Fear is one of the most difficult emotions. And children’s fear is twice as difficult.
Since the mid-90s of last century, educators and psychologists do not tire of talking about the importance of emotions for the intellectual development of the child. Emotional intelligence (EQ) helps to fully experience the beauty of life, live failures with dignity, fight fears and accept anger.
It is known that of the six basic emotions, only one is positive. Everything else – fear, sadness, anger, surprise and disgust help to adapt to the world around and understand yourself.
Where is fear born?
At the heart of any fear is the instinct of self-preservation. When a person feels threatened, a defense mechanism is triggered. Children’s fears are usually not associated with real danger, but with negative experiences received from adults. Fantasy in children is like a fountain, so the slightest residence grows into a child’s real fear and can turn into an adult phobia.
The main fears of children are divided into several categories:
- Natural fear of darkness, heights, death, sea, mountains, pain.
- Social. They develop after 3 years, when the child goes to kindergarten. She is afraid that he will not be taken away; his parents will be late, etc.
- Situational. Negative experience. If at the age of 2 there was a painful trip to the dentist, the baby may be afraid to treat teeth in old age.
- Personal. Individual fears associated with the peculiarity of development – anxiety, isolation.
- Invented. Imagination of monsters, trolls, Babayka.
The fear of nightmares is singled out.
The role of parents in the fight against fear
The child is brought up in a family. She inherits most of her reactions from adults. “You don’t have to raise children – they will grow up like you.” If mom and dad react to the screams of insults, constantly afraid of something, the baby takes over their emotional background. After all, EQ is not only a concept of one’s own, but also of other people’s emotions. Adult parental fears slowly turn into children’s phobias.
Often parents themselves sow scary seeds in the child’s head. For example, my mother says: “Sleep, or Babayka will bite your leg!”. Where do you think the child has a fear of the dark? Another example: “You will shout loudly and demand, I will make an injection!” After ten such phrases, the child will definitely not agree to the vaccination.
In order for a child to actively develop, accept negative emotions, understand his fears and get rid of them, fully enjoy the joy, he needs to be “pushed”. Children learn about the world while playing. Active entertainment should be accompanied by emotions, to voice them. The more happy moments a child has, the more vividly he understands the world around him, the less time and space is left for fear.
Tactile contact is very important. Different objects can be used to develop the 5 senses. Put in separate boxes items that are associated with the baby with joy, sadness, anger, etc. You can also use educational toys.
The first step in the development of EQ from parents is acceptance and love, but not excessive care! The child must be accepted as she is, loved just for what she is. Give her the right to make mistakes and experience: the ice is cold, then let the baby touch so that he can see for himself. In addition, active sports, strong and healthy sleep are needed.
The role of teachers
Socialization is an integral part of development. It is also important for the sphere of emotions. Children spend almost all day in kindergartens and schools. It is very important that teachers and educators pay attention to EQ. Modern pedagogy recognizes the need for socio-emotional learning (SEL). Numerous studies show the benefits of developing rational thinking in parallel with its emotional component. Children perceive information better, succeed in learning, the general atmosphere in the classroom becomes more favorable.
One of the components of SEL are special games with children, through which they perceive their feelings and emotions. Additional materials and toys are used for such classes. They give children the opportunity to control their behavior, control themselves and understand themselves. If each child acquires similar skills individually, the discipline in the classroom improves automatically.
SEL also helps in dealing with fears, because they are “contagious”. Being in close contact, children adopt each other’s habits and behavior. Fear can also be “picked up” from a friend. If someone is constantly afraid of spiders and reinforces their fears with stories, conjectures, it is possible that another vulnerable child will give free rein to imagination and present huge eight-legged monsters.
The teacher’s task is to identify possible children’s fears in the team and explain to all children that you should not be afraid.
Another aspect is empathy. If you discuss someone’s fear in the group (you don’t have to point to a specific child right away!), The children can share their own. It may turn out that several children are afraid of the dark. And together it is easier to overcome fear. Children understand that “being afraid” is normal, that everyone is afraid of something.
Therefore, it is useful to conduct play therapy in a children’s team. It helps to identify fears and successfully combat them.
Ideas for the game:
- Invite your child to choose the worst fear. Discuss it, find out the reason. Now let him turn him over with a shovel and say: “Goodbye, monster!”;
- Distribute game in the team. Let the children choose their fears. Ask leading questions: “Vanya, what do you think worries Sasha?”. Children are more sensitive, although they do not understand this. Sometimes a child can identify someone else’s fear while communicating the game, etc. So children can share their fears with each other.
- Roulette helps to move from “fear to fear” and overcome each of them. It is suitable for individual play, for example, in the office of a child psychologist or to communicate with the mother.
Is it as terrible a fear as it is portrayed?
Phobias and excessive fear are unpleasant, but absolute fearlessness is also a bust and even an illness .
Remember! Fear is equal to self-preservation. This is one of the basic instincts inherent in nature. Therefore, if life is in danger, you can be afraid. Another thing is to accept your fear, realize and act without panic. This is true courage that can come in handy in the most desperate moment.