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Childhood is a time of wondering at the outer world. Everything children see in the world is new to them and strange, indeed. Anxiety, fears, phobias etc., are very common in childhood. Coming out of the safety of the womb, children may start fearing everything they see in the world; darkness, loud noises, strange faces, animals anything and everything can be a cause for fear.
Theoretically, the fear aspect is bliss as it is the fear that protects child from many dangers in childhood. An ignorant child may confront various threats. When a child cries in darkness, he/she is inviting attention on them so that they may not get into dangers. A scary child may control the curiosity and may stay safe from life threatening dangers.
For example, it is the fear of animals that keep a child away from putting the hands between the jaws of a dog. Let us see the most common childhood fears and also some tips for parents to handle the fears in the best practical ways
Fear of Darkness in Children
It is a very common fear among kids. Most of the children are afraid of the darkness. They get scared to sleep in darkness or even when among elders, darkness is a matter of fear for children. Many childhood phobias are difficult to find. But the fear of darkness is an exception and elders can easily find them out. Psychologists have come up with several reasons that result in the fear of darkness. Most important is the mind-work of imagination.
When children are unable to see anything in the dark, they start imagining like somebody is waiting to creep up on them or some horrible event is going to take place. Another aspect that boosts the fear of darkness is the anxiety of getting left alone. There are no sudden-action remedies for this phobia. Taking away the fear is a very gradual process and parents can try several tips like keeping a dim light on in the bedroom of children and making them convince that nobody is going to attack them at night as parents are there to protect the child.
Fear of Tangible Objects
Children may develop fear to many tangible things like animals, insects, water, certain colors, certain dresses etc. The fear is backed up with a real or imaginary bad experience with one of such objects. For example, if parents frighten a baby by telling him/her that if he/she doesn’t behave well cops will come and take the child away, then the child will naturally develop a phobia towards the uniform of cops or similar objects.
In the same way, kids can become afraid to many objects. Dreams also contribute enough to create the fear of tangible objects. Forcing them to face the objects they are scared of, may worsen the situation. The best approach is to make them understand the needlessness of getting frightened of the objects which may not harm them anyways.
Fear of Separation From Parents
Many pre-schoolers and toddlers express the fear of getting separated from the parents. They may start crying as and when they feel that parents are leaving them alone. This fear will make children afraid of going to school or to stay with somebody when parents need to go for work or shopping. The only way to overcome this phobia is to convince the child of the amount of love and concern you have towards him/her. Each time you go somewhere, leaving the child, tell him/her that you love him/her and will be back soon with some gifts.
Most of the childhood fears are found to vanish when kids grow older and starts mingling with the society. But certain phobias can be chronic and can follow a child to the grave. Timely detection and proper approach to eliminate them is essential to make your kid smarter and happier.