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To clowns, to the dark, to insects, to be alone at home ... Who has not ever been afraid? As adults we are "able" to control that emotion, however, our children find it more difficult. Over the childhood fears we have spoken in the II meeting #ConnectConTuHijo, organized by our site, in which Marga Santamaría, educational coach, gave us the keys to help our children overcome fears.
He fear It is a basic emotion, it is something common in children, since it is part of their development. It is an evolutionary emotion, that is, they are not always afraid of the same things since they are different as the child grows.
Fear is what we feel when faced with a situation that we consider dangerous, whether it is real, such as a dog that I come across or an imaginary situation, such as a nightmare or thinking that I am going to fail an exam.
Fear can cause us to become paralyzed, still, unable to move or run away, since many times it is an emotion that invites us to escape and flee.
Let's not forget that fear, like all emotions, is experienced subjectively.A boy or girl can hold tight to the arms of his mother when he sees an animal that scares him and another child in the same situation can run away.
"In emotional intelligence, when we talk about emotions, we never say that they are good or bad. Yes, they can lead us to unpleasant or pleasant situations, but all emotions must be validated, since they are ours and belong to us", explains Marga Santamaría.
He fear is good in the sense that is informing us at that time and in that specific situation, that we lack the resources to face what we have in front of us, be it a monster, a clown, my first day of driving ... Therefore, once we have become aware of that emotion, we can start to see what are those resources that may be lacking to deal with that situation.
Fear keeps us on our toes, takes us out of the zone of lethargy, and puts all of our senses to work.Fear, too, can educate children, teach them to take care of themselves and defend themselves against something that may represent a danger to them.
On the other hand, fear can already be considered an anticipated failure, since there are many times that we do not do something for fear of failure or that something happens to me. "Many times we are afraid of possible experiences that may happen and then never happen," he adds.
During the II Meeting #ConectaConTuHijo, Marga Santamaría also gave us the keys so that, as parents and in our day to day, we can help children to face this situation:
- The most important is validate that emotion, is to legitimize it and accept it as good.
- We must respect their emotions and empathize as much as we can with him or her. We must get our emotional brain to connect with its emotional brain.
- Listen carefully to their comments, listen calmly and do not fall into questioning.
- Being around him or her is basic. It is possible that his heart has accelerated, it is possible that the temperature of his legs has dropped because he is slightly paralyzed ... Let's stay with him!
- Tell him that I understand him and perhaps ask him to describe that fear, if he can, to add colors or musical sounds to it.
- Not avoiding fear it does not help to overcome it, quite the opposite. It is necessary to look for, as far as possible, the tools for this.
- It can seek the solution together. Ask him what he wants to do in the situation, ask him what he needs and, above all, do not mitigate the situation.
Many times, the fears of our sons and daughters are born as a consequence of the fears of their parents, of the personal situations of the adults and / or of some traumatic history that occurred in the past. "For example, when I was little I choked on eating ham. I remember perfectly those minutes of anguish and, in one way or another, that experience marked me. When my daughter started eating ham, I was afraid, but I didn't want my fear limited her, that is why I asked her to do it calmly, to chew well, to feel that there were no strands, and so on with the rest of the foods that may have similar characteristics ", explains Marga Santamaría.
It is very common for mothers or fathers to limit our child's activity due to our own fearsThat is, as I am afraid of skating, I do not let my son do it, as I am dizzy to climb the Ferris wheel, I do not let my daughter do it ...
Many times we even use the phrase “don't do that, it scares me”, but we don't realize that it is our own fear and not my daughter…. Thus we are projecting our fears on them and we are making them live my fears and not their own.
Our children learn from what they see, not what we tell them, therefore, the way in which I relate to water, for example, is going to be determining how my daughter relates to water as well.
Finally, it is also important do not generate situations that can lead to fear later. "When we put a light on our son or daughter at night in their habituation, what we do is associate this fact with something negative. We have the opportunity to normalize the situation from the beginning and to sleep in the dark. Don't you think?" explains the educational coach.
Here are a series of resources that will help you to accompany your child in this process. Techniques, stories, phrases ... Everything so that the little one overcomes that fear that worries him And sometimes it can paralyze you!
Most common childhood fear by age
Each boy and girl are unique and not all go through the same fears. Also the family and school context in which they move can influence their development. Even so, we can talk about more frequent fears in one age group than in another. Find out!
Fear test for children
For a child to verbalize what his fear is can be an arduous and difficult task, for this reason we wanted to show you a tool that will help you in this process. This is 'The fear test' so that you can discover that hidden and deep fear.
Stories about fear
Another tool that you can use from home to help your children overcome some of their fears is to tell them a story. It will be a way for them to empathize with the characters in the story and, with their example and testimony, they too can cope with this emotion. 'Irene wants to be a witch', 'Juan without fear', 'The cat and the mouse' ... There are many options!
Phrases about fears
The language we use with our children is essential for their learning. Yelling or criticizing them constantly can affect their brain and therefore their development. The same happens if we want to help them overcome their fears. Take note of the expressions you should never say to them!
Fables to combat childhood fears
Children must learn that to overcome a fear there is nothing better than to face it. To do this, telling them the fable of how Tirita conquers her fears is perfect. You can take advantage of a car trip, when they return from school or before they go to bed.
Games to face fears
It is very common for children to be afraid of the dark, for example, at the time of going to sleep. Many parents choose to leave a light on, but this feeling still does not go away. What if we use the game as a resource to overcome fear? We present 7 children's activities to lose your fear of the dark.
Poems to overcome fears
Do you know that through reading poetry with rhymes we can send our children a powerful message that helps them overcome some of their fears? Andy's Story, for example, is a very useful short poem for children with nighttime fears. The protagonist is a little boy who sees a giant dog at night and is very afraid. The tranquility and comfort of his parents will calm him down.
Techniques to drive away fears
Every parent knows their child and knows what the best mechanism can be to help the child drive away fears. On our site we have created some tricks that we have put into practice with our children. Do you know the techniques of Fairy Dust? It is a very simple one, it works between 4 or 5 years old until 9 or 10, at which point they become half adults and no longer believe so much in magic.
You can read more articles similar to All about fears in childhood. Tips, Tips, and Resources, in the category of Fears on site.