Each child is a distinct personality and a unique temperament. Therefore, some kids are shy and fearful, while others might be brave and careful. Here are some age-related fears and how you can handle them for the betterment of your kid.
Fear of Loud Noise: Generally speaking, infants and toddlers and easily intimidated by loud noise. They are beginning to learn things and loud noise might startle them. Holding, patting on the back and saying sweet things can help. In case of the toddlers, you can tell them about the thing that is making noise. They might not understand your words but you can take them to the source of the sound. If your child was scared by the pressure cooker whistle, you can take him to the kitchen and show him. You might even let the child touch the whistle.
Fear of Strangers: Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and even schoolgoers and adolescents are afraid of strangers or at least hesitant of strangers. The fear of unfamiliar faces is basically related to insecurities, their fearful state relates to “whether I am safe with this person or not.” In order to dispel this fear of unfamiliar faces, you should always take your kids to places where they can see and meet unknown people, for example, parks, shopping malls, zoos, etc. When you and your kid are in the company of strangers, hold his hand, tell him something nice about this person, and encourage your kid to talk to him.
Fear of Bath
As a parent of infants, toddlers, even preschoolers, and school-going kids, you might have noticed that your kid is afraid to take baths. The psychology behind this fear is that what if they also get drained down the drainage hole just like the water? The fear of taking a bath is also related to the uncomfortable feelings with soap and water. In order to dispel this fear of bathing, make bathing interesting by giving them water toys or even taking a bath with your kid.
Fear of Animals
Kids of all ages have this fear. Most of the time, kids’ fear is based on their insecurities. Even adults are afraid of certain animals. However, sometimes kids are even afraid of house animals like cats and dogs. Animals are unpredictable and even your pets can harm you. Still, you can try to help your kids come to terms with house pets. You can also help them familiarize themselves with animals by giving information about the animals, giving animal toys, and letting them watch animals on the TV, in the park, or in the zoo. Generally speaking, kids are afraid of loud noises and a lot of animals make loud and strange noises, therefore, kids are afraid of animals. You can help the kids learn the animal sounds and get familiar with the animals.
Fear of Darkness
Children of all ages are afraid of darkness. Even infants cry when they are kept in the darkness. It is easy to manage this fear in infants and toddlers as you can keep the lights on until they go to sleep. However, addressing fear of darkness in preschoolers, school-going kids, and sometimes even adolescents is difficult because they are already at the age when they begin to imagine things and create stories. They see monsters and ghosts in the dark, they see burglars and strangers in the darkness. Fear of darkness takes a long time to go away and sometimes might even last lifelong. The mind creates images and these images become real in the darkness. While the young kids see monsters in the darkness, older people imagine burglars. Telling stories until the kids sleep, keeping the lights on until they sleep, or keeping the night light on are some of the ways to dispel the fear of darkness.
Fear of Ghosts and Monsters
While scary images and faces also frighten infants and toddlers, the fear of ghosts and monsters is mostly in preschoolers and school-going kids. They get this imagery from the popular media and even the tradition like Halloween. Furthermore, they are also at the age when they are highly imaginative and in their imaginations, they create monsters and stories surrounding these imaginary characters. Kids cannot differentiate between real and unreal. Keeping the lights on until they sleep, imaginary fighting with these monsters and ghosts, moving beds and cupboards in the kid’s room, and creating friendly ghosts and monsters can help this fear of ghosts and monsters.
Fear of Failure and Rejection
Fear of failure and rejection is very common in adults and even so in kids. While adults can easily overcome this fear, fear of failure and rejection can be very devastating in kids as this might last lifelong making them timid, reticent, and pessimist human beings. Performance pressure, peer pressure, and teachers’ and parents’ pressure are the primary reasons behind the fear of failure and rejection. Desire to do good, and be good also make the kids afraid of failure and rejection. Sometimes this fear becomes so severe that they never try to do anything because they are only concentrating on their inability to do it and the rejections they might get after failing. Never put any pressure on your kid regarding their performance, whether it is in studies, exams, or sports. You also have to teach your kids it is perfectly ok the fail. You can share your stories of failure, which might help the kid that when you fail you are not being rejected. Your kid must learn the mistakes they do will help them learn. Also, teach your kids to take calculated risks. Never criticize your kids or compare your kids with another child.
Fear of Medication, Injection, Doctors
If your child is afraid of medication, injections, or doctors, you are not alone. A lot of kids are afraid to be taken to hospitals or administered medicine or injections. This is most prevalent in preschoolers, schoolgoers, and adolescents. This fear is generally associated with pain. Playing doctors and nurses can help your kid familiarize themself with doctors and nurses. Talk about the diseases and safety measures. Assure them that doctors, nurses, and medications are to help them and make them safe.
Address Fear in Your Kids
Fear is real for your kid, do not underestimate it. Fear affects the child psychologically, physiologically, and emotionally. If you understand your kid’s fear, you will also be able to deal with these fears. Do not talk down about your child’s fears even if these fears sound silly. Statements like don’t be scared, don’t be silly might worsen your child’s condition. If you don’t deal with fear properly, it will continue to intensify and in the future, they start keeping everything inside them, and that’s very dangerous.