Article Contents

  • 1 Types of children's fears
  • 2 Why they arise
  • 3 How to help your child
    • 3.1 Darkness
    • 3.2 Monsters
    • 3.3 Bad weather
    • 3.4 Nightmares
    • 3.5 A Tale of Terror( movie, cartoon)
    • 3.6 Fear of strangers
    • 3.7 Fear of separation from parents
    • 3.8 Fear of loneliness
    • 3.9 Masks, costumes, growth dolls
    • 3.10 Fear of doctors
    • 3.11 Fear of animals
    • 3.12 Death
Vacancy: author of articles

Children's fears and ways of their correction in preschool children - one of the most debated topics among psychologists and parents. It is important to understand that a sense of fear though is the norm, it always deserves attention and the need to help the child with them to cope.

Kinds of children's fears

The peculiarity of children's fears is that they are usually not associated with a real threat, but are a reflection of the information that children receive from adults and pa

ss through the prism of their imagination. Fears are an inevitable part of development, they are experienced by more than half of the children. Let us distinguish three main groups of fear in pre-school children.

  • Situational( based on personal experience) .Such fears are quite logical - they arise as a result of experienced stressful situations: a dog's bite( or just a dog scared), a painful procedure in the hospital. It is not surprising that after this the kid will be afraid to get into this situation again.
  • Personally-conditioned( fancy) .The fantasy of children is boundless, and if it is supported by the read fairy tales and watched cartoons, waiting for the appearance of monsters and baba under the bed is quite normal.
  • Embedded .Unfortunately, these are the most common fears of children. Often we hear parents say: "Sleep, and then someone else's uncle, a wolf, a babayka will carry away", "Do not go - you'll fall, get under the car, you will be robbed. ..".And it turns out that the subtext in such warnings always sounds: "You will end up in danger, and I will not come to your aid, because only you will be to blame".In addition, increased anxiety can be transmitted to the child if the family is constantly talking about how dangerous it is to walk the streets, how harmful it is to watch modern movies( read books) that there is war and death around, that all products are of poor quality and carry a danger. In other words, we teach our children to be afraid.

Each age has its own fears. For example, children from birth to 6 months are afraid of sharp sounds, separation from the mother;From 7 to 12 months, fears of disguise, fear of strangers, sharp changes in the situation, height can increase;From 2 years - fear of loneliness, health workers, fear of falling asleep, associated with nightmares;3-5 years - fear of darkness, water, enclosed spaces, punishments;6 years - fear of his death and death of parents, fire, war. Of course, here we mean the average time.


Why they occur

Genetic predisposition, temperament type .Some children from birth have increased sensitivity and emotionality.
  • Hyperopeca .Excessive control sooner or later will result in the child beginning to be afraid of everything in a row: animals, streets, foreign children and adults, etc. Undoubtedly, such a child will be more "comfortable", because he is always near and does not go anywhere, but this will prevent him from normal socializing.
  • Intensive house furnishings .Drinking family members( and, accordingly, dangerous), a single mother or father, unhappy relationships between parents, excessive severity towards the child - all this can lead to a constant sense of anxiety and nervousness.
  • Stressful events .Parental divorce, trauma, prolonged treatment in the hospital.
  • Psychological disorder .Too strong, or uncharacteristic, fears that can lead to neurotic states. It is necessary to consult a specialist, otherwise fears can develop into phobias.
  • How to help a child

    Your child's fears may seem silly and irrational, but for him everything is very serious and real. Do not smile and do not chuckle when the kid tells that he is afraid of a neighbor poodle or monster under the bed. He must know that you understand him and are ready to help at any moment. Fears will not go away if you ignore them. Let's consider more in detail the most widespread children's fears at children of preschool age and ways of struggle against them.

    The girl tries to hide under the blanket from the terrible shadows


    "I do not see what's there, so I feel unprotected."Most children are afraid of the dark( and not only children) - this is the fear of the unknown. Try to teach your child to be friends with the dark. Leave the lights on for the night in the courtyard( if you live in a private house), light a night lamp in the bedroom, thus allowing the kid to control the amount of light at night. Gradually it can be reduced. Help the child understand the darkness - get out for night walks, talk about things that can be observed only in the dark: the moon, fireflies, singing crickets, etc.


