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Children's fears and phobias

Children's fears and phobias

We aim to get closer to what the children feel and express about their fears, fears, anxiety or even fear.

I saw all the children crying, refusing, waking up at night crying, I often heard: "Mommy, I'm scared!" Parents rush to reassure the child, ask him what his fear is and deny the danger the little one is talking about.
Fear of darkness, monsters, brooms, ghosts, people with creepy looks, animals, situations, people in reality, certain places or objects are encountered by all children in a certain period of their childhood.
However, some support it better, others with greater difficulty and there are also different ways of expressing these fears.

Some of us can remember why they were scared when they were little, others forgot, and others say they were not afraid of anything. Of course, the intensity of fear as the mode of expression leaves a deeper or more superficial imprint on our memory.

We can try to make a trip in our childhood and look for fears since then. It is one of the most efficient ways to understand what a child feels ...

Because if we understand what is going on inside it, we can find a suitable method to calm it down. "My child is scared" - this is a phrase that many parents say themselves as a cry for help. And it is true that the fear of the little one brings us closer to our own fears, even if we are not aware of it.

As modes of manifestation we often encounter crying and screaming, avoidance and inhibition, aggressive manifestations, refusal, nightmares, physical or mental agitation. Naturally, they vary depending on the age and personality of the child, but also on the manifestation modes of the family he is part of.

Some children do not feel fear during the day and cannot tell if they are afraid of something. Instead, these conditions occur during sleep when the child dreams and wakes up awake.

It is important to discover the child's life and to differentiate the situation when there is a psychological problem that requires a specialized intervention or it is a "normal" fear.

In this context we can remember that most objects and people are very large compared to the size of the child and he has no opportunity to see them in full and neither to name them or to know what they are, what they use etc.

An example at hand is the fear of different noises produced by household appliances. Parents say, "Why are you afraid of the mixer? It doesn't hurt." But for the child, the word mixer does not mean anything and can be perceived or felt as extremely dangerous. Fear of all kinds of things that we do not see well, we do not call them, we cannot master them, they appear unpredictable, we do not know "what they do", what they contain. is the characteristic of the childhood period.

The method that parents use so that the little one is not scared is to talk to them about the phenomenon, activity, object or situation before, so that the child can form an even summary representation, to be "ready" for what is about to happen.

In the case of other fears, parents feel confused, looking for a traumatic experience and do not find it, it seems that fear has appeared "suddenly", but it is never so. In addition, in the case of phobias, the object of the phobia has no direct connection with the phobia, but there is only an associative link. People who are afraid of spiders have no experience with spiders, not to mention the fear of flying, height, water, etc.

In all situations, a careful and carefree approach to the child's condition and manner of manifestation is required. Also, as much as possible, the child should not be prohibited from being afraid, crying or being punished for it.

I am waiting for your opinions, experiences and questions in a live discussion, which will take place on Monday, January 12th between 8 pm and 11 pm.

Anca Munteanu

Psychologist - Child psychology

Center of Action Psychology and Psychotherapy