Fear can be something positive since it is an emotion that alerts us to situations that present a risk or danger. However, it can also be very harmful if it overcomes us in an exaggerated or irrational manner. During infancy we are particularly susceptible to develop fears and phobias and many times they originate from negative experiences we have had. But how do we combat our fears? One way to do it is through games.
In the case of the fear of the dark, for example, a very helpful activity in helping to overcome this fear would be to ask the child to draw an image of the monsters or characters that scare them in the dark. Once they have drawn the image for you, tear up the paper with them.
In the case of a fear of the water or the bathtub, specialists recommend doing something that's very easy to do. Simply fill the bathtub with water and include toys and books made for the bath.
If your little one is scared of loud noises like thunder, experts recommend explaining to them the origin of the sound and, afterwards, make fun of it. When you explain the sound and later laugh at it, children will see that there isn't any danger at all.
Another common fear is that of animals. In this case, many recommend playing games that include imitating these very same animals and where we put ourselves in "the skin" of the animal.
Some educators recommend creating a "fear box". Within this box, Children can put in representations of the things that scare them. This can also be useful for them to try to explain to us where their fears come from which will help us understand their situation and thoughts better.
Today, there are specialized videogames available that have been designed by educators and child psychologists to help children overcome their fears. Some of them are easily accessible through mobile platforms and as well as being optimized for tablets.
Of course, whatever resources are available to us, the best tools for helping our children overcome their fears are our understanding and help. We should remember that we were once small too and that we have had our own fears too. They should see how we have overcome ours and by doing so will take the first steps in overcoming their own.
In our next article: How to handle taking a long trip with children.