefore, is, first of all, to gain their trust and show good intentions from the start.
2. Ask directly for the root of fear
It is important not to go with funnels and know what is the perception that the boy or the girl has of what scares him. In this way, we will be able to establish certain predictions about the type of situations in which this fear should be expressed, and on the other hand we will know if it is based on imaginary entities or if it has a minimally material basis. It is not the same not to dare to go to school because one thinks that along the way lives a demon, to be afraid of getting lost in dark places.
3. Don’t ridicule their fears
From an adult’s perspective, it’s very easy to assume that a child’s irrational fears are nonsense, the product of a still developing mind. However, taking this perspective is a big mistake, because it will prevent us from connecting with the point of view of the person we want to help.
So, when asking for information about what is going on, act like a person would who does not emphasize the logic or reasonableness of that fear, but the importance that the emotional repercussions of that fear have. for the little one. The important thing is not to critically and rationally analyze the chain of thoughts that feeds fear., But how to get rid of this fear.
4. Be an example
It’s one way to start breaking down fear. Showing that it is possible to live in peace by acting as if the source of this fear does not exist, we show that there is no reason to remain oblivious to this worry. To do this, do things that the child would not dare to do, in or in company. however, it is better not to do this to force the minor to be present, Because being forced or forced to do it is in itself another source of stress.
5. Create easy situations to break the fear
By following an ascending difficulty curve, create situations where there is a bit of this fear that the child has to overcome and do your best to overcome them without backing down to avoid this discomfort. Leaving your comfort zone in this way will be rewarding, as it will show you that your world of possible actions is larger than that fear made you see at the beginning. Step by step, challenge after challenge, it will be easier to keep progressing until there is hardly any fear. However, try to be always close so that the situation does not get out of hand.