Do you know how to respond to their fears?
All children at some point or another have fears or worries that are appropriate at the given age.
I assume that it’s happened with your young daughter, for example, she comes crying to you because she’s scared of being alone in her room.
You know what some of the common responses we frequently give as parents and are not that efficient?
- Taking away the importance: “There is nothing in your room, don’t worry!” Or “At your age you shouldn’t be scared anymore!” It isn’t an optimal response because fear, in this moment, is a real problem for her, but from your adult perspective of it, you know there is nothing to be worried about.
- Trying to convince her that she has nothing to be scared about: “Let me explain…” Not that it’s bad to try to calm her down, but it is very possible that you will be doing it without success because she’s scared and won’t be receptive. Maybe at another time she will understand you better.
- Adopt their stress: “This is horrifying, it is a problem!” And “what are we going to do now? Sometimes they transmit their worries to us or we get mad, putting them in a position in which they are very hard to calm down. Besides that, by losing our cool we validate their motive for their worries.
- An adequate response however, would be, for example: “I see that you are very scared, come here so I can hug you. You know, when I was young I was also scared to be alone sometimes. It is normal for a kid your age, but you know you are fine in your room, because it is safe, with just your things and toys.” It is also a good idea to distract your child’s attention to something else, and stay sufficiently close to them to continue giving them a sense of security, but not that close that you are validating their fear.
The key is to listen, understand, and transmit to them the security that they need.
I am sure it will work! . Pepa.