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Posted on 12/08/2014 by Room to GrowUncategorized
Phobias in children are fairly common; you may be surprised to learn that young children have more fears and phobias than adults do and that they experience the emotion of fear much more intensely. Most of us have some sort of irrational fear or another and the correct definition of a phobia is “an intense and irrational fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no danger”. Small children will show many fears as they grow up and learn about the world around them and this is only natural – they may fear things that they don’t understand. As children grow older and learn to make sense of the world and everything in it, these fears usually fizzle out and disappear. However, some children may hang on to one or more of their fears until it becomes a phobia, and this is the time for parents and caregivers to step in and try to help them conquer the fears.
0 – 2
years: Loud noises, strangers, separation from parents or caregivers, large
3 – 6
years: Imaginary things such as monsters, ghosts, the
dark, strange noises, sleeping alone.
7 – 16
years: More realistic fears such as illness, injury, death, natural
disasters and performance at school.
phobia – including fear of snakes, spiders, dogs, rodents, birds and
insects among other animals.
environment phobias – such as fear of heights, storms, the dark or water.
phobias – which includes things that are triggered by a certain situation
such as fear of enclosed spaces, flying, driving, tunnels and bridges.
injury phobias – including injury, blood, the dentist, needles or other
A phobia can
make life difficult for both the child and the parents, so overcoming the
phobia as best as possible is essential. This will often involve engaging
professional help. However, first of all you need to be sure that this really
is a phobia and not just a fear that your child can grow out of with some help
and age appropriate fears and anxieties, there are plenty of measures parents can
take to help their child develop the skills and confidence they need to
overcome the fear before it develops into a full-blown phobia. First, recognize
that the fear is real, however trivial it may seem to you. Encourage your child
to talk about the fear as putting it into words will often take away some of the
power of the negative feelings.
If the fears do persist despite all your efforts to help, then it would be a good idea to talk to your GP about referring your child to a therapist who will help him conquer the fear before it becomes a proper phobia that will affect his enjoyment of life in the future
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