Raising Happy Homes

When I watch now how my little girl chats bubbly and laughs with the other kids, I remember how she used to cry out loud, during her ear...

How To Help Your Child Overcome Fear and Phobia

By 8:45:00 AM , ,

When I watch now how my little girl chats bubbly and laughs with the other kids, I remember how she used to cry out loud, during her early toddler stage, every time she hears someone laughing. Thinking that my girl would grow up as an anti-social someday (as she fears laughter), made me sad.

I mean, I would always love my kids for who they'll be but to raise some bubbly and warm children would make me feel at ease knowing that socializing would be a no-brainer for them.

Researchers affirm, though, that fears and phobias are common to youngsters especially between the ages of 6-12. From time to time, kids experience fear as part of growing up as they explore this big world and learn new ways in confronting circumstances and their emotions.

Is there a significant difference between a fear and phobia? Should parents panic when we see our kids go hysterical over the sight of a big barking dog or even a mere balloon? Doug Symons, a clinical psychologist at Acadia University in Wolfville, NS Canada, says that "When they’re (fear) excessive and begin to interfere with your life, we define them as phobias.”

Fears are mostly the mild ones which generally subside on their own. Phobia, on the other hand, is a strong and irrational fear which can become persistent and significantly affecting day to day activities which can develop at almost any age and can be long-lasting.

On the lighter side, phobias, in general, are not a sign of serious mental illness which requires rigorous months, and even years,of treatment. Therapists would recommend exposing your little ones to the source of her anxiety in a small and non-dangerous doses to overcome her fear/phobia.

Most Common Phobia And How To Handle It

Listed below, in no particular order, are the most common types of phobia and tips to overcome your child's fear/phobia.

1. Environmental phobias such as fear of the dark, water, and thunder.
Make your child feel that they are not alone. Consistently remind them that there's nothing to worry 'cause mama/papa will be right beside them. One thing that worked for me when dealing with my daughter's fear of thunder is a good story that redirects her attention from that loud thunderous sound. Staying with them until they fall asleep sounds a great help too, especially for kids who hates to be alone on the bed at night time.

2. Animal phobias like fear of dogs, snakes, and spiders. Take them to the zoo and explain to them that these animals are God's creations too. Reading them with fable stories is also a good way of introducing to them the fun/non-dangerous side of the animals. Getting yourself a pet would ease up your child a bit and later on overcome his fear/phobia for such.

3. Social phobias like social conduct and interaction. Observe first how your child would react when surrounded with people and take it from there. Encourage your child to interact with people and praise them for every effort they put in to connect to others. When my daughter used to cry when she'd hear people laughing ('cause she wasn't used to it since there were just the three f us in the apartment and we don't do that loud talking and laughing), I regularly schedule a stroll at the park with my daughter and do random chit chat with other parents and kids at her age. Gradually, she was able to overcome that fear and now she's the friendly type little girl.

4. Injury phobia like fear of needles, blood or anything that has something to do with any medical treatment. Tell your kids that doctors, nurses are close to being heroes and their job is keeping us healthy and strong. Let them visit a hospital to get acquainted with the hospital environment to ease a bit their phobia and reward them for cooperating well during a medicinal treatment,

Dealing with phobias takes too much time and effort. But the very first rule that every parent must know is to never make fun of your child's fear and/or phobia. It is best to acknowledge what your child has been going through and talk it out with them. Your time and understanding are the best healers to how your child will handle the stress brought in by his phobia.

These phobias may not come off quickly, so never push your child to overcome his fear or phobia by overnight. Instead, reward him for every effort he puts in to get away from his fear. By doing this, you are letting your child build her confidence/

Any tips you want to add up on the list? Or personal stories about how your child triumphed her fears? Then, share it with us.


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