How Do We Treat Fear in Children
Treating fear in children is not an easy task as it requires facing situations and things which pose as a big challenge for our little ones or cause them a state of unexplainable panic.
Here are a few steps to help children face their fears:
Let’s explain to the child the importance of facing his fears as well as the challenges that stand in his way in order to feel safe and know that there’s nothing to worry about. Also, let’s be honest and clear with our kids about the fact that facing their fears might be a bit uncomfortable at the beginning, but that things will get better with time and practice.
Let’s work on making a list with our kids of all the situations, places and things that cause them fear.
As soon as the list is ready, let’s ask the child to rank its items from least to most scary, or from least difficult to most difficult.
Let’s encourage the child to face the situations or places or things that scare him, starting with the least difficult on the list. We need to keep motivating our little ones to perform the act or engage in the situation which they fear for the longest period possible, like being next to a dog or communicating with a colleague for 30 seconds. And as soon as the child stops fearing an item on the list, we can move on to helping him cope with the next one.
Let’s encourage our children to keep confronting what scares them for more than just once, making sure that it’s done within close intervals of time. The more they practice, the faster they get over their fears.
Above all that, let us remember to be our kids’ role models in facing fears, while holding on to our patience knowing that the treatment needs time.