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Overcoming Child Fear
We all experience different emotions at different points of time. We also vary in the way we express our emotions to others. Biological, psychological and environmental factors influence our emotional experiences.Usually danger arouses fear in child i.e. perception of specific danger arouses fear. This produces withdrawal reactions. The danger perceived and the degree of fear elicited would vary from individual to individual in different environmental settings.Sometimes also continued irrational fear creates phobia also.
Causes of Fear:
1. Unconscious conflicts within the individual have been seen to be a source of fear and give distress.
2. Disturbed parent -child relation also create feelings of insecurity in children and then these children prone to develop fear and anxiety.
3. Frequent Disapproval and punishment
4. Some behavioural psychologists give importance to conditioning in developing fear.
5. At times child may develop fear from his/her own interactions with others
When a child with disturbance is to be treated, it is most vital to ensure that the child and family are taken into complete confidence before the therapy begins. The child must not be treated like a patient.
In treating fear following are some suitable techniques or therapy:
1. Behaviour Therapy
a. Relaxation procedures
b. Desensitisation procedures
3. Play Therapy
4. Emotional Manipulation for modifying Stress
Some Do’s and Don’ts:
1. Do not be strict with children
2. Do not be a perfectionist in your attitude towards children
3. Do not restrict children from self expression
4. Do not always express fear and restrict the movement of child
5. Allow children to be adventurous
6. Create an environment suitable for building confidence.
While dealing with a child who has fear, the following steps have to be followed:
1. In case you see some change in your child behaviour make a close observation for 7-14 days before reaching hasty conclusions
2. Try to find the intensity, frequency or period of such behaviours and record them.
3. Enquire about the environment in home, school, with friends. Are there any stress producing factors?
4. Then locate the person or situation because of which the child is in stress
5. Plan the intervention programme according to it.
6. Take help of parents and train them to deal with the child.
7. In case the child doesn’t response for certain time, refer him/her to expert.