Dealing with Childhood Fears and Phobias

7December 2018

The world can be an extremely scary place, especially for children who are just learning things for the first time. In some situations, these fears can cause a serious reaction. No parent wants to see their child going through this type of pain, but it can make parents feel helpless. Don’t let fear win. Learn how to handle fears and phobias in children.

What is a Phobia?
Everyone understands fear. It’s part of the human experience. Phobias are significantly more troublesome than simple fears that plague all children at some point or another. Phobias will cause an exaggerated reaction to a situation that other children the same age would not generally share. Phobias can cause the child to become seriously socially and professionally stunted, so it’s important to help them to the best of your ability.

Dealing with Fears and Phobias
When you see your child going through intense fear, it can hurt your heart. Some parents may try to minimize the situation by telling the child that there’s nothing to worry about, but the fear is still there. What do you do? Here are some ways to help your child go through their phobias.

Be understanding
Parents need to realize that their child is experiencing sincere fear. Do your best to help your child through the panic attack derived from their phobia. Don’t discourage your child from expressing their fear, but, at the same time, you don’t want to show them too much attention and pampering. They need to work on their fear, but it will require small steps. Be patient!

Get professional help
In many cases, a child may outgrow their phobia organically. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Severe cases that cause the children to fall behind socially and academically should be treated with the help of a therapist. The therapist can work with the child to conquer the fear and give you strategies to try as well.

Handle the root of the problem
Many phobias derive from a particular event. For example, a child might have a fear of dogs because they were bitten by a dog in their past. Seeing a dog in the present can trigger memories of this negative event. When the phobia has a clear cause, you can work on the cause of the problem instead of simply managing the child’s reaction.

Manage your own fears
Some children develop their phobias from watching the adults around them. If you have phobias of your own, it’s time to manage your own reactions to those phobias to set a good example for your child. Being open about your experiences can also encourage your child to acknowledge and open their own problems. It can even be something that the two of you can work on together.

If your child is dealing with phobias, we know that it can be a difficult time. Do your best to be understanding and take initiative to work on the problem because it follows them into adulthood.

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