Fear of the dark, separation anxiety, but also other fears, to which children have been exposed especially in this last year and which risk affecting their daily life and even relationships with family members and playmates or schoolmates : teach the little ones to recognize their fears without trivializing them, it is the first step to make them stronger and more aware.
“Feeling fear is natural: it is a visceral emotion, which has to do with our survival instinct. Often, however, it blocks us and does not allow us to look beyond”, explains Barbara Franco, who edited the book “So many fears, without fear “ thirteen stories dedicated to “most common fears” by Quid + by Gribaudo. How then?
Listen to the podcast “A Supply of Kisses”, story on the theme of separation fear of children, read by Barbara Franco herself and present in the volume “Tante fears, without fear”.
How can we help children to face their fears, without trivializing them, but teaching them to recognize and understand them, in order to overcome them? Here are some tips from the psychotherapist Chiara Bosia, volume psychological consultant.
- Let’s slow down and listen, precisely because we live immersed in a society that leads us to do many things and keep a tight pace. Children have difficulty expressing what they feel and may exhibit behaviors that are incongruous with respect to the emotion experienced: understanding the true cause of the problem is always the fundamental starting point for being able to intervene successfully.
- Let us always remember that “the fears of the little ones are not small fears”. We adults may smile when faced with some childhood fears, but what the child feels is real and can be very intense. If we belittle him, if we repeat to him “it’s nothing” or “don’t be afraid” we only invalidate what he feels, belittling his emotions and passing on the message that they are wrong.
- Let’s question ourselves, question our parenting style and let’s become emotional coaches. It is not an easy process and it is normal to make mistakes, but we must remember that the job of parenting is very tiring and demanding and books like this are designed to help in times of difficulty!
“Children observe their parents and the environment and are able to perceive the concerns and fears of those around them, even if they may not understand why”, explains the psychologist and psychotherapist. Chiara Bosia. “In this way, they are often exposed to news and current events that can upset them and generate fears. 2020 was a very difficult year for many families, children have witnessed an upheaval in their daily lives without too many explanations and, however much protected, they were joined by news of illness and death. In such a time it becomes even more important to take their thoughts into consideration and help them name and regulate their fears. “