Many children have fears, it is normal, in fact there are common childhood fears that tend to coincide with the different stages of development. Here are the most common childhood fears.
0-2 years: Sudden loss of support (inattention), loud noises, separation from parents, animals, strangers, injuries, and darkness.
3-5 years: separation from parents, animals, darkness, physical harm and disguised people.
6-8 years: separation from parents, animals, darkness, physical damage, imaginary beings (witches, ghosts, monsters ...), storms, loneliness, death and school.
9-12 years: animals, physical damage, school (exams, failures), physical appearance, social relationships and death.
13-18 years: school, physical appearance, social relationships and death.
In most cases, the fears disappear over time, but if the fears are excessive or are not handled properly, it can cause them to increase and to incapacitate the child in some area of his life. In these cases, it is necessary to consult with a professional to teach the child how to deal with them and the parents how to handle the situation.
There is no denying fear, it is important that the child sees it as something natural that happens to everyone. Putting words to fear will help you understand it: the neighbor's dog scares you, doesn't it? Many children are afraid of dogs, if you want today we can see him from here and we will get closer to the next day.
We have to explain to him that what scares him a lot now, as he gets older it will be easier, we can give him examples of ourselves when we were little and give them examples of how we solved it at the time.
"I am brave", "nothing will happen to me", "I am strong" are messages that the child can repeat when they are going to face situations and that counteract the messages that fear gives them such as "I am going to have a bad time "," They are going to hurt me. The only negative phrases they do is increase fear, while the positive ones give them the strength to deal with them and give them a more adequate image of themselves..
There is no use convincing them that they are not afraid because it is irrational, it is more effective to give them other tools. Making up jokes about the dark, drawing pictures of clumsy thieves with clown noses, or getting angry at a dark room and making fun of it can cause children to see these situations with different eyes..
Calling him a coward, teasing him, or punishing him will not make him face his fears adequately. When a child is feeling fear, the last thing he needs is to be made to see that he is not brave enough or that he is doing something wrong. It will be more helpful if we support him and make him see that he can face fear and that we will be there to accompany him.
When the difficult situation approaches, going to school, bedtime or the time to leave him at home with the babysitter, it will help him to talk about positive things and have fun, we can go playing something or singing. This way we will help you not to get overwhelmed by anticipating the situations that scare you.
We can help him calm down by speaking calmly and giving him familiar objects such as the sleeping bear..
Sometimes, as parents, it affects us to see how they are afraid because we see them suffer or because it reminds us of old fears we had. If so, then it is likely that we give it a lot of importance or that we try to avoid the bad drink no matter what. This will make the child live it more intensely and increase his fear.
If we overreact to our fears or avoid situations, the child will learn that these situations are dangerous and that the way to get out of them is to avoid them and not confront them. If you analyze what your fears are, it is likely that you will find some reflected in your child (fear of spiders, elevators ...)
Sometimes it is common to hear “If you don't eat your food you go to the dark room”, “if you don't sleep the bogeyman will come”. These actions can have very short-term effects but in the long term their consequences will be negative, you will learn to obey out of fear and not because the rules have been learned and the reason for them is understood..