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Anxious children usually come from anxious families in which parents, in their poorly understood care, protect the youngest against situations that cause fear in them. And this is a mistake!
Everyone is afraid of something. Some, however, become slaves of fear. Regardless of age. The problem also applies to children. And this is what the book published by Mamania publishing house is devoted to "Don't be afraid to be afraid. How parenting deals with childhood fears through play ”.
Author Lawrence J. Cohen in an interesting, extremely substantive and very exhaustive way conveys knowledge on how to deal with children's fears. You have to do it gently and tactfully so as not to aggravate your anxieties. This is a great challenge for every parent.
I think that as part of the review, it is worth mentioning several causes of anxiety in children about which the author writes. For further information, I invite you to the book - it's really worth it.
Fear of the unknown
Jerome Kagan, a Harvard psychologist, discovered that about 10-20% of people are born with a strong negative reaction to everything that is unknown. From a young age, such children need more time than their peers to meet new people and feel safe with them.
After tracing the fate of fearful children in adulthood, Kagan noticed that they are less likely to take risks and in adult life are more often restless, distant and fearful. Equally important, the psychologist noticed that fearful children cope better in adult life when their parents try to help toddlers overcome their limitations and worse when adults protect children from what causes fear.
Avoiding the source of anxiety is the worst strategy. It does not allow you to gain valuable experience and practice that will allow you to face the problem in the future.
Fear of parents
An important reason for the formation of difficult anxious reactions in children is fear of parents. Not only when there are real acts of psychological or physical violence, but also when particularly vulnerable children are afraid of disapproval, anger, punishment or outbreaks of mom or dad.
It can be simplified: if the child is afraid of the parent, something is wrong.
You must first rebuild a healthy relationship with your parent before working on excessive anxiety.
Children look at the world through the eyes of their parents. Therefore, they quickly assess the environment as full of threats, if this is how reality reflects in the eyes of mom and dad. The toddler who hears at every step, make sure that he does not move something, walk slower, do not jump, do not climb, will not be safer, as the author emphasizes, he will be more nervous and anxious and will have difficulty with a reliable assessment of the situation.
In addition, saying "be careful" at every step supposedly does not teach caution, but above all contributes to the general feeling of anxiety, tells children the principle of avoiding risk and not trying new things. For us, parents should not care that children do not take difficult activities for our peace, but that they test their abilities, learn, fall over and get up. Openness and calmness - this is the best attitude we can present to them.
How to raise children without excessive fear? How to control your own unconscious reactions? How to deal with your own limitations? I invite you to read "Don't be afraid to be afraid". Interesting position, I think useful, for most parents, not just small children.