Help Your Child to Handle FEAR
Not all fears are bad – a child who won’t go near a spitting and hissing cat is a smart child. However, if this leads to her fearing all cats or animals, then something should be done to help her overcome her fear.
Are you contributing to her fears? Do you use scare tactics to get her to obey? Do you let her watch horror movies, or even the news without explaining things to her? Are you over protective? A child needs room to explore but set some limits – these and your love will give her a sense of security.
- SEEK PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS Start with doing the obvious – if she’s afraid of the dark, give her a night light, if she things there are monsters in her closet, go take a look together and show her they aren’t there. Show her you take her far seriously.
- FIND A QUICK FIX Get kids to listen to soothing music when they are anxious or fearful. Another fix is distracting themselves from their fears. This can involve an engrossing activity like counting coins in her pocket or naming all the children in her class.
- RELAX Have your child imagine positive and relaxing images, like being at the beach. Teach her to tense and relax various muscle groups systematically. To be effective, these techniques must be practised daily.
- DESENSITISATION Get your child to confront her fear by gradually exposing her to them. But remember to go at her pace. So if your child is afraid of cats, start by reading up on cat together. Then watch a movie all about cats. Next, she could visit a friend’s cat that’s kept safely in its compound. You should move slowly along like this until she’s relaxed and comfortable interacting with the animal.