Children and Fears

Fear in children is one of the common concerns of parents. Most of the children harbour fear during their childhood. Read on to know about the common fears in children and how to manage fear in children.

It is not really unnatural or uncommon for a child to be harbouring a fear at some point of time, during his childhood. Parents need to understand that this is a normal part of the child's development. You can consider the condition as abnormal only when you find that the fear is so encroaching upon the child's personality that his regular activities and normal behaviour is getting affected. 

Children and Fears

If it is not possible to reassure or distract the child away from the fear, then it can be termed as phobia, that requires clinical treatment and it might also be transformed into an irrational fear. But there are proper ways to counter the fear and tame it down, albeit it might call for a regularized counselling and patience.  

Common Fears in Toddlers

Given below are the common fears in toddlers:

Children fear of separation from parents or family.

They feel afraid of certain noises, be it thunder, a cracker burst, car horn or dog bark.

They fear of falling from their crib, bed or from a chair.

They can be afraid of the pets, of other animals and insects too.

Some are afraid of using a commode or of water during bathing.

Some are fearful of the night, especially the bed time.

Common Fears in Preschoolers

Kids, in their preschooler stage have fear of the following:
Some distinct animals or insects.

As preschoolers are exposed to media and reading and listening to stories, they develop this fear about ghosts and monsters.

They are afraid of getting lost and not getting to be with mom and dad.

They are afraid of the situation, what if their parents separate and they happen to lose one of them. This usually happens if the kids witness frequent quarrels between parents and they feel that an unhealthy relationship exists between their parents.

If a parent is keeping sick, the kid is also afraid of losing the parent to death.

Some kids are still afraid of bedtime and the night

Common Fears in School Going Kids 

In children, who are in their primary schools are found to have some of the following fears:

They are afraid of separation with family of close friends

They are afraid of loud or creaking noises

They are fearful of falling down from the stairs or from a height

They fear a new situation like starting school, they are afraid of a new environment and new people

They fear to be away from their home and parents, they fell unprotected and insecure

The fear of rejection follows from all the above fears. They feel, what if others do not love them as they are loved and cared for in their homes.

They are just beginning to read and know the world, and some simply house fears of war and crime

Some are afraid of robbers, thieves and burglars, especially if they get to hear about them or witness such a dramatized act in television or films.

How to Deal With Fears in Children?

As a parent you can deal with the common fears in children with pretty simple ways:

Respect the Feelings of the Kid – Do not ignore or walk over his fears by saying things like, "you are a real baby to be afraid of this!" Show the kid that you understand his fears and are sympathetic towards his feelings.

Talk About It – Always talk on the subject and do not brush it aside thinking that he will forget it. As you talk, you can help him understand that there is really nothing to be afraid of anything or any event or any person.

Do Not Overprotect – You must make your kid feel secure with you, but do not over protect. Say, if he is afraid of the pet, do not make it a rule that the pet will never come near him and shut the poor pet in a corner of the house. 

You will not be doing good to either. Instead, talk to the kid and show him how the pet is really friendly and adorable by interacting with the pet maintaining a distance from the child. Then you can bring along the kid when his comfort level increases and help him understand that there is not much to be afraid of, be it a pet or any other thing that he is afraid of.

Offer Support – This is very important as you must be patient and keep supporting your kid as he tries to master his fears and overcome them. 

Encourage them and assure them that you are there to guide and support whenever he needs it.

With due assurance, comfort, patience and offering logical arguments, that parents can help the kids overcome most of the common fears. However, if you feel that fear is getting transformed into a phobia, you can always seek appropriate guidance Children and Fears.