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FEAR is a child’s reac­tion to some infor­ma­tion. The kid saw or heard some­thing, the imag­i­na­tion was con­nect­ed and cre­at­ed dis­turb­ing images.

Adults also have fears, but it is much more dif­fi­cult for chil­dren to cope with them, because they do not have the knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence that could explain these emo­tions and reduce anx­i­ety.

For the most part, fears in chil­dren go away on their own, on aver­age, with­in a month from the moment of occur­rence. But even dur­ing this time they can cause a lot of harm to the baby and the whole fam­i­ly.

First some gen­er­al TIPS:

  • Fear can­not be ridiculed or deval­ued. The prob­lem may be far-fetched, but the feel­ings of the child are real. To elim­i­nate many fears, it is use­ful to work with the child’s self-esteem.
  • Fear is an emo­tion. And you need to be friends with emo­tions — to be able to rec­og­nize them in your­self and oth­ers, under­stand motives, com­pe­tent­ly live and let go. This is what the Clever®️ kit teach­es. Man­ageEmo­tions, you can start prac­tic­ing it from birth!
  • Anoth­er very effec­tive option is FAIRY TALE THERAPY. To com­bat entrenched fears, we rec­om­mend our book with new fairy tales “Clever Girl®️. Game Fairy Tale Ther­a­py®. 50 ther­a­peu­tic fairy tales and games from whims, fears and aggres­sion.” how to cope with chil­dren’s fears, as well as 15 fairy tales and 3 games to work with fears

What are chil­dren afraid of?

1. Fear of the dark Fear of the dark appears at the age of about 3 years (and here it is, by the way, may be delayed). This is a nat­ur­al fear, it is based on the instinct of self-preser­va­tion

What to do?

  • Talk. Come to every call, ask ques­tions, con­sole, hug. It’s a good idea to choose a nice night light togeth­er and leave it on.
  • If the baby is dis­turbed by some­thing in the room (a clos­et from which “some­one can come out”, etc.), then it is worth rear­rang­ing it. Put a flash­light in the crib so that the child can make the world brighter at any sec­ond — by the way, games with a flash­light are use­ful on their own.
  • Dur­ing the day, play hide and seek, arrange shad­ow the­aters (only fun­ny ones and if the baby doesn’t mind), watch film­strips. If the child agrees, you can arrange a quest in the dark — it is not nec­es­sary to do com­plete dark­ness, dusk is also pos­si­ble, and places with clues will be back­lit.
  • Before going to bed, it is bet­ter to play calm games, do not watch movies and car­toons, and also eat at least 2 hours before bed­time, this is impor­tant for the phys­i­o­log­i­cal com­fort of the child.

2. Fear of doc­tors At the heart of this fear lies a neg­a­tive expe­ri­ence. Every­thing is log­i­cal here — many med­ical pro­ce­dures are unpleas­ant, and even painful. The child remem­bers that the last time he cried, and slow­ly his fan­ta­sy twists the sen­sa­tions to the max­i­mum, demo­niz­ing the image of the doc­tor.

What to do?

  • It is worth work­ing on this fear long before going to the doc­tor. Tell your child how our body works, what hap­pens when we get sick, how med­i­cines and pro­ce­dures help to recov­er. For this, infor­ma­tive videos and car­toons, beau­ti­ful books about anato­my for kids, as well as games “doc­tor” at home will be very use­ful.
  • Do not lie to the child that “this is not painful” and “aunt will only look, but will not do any­thing” — fear only inten­si­fies from the dis­so­nance between expec­ta­tion and real­i­ty.
  • Praise the child for courage, and both for the future (“you are very brave, now when you go in for a vac­ci­na­tion, all the doc­tors will be sur­prised that you are not afraid!”), And for past mer­its (“remem­ber, we were with you last time went to the den­tist, at first you were also a lit­tle wor­ried, and then you said that it didn’t hurt at all”).
  • When going to the clin­ic, think in advance how you will enter­tain the child in line, because there is noth­ing worse than sit­ting and shak­ing, scrolling hor­ror sto­ries in your head. We advise you to grab Umnit­sa®. “World on the palm of your hand” or Umnit­sa®. “100 Games”!

