Dealing with toddler's fear | Theofania Natasya Rukma, S.Psi from Blubridge Center| Kinderkloud

Dealing with toddler's fear

toddler's fear

Have you ever faced your child feeling afraid to walk on the grass? Or run away when he sees a dog? Or maybe cry as soon as you leave him sleeping alone?

Feelings of fear often occur in children, including toddlers. However, what do you need to do when it happens? Let's look at the description below.

 

Find out and understand

Identify what objects, situations, or things your toddler is afraid of. In general, toddlers have a limited understanding of size, and have irrational fears. Common fears that children have include:

  • Alone
  • Dark
  • Big animals
  • Insect
  • Altitude
  • Get an injection or go to the doctor
  • Loud sound
  • Imagineer creatures, such as 'creatures' under the bed, etc.

Then, try to understand about what makes him feel afraid of it. Ask specific questions, such as is he afraid of dogs because of his voice? Or out of fear that the dog will bite him? Help children understand their own fears.

 

Acknowledge and validate

Instead of saying "There's no need to be afraid", "This dog is fine!", or "You're going to be fine!", try saying "Oh, you seem scared, don't you?" "Yeah, it looks like a barking dog is scary huh". Objects that is threatening for children is sometimes irrational and strange. However, we should not laugh at or underestimate the feeling of fear, because for our child, the feeling of fear is real, and the object has a very big influence on him.

 

Don't avoid it, solve the problem

Generally, parents let the child run away from the feared object, so that both the child and parent feel better, at that moment. Parents let the child to avoid the grass, or avoid sleeping alone, so that the child does not cry. However, the 'better' impact is not long term. This actually makes children's fears grow, and make problems even more in the future.

 

Instead, invite children to discuss together, what can be done to solve the problem. Invite the child to face the feared object slowly, step by step. Do not forget to discuss with the child how to overcome his fear. Does he feel better by being accompanied while he is sleeping? Or by turning on the light?

Gradually, guide the child to overcome his fear. For example, if your child is afraid of grass, ask your child to touch the grass first, rather than walking on the grass. Accompany the child in the early steps, while slowly moving away from the child.

For example, if your child is afraid to sleep alone:

  1. The first step, read two books, then turn off the light, turn on the bed light, and sit there (not talking) until he sleeps
  2. Then, read a book, then turn off the light, turn on the light sleeper. Leave the room, but wait in front of the room, with the door open.
  3. Next, read a book, then turn off the light, and turn on the bed light, go out with the door closed

Give him a reward when he makes it through a small stage of the design.

 

Practice by playing

Playing pretend play, or reading a book with an appropriate topic, can help a child understand his fear, and understand that the object being feared does not always have the negative impact he had imagined.

 

Don't share your fear

Your child can learn about your fears. When you are afraid of insects, your child will be wary and share the fear of insects. When you are afraid of this when children play outside the house, children will feel that all things outside the house are dangerous, and this will affect how they see the world in their daily lives.

 

The last message

Feelings of fear in children is a natural thing to happen. What we need to do is help the child understand the fear he has, and can find strategies to overcome that fear. However, when your child's fear becomes excessive, and interferes with daily life, seek help from a child therapist or child psychologist.

 

References :

https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-soothe-your-toddler-s-fears-5180278

https://childmind.org/article/help-children-manage-fears/

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fear-and-anxiety-children

Fear, dealing with toddler's fear, how to handle toddler's fear

Pre-school 2 Years - 4 Years / 2 Tahun - 4 Tahun (Balita) / Parenting / Pola Asuh / Family / Keluarga / Dealing with toddler's fear

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