Listen to your child’s fears, make him feel that you understand his fears, respect him and take him seriously. For example; “I see that the water scares you. You don’t like being scared, you feel out of control.
Maybe together we can figure out a way to overcome fear.”
Let your child express his feelings. Crying, laughing will be effective in this process.
These behaviors are quite effective for discharging the accumulated voltage.
Think about where the fear may be caused by, and investigate. It is important to question when non-functional fear behaviors occur. For example: a child who has been experiencing problems for 5 months may need to study the processes that occurred outside the daily routine of life 5 months ago.
Starting a new school, the birth of a sibling, the departure of a caregiver from work, moving, etc. such changes may have led to the formation of fear behaviors.
Spend the energy that will be spent on destroying fears, discovering the causes that cause dysfunctional fear behavior.Do not underestimate, ridicule, judge the feelings and experiences of the child.
These behaviors will do nothing but make your child feel bad and helpless.
Some of the fears are caused by a lack of information, inform your child. Take advantage of books, videos, magazines, tangible and scientific data. Knowledge is power and gives the child the feeling of being able to control his emotions.
Make your child describe his fear and express himself.Express that you are safe no matter what your child’s fear is, and if necessary, tell us about the precautions you are taking for safety.Remember that your child has just got to know the world and needs his parent’s experience.
Remember that with your guidance and an inclusive parental attitude, he will explore the world with confidence.Do not give distorted messages about the child’s fears. “Let me see if there are monsters or not,” “monsters won’t visit you if you’re a good kid. avoid rhetoric such as “.Create a routine. The routine will relax your child and make him feel safe. Create a step-by-step ‘Fear management plan’ and encourage your child with small steps.
• You can add many exercises to the fear management plan, such as ‘Identifying the source of fear’, ‘Taking deep diaphragm breaths’, ‘Counting to 10 through’, ‘Imagining that you are in a safe place’ and ‘Don’t let your body go’.
You can create an emotion thermometer and rate your anxiety, fear
For example, on a thermometer from 0 to 10, you can decode 0 as not being afraid at all, and 10 as being very afraid.
You can make your child draw his fears. You can ask how he wants to give a name to the picture he drew, what he wants to tell in the picture, what can be done to make the picture funnier.
You can even specify that if he wants, he can even scribble his fears, crumple them up and throw them into a pot of fear. You can make your child write letters to his fears.
The more time he spends in a concrete way, especially with abstract fears, the more his ability to regulate emotions will develop. You can teach your child to realize his fear and focus on what has changed in his body at the time of fear.
Having discovered the triggers of the body, the child realizes that fear is coming. Thus, he may think that he can implement an action plan to combat fear. This will give him the ability to regulate and control his emotions.
You can observe your child’s games and participate in these games with his consent and guidance. In the game you can use animation, role-playing techniques. Thanks to this theatrical game, your child will express his fear. To overcome fear, you can play the game by entering the role of the fear-inducing figure.
By including objects that he is afraid of in the game, you can make imitations of them together. Make him tell about his fears by fantasizing. ‘Because you created this fear in your mind, you can defeat it again with a technique you created in your mind.
Read story books on the topic that are appropriate for the child’s age. You can check whether there are secondary gains. It is inevitable to travel a distance when you realize what your child’s need is.
For example, a child who sees that his father gets up from the computer and takes care of himself only when he is afraid is actually a child who needs to spend time with his father. Increasing the parent-child relationship and sharing without the need for fears will positively affect the process.
When talking to your child, it is important that you speak his language and not convey more than he needs. Metaphors, idioms, abstract concepts especially confuse the minds of children in early childhood.
The use of as clear and simple a language as possible will provide an understandable communication opportunity.
Pay attention to the content of movies watched by children, books read, games. Take care not to dull the interests and curiosity of children with an overly protective attitude.
Try to become a model for the child about fears. If you have phobias, share this problem with a therapist and your support resources. Parents can share their feelings with their children. But it makes children very anxious to see that their parents have lost control. Let your child find the solution. I asked him, “How can I help you be less afraid?” you can ask.
It is known that physical and rhythmic activity relaxes children. Direct your child to activity. Calm and rhythmic movements such as swinging in a hammock, jumping on a trampoline, running, playing with sand, doing yoga movements are activities that will regulate and calm children’s emotional states. Provide a calming, relaxing, peaceful sleeping environment.
Pay attention to the temperature of the room, the degree of light. Don’t lose sight of the bigger issues. Review other possible processes that underlie fears and deeply affect the child; divorce, sibling birth, sexual abuse, starting school, etc.
If your child’s fears have a negative impact on his functionality and quality of life, I recommend that you definitely consult a specialist.