When children's fear becomes a problem

When children's fear becomes a problem

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Fear is very common in children. And there are many types of fears in childhood: fear of being alone, fear of monsters, of the dark ... Until then, it is normal. Fear is even necessary, as it teaches children to be cautious against possible external threats.

However, fear can also become a problem for children. When it is a fear that the child cannot control and causes them to lose control, the fear can turn into a panic attack, or even expand and grow in the form of other fears.The psychologist Silvia Álava explains to us when children's fear becomes a problem for them.

We have to think that fears can be normal, and they can be part of children's lives without problem, but they can also be traumatic for them. When? When it is a fear that interferes in the child's daily life. For example, in these cases:

- When the child is unable to get up at night to go to the bathroom alone.

- When the child is unable to stay alone on the top floor of a two-story house.

- When the child asks his brother for help to accompany him anywhere.

- When the child is not able to cross a corridor if he does not turn on all the lights.

These are all little symptoms that indicate that child may need help. Fears end up being expansive. If you do not face a fear and end up defeating it, and you prefer to avoid it, that fear becomes general every time. That is to say: 'since I no longer face fear or overcome it, I believe that I will no longer be able to overcome it, and that the only way to relax and not have anxiety is precisely not facing it.' And in the end the child ends up being afraid of more things.

For example: those people who are afraid of flying, and stop doing it ... and then are afraid to go by train ... and then to go by car. And they end up deciding not to travel. The usual thing is that when fears are not overcome, they become generalized and end up creating other 'little fears'.

The fear of monsters: this is a very common fear in childhood. What should we do?

1 First, see how the room is decorated and what dolls you have. If you have a monster that can scare you, we must remove it from the room and replace it with more 'pleasant' drawings and dolls for them.

2. The second thing to do is to teach the child to get that monster out of your head. All that fear must be dismantled on a cognitive level. We must make the child realize that the monster does not really exist, but only exists in his head.

3. And finally, once fear has been dismantled, we must replace it with an image that is more pleasant. For example: every time the child thinks of the monster, he must replace it with another thought, something that the child likes very much, such as a memory of the beach, a soccer game, a meeting with his cousins ​​...

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