3. Fear of death — This is a nat­ur­al stage in the devel­op­ment of the child’s psy­che. Around the age of 5, chil­dren begin to feel them­selves, and also grow up to under­stand that life can some­day stop. Of course, this thought is dis­turb­ing.

What to do?

  • First, do not avoid this top­ic, do not laugh it off and do not avoid answers. In gen­er­al, here you can “lay straws” and slow­ly tell the child infor­ma­tion in advance, with­out wait­ing for ques­tions and man­i­fes­ta­tions of anx­i­ety on his part. The main thing is that the child should have a firm and unshak­able feel­ing from the con­ver­sa­tion: life is very long, hap­py, death occurs in old age after many, many years.
  • There is no need for exces­sive detail (gen­er­al words will suf­fice: old age, seri­ous ill­ness), but answer all ques­tions, if any. Speak­ing about the future, it is bet­ter to dream — where you would like to go, where to work, what ani­mal to have when you grow up, so that fright­en­ing thoughts recede into the back­ground.

4. Fear of dogs It can be about oth­er ani­mals, but more often than not, we are afraid of dogs. They bite, are quite large, and it is also easy to meet a dog on the street or at a par­ty. Usu­al­ly the fear of dogs is born out of a trau­mat­ic expe­ri­ence — the ani­mal scared or hurt, and the child now fears that this will hap­pen again.

What to do?

  • Assess the sit­u­a­tion — if the child is very afraid, then in no case should you “knock out the wedge with a wedge” (drag the dog to pet it to make sure it is harm­less). But if the fears have not yet turned into real fear, then play with a pup­py or a small dog might be a good idea.
  • You need to talk with a fright­ened child at home, in a calm envi­ron­ment (when the dog is not around) — look at pho­tos of dif­fer­ent breeds, dis­cuss ani­mal behav­ior (in what cas­es can a dog bite? why does it do this?).
  • It is impor­tant for a child to under­stand that ani­mals do not attack “sud­den­ly”, and noth­ing threat­ens him if some­one pass­es with a dog on the street. Play with toy dogs, read books about ani­mals in gen­er­al, watch videos. Most like­ly, the fear will pass by itself, if it is not aggra­vat­ed.

5. Fear of oth­er peo­ple At the age of 7–10 months, babies begin to be afraid of strangers, and this is com­plete­ly nat­ur­al. This stage of devel­op­ment of the psy­che will pass by itself by about 2 years.

What to do?

  • For a child under 2 years old: ask oth­ers to respect the child’s per­son­al space, do not sit too close, do not make con­tact in the first cou­ple of min­utes after arrival. Let the baby get used to a new per­son for him, watch him from the side for some time. Even if it’s a grand­moth­er. Intro­duce the child to a per­son, say some­thing like “This is my friend Lena, she is very good.” Hug your baby more often, kiss — imbue him with love to reduce anx­i­ety and increase the lev­el of trust in the world in gen­er­al.
  • For a shy kid from 3 years old, it is impor­tant to increase self-esteem, as well as give him ready-made sce­nar­ios of behav­ior in dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions (how to get to know each oth­er, ask to take him to the game, make peace, etc.). Sce­nar­ios are best played at home with toys. Per­son­al­ized fairy tales (we talked about them at the begin­ning of the post), hugs with mom, and a hob­by in which the child will feel suc­cess­ful are well suit­ed to increase self-esteem.

Kits to help over­come chil­dren’s fears

Clever®️. Man­agin­gE­mo­tions

“Umnit­sa®️. IgroSkazkoTher­a­py®. 50 ther­a­peu­tic fairy tales and games from whims, fears and aggres­sion”

Smart Girl®. “Peace in the palm of your hand”

Smart Girl®. “100 Games”!

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