The world of children’s fears is inhabited by monsters, ghosts and monsters that hide under the bed and show up only in the dark, while adults do not see. Along with the characters of fairy tales and fantastic creatures, they are, though frightening, but an integral part of the children’s picture of the world. Growing up, we unwittingly or deliberately forget about children’s fears, realizing their groundlessness and far-fetchedness. But freeing ourselves from childhood fears, we often acquire adults whom we do not always think about. Fear is transformed into individual psychological experiences that accompany a person on the path of life and influence not only his everyday life, but also the making of decisive decisions. Visualizing obsessions, artists often turn to personal experience, broadcasting them to the viewer through the use of his sensors and his own memory archive. In conditions of emotional turbulence provoked by external circumstances, anxiety takes on more and more tangible forms, taking root in the routine of everyday life. What is fear for us today and what tools to overcome it seem the most appropriate and productive?
How to get rid of children’s fears: ways to solve the problem and recommendations for cowards and their parents
I really want to convey to parents (grandparents) that a soft response to the child’s fears, warmth and acceptance, support and understanding is better and more effective than intimidation, reading morality and an “adult” approach to solving the problem: “I don’t see, it means , there is nothing”. With some fears, especially “age ones”, you can often cope on your own, without resorting to the help of specialists. Such children’s fears can be dispelled simply by switching attention to something interesting for the child. Involve him in a variety of games, engage in activities that are interesting for him and, of course, love, respect and demonstrate confident behavior and harmony.
Another way to get rid of fears is GAME. In general, the game in psychotherapy, as well as in the development of the child’s personality, occupies a huge niche. The game can be considered as one of the methods of psychotherapy and psychocorrection. Games are subject, role-playing, mixed (subject-role-playing), spontaneous and organized (directed). An example of a subject game: a game with a car, a role-playing game – a game of a driver. A mixed game will be playing with a car and imagining yourself as a driver. Spontaneous play is free from rules, more precisely, the content of the game is built by children, and in an organized game there is a set of rules.
The game is good in that (in the psychotherapeutic sense) that allows you to live in an imaginary reality of an exciting and frightening situation, as well as to respond to it, to cleanse yourself emotionally. This is possible both in spontaneous play (objective, role-playing or mixed), when the child will unconsciously play things that disturb him, events, and in an organized game (for example, by a psychologist) on a specific topic. There are a lot of important points here, and in serious cases it is better to trust a psychologist or psychotherapist.
It is also worth mentioning drawing as one of the methods of working with fears. Drawing, like playing, is actively used by psychologists when working with children. Drawing an object of fear, passing through certain stages, he gradually loses his “horror”, becomes emotionally less significant or significant with a “+” sign.
In the “suitcase” of a psychologist, there are many more ways to work with fears. They can be visualized, they can be sculpted from plasticine or clay, you can communicate with them by playing in fairy tales and small scenes (psychodrama), you can compose fairy tales with a happy ending about children’s fears and much more.
Next, I would like to give some specific recommendations in the fight against fears (the experience of my teachers-mentors and personal), which I actively use in my practical work and recommend to clients when fear, as an independent problem or as a symptom (sign) of something else , takes place in their lives or in the lives of their loved ones.
Night terrors, sleep disturbance
- Try to create a good mood before going to bed;
- If a child is disturbed by nightmares and does not remember what he dreamed about, you should not discuss this either with him or with him;
- If nightmares occur at a certain time of sleep, then before that you need to wake the child and put him back to sleep;
- If the time of the nightmare is not indicated, then you can wake up 20 minutes after falling asleep and put to sleep again;
If the child remembers what he dreamed about (nightmare), then we turn on the night light for the night, and we can discuss the dream. It is advisable to increase the duration of sleep by an hour more in the evening / morning + daytime sleep. A very good “support” soft toy, which should be chosen together with the child, as a keeper from fears in a dream. We discuss this with the child. We explain that she (the toy) will protect him from all sorts of terrible dreams, etc. Another great option for “night support” is “magic pajamas.” Together with the child, ready-made pajamas are selected and bought, always “magic”, in which he will sleep well. At home, it will be possible to add an element of protection to it: a magic ribbon, a badge, embroider something, etc. Similar can be done from a simple white T-shirt, only this way requires more imagination and is more suitable for teenagers, especially with fears of violence. An ordinary white T-shirt can be painted, sewn with colored buttons, embroidered, and more. etc. This should be done by the child himself or with the help of an adult. It is said that this is like a talisman that has protective properties. For a person, especially a child, who is in a disharmonious state, frightened, this can be a powerful defense!
From objects of fear, for example, from a miracle that “comes” to the nursery (he took the manner every night back and forth, back and forth :-)) from nightmares, you can build “traps from terrible dreams.” It can be an ingenious structure, born of engineering, using chairs, boxes, netting, paper, fabric. You can hang “something” on the window, such as a web of toilet paper or something else. Sprinkle with “magic” water, ventilate the room (especially when the souls of the dead are afraid). In a word, fantasize, fantasize, fantasize!