    "They hide under my bed, and wait for the opportunity to hurt me."Even there you know for sure that monsters do not exist, there is no point in proving it to a child, because his imagination is much stronger than your logic. Look before going to bed in all the "dangerous" corners of the room, make sure that at the moment there is no one and you can safely sleep. You can think of "driving away monsters."For example, put in a sprayer of magical water and spray it in the room every time before going to bed. And do not forget to hang the "No Monsters!" Icon above the bed.

    The blue-eyed child is afraid of thunder and hides behind his mother

    Bad weather

    "Howling wind and thunder is scary, so I need a mom and dad to protect me."Tell the child in an accessible language, what is the weather, try to interest this topic - this is a good way to overcome fear. Play outdoors in windy weather and with light rain, make a simple calendar of nature so that the child can be mentally prepared for tomorrow's weather. If you live in a region with frequent natural disasters, develop a plan of action in case of danger. So the child will feel more control over the situation.


    "I'm afraid of falling asleep, because I have bad dreams."Often children are afraid to fall asleep because of nightmares. Even if the child is still talking poorly and can not talk about his dreams, you can always find out by his behavior: crying before going to bed and after awakening, restless sleep, unwillingness to sleep alone. Dreams often reflect our health - mental and physical. If the child is healthy, then you need to reconsider the emotional atmosphere in the family. Frequent reproaches to the child, constant abuse of adults, viewing clearly not childish TV shows in the presence of the baby - all this can affect the immature psyche of the child and deprive him of a quiet sleep.

    Research 2008( Dr. Valerie Simard, Canada) confirmed that children sleeping next to mom to 2 years, much less likely to suffer from nightmares in the following years than children who sleep separately.

    The most frequent character of children's nightmares is the Wolf, which can reflect the fear of an adult male, who is too strict with him: father, grandfather, elder brother. In the same way, an unnecessarily strict and irritable woman( mother, educator) comes to children's dreams in the image of Baba Yaga.

    More often praise your baby, increase the number of outdoor games in the open air, protect him from scandals, unsuitable video and talk about disasters and crime. Be with him until he falls asleep, and then gradually replace yourself with your favorite toy. Air a nursery and do not overfeed your baby at night. But if you see that nightmares become permanent, and the emotional state of the baby is clearly not normal( aggressiveness, timidity, tearfulness, etc.), a specialist consultation is necessary.

    The girl does not want to watch the terrible cartoon and covered her face with her hands

    Scary fairy tale( movies, cartoon)

    Most children's fairy tales( both old classic and new) contain scenes of violence, intimidation, threats, terrible transformations of heroes), which can frighten a very sensitive child, and fear of a character - he canTo dream in the dark, to come in a dream, etc. Correction of children's fears with the help of fairy tales is a good method for dealing with fears, even caused by fairy tales themselves. Think up together with the kid the story with participation of the terrible hero. In this tale there must be a good beginning and a good ending.

    Fear of strangers

    "I do not know who you are or what you can expect from me, so I'd rather be next to my mother."Fear of close contact with strangers or relatives with whom he rarely sees is an absolutely normal reaction of any child, the instinct of self-preservation. To reduce the excitement of the baby when communicating with strangers, ask adults not to contact too aggressively( in other words - do not climb to the child), be patient. Tell them a few favorite baby games that will help you find a contact.

    Fear of separation from parents

    "Why are you leaving me? And what if you do not return? ".Fear of separation from parents is a normal stage in the formation of the psyche of any child. If you have a need to regularly leave a child in the care of another person, then let him be well acquainted with you and the baby( grandmother, aunt, older children, nanny, to which he is accustomed).Before you go play with the child, be sure to say goodbye to him( and do not quietly sneak out), and try not to linger. Such a daily ritual will let the child know that mom always comes back.

    Even a beloved bear can not help a sad lonely girl

    Fear of loneliness

    "I feel safe only when you are next to me in the room."When your baby starts playing on his own, gradually accustom him to solitude. First, walk away from him to the other end of the room and watch him from there. Then gradually move to another room, but so that to be in the field of view of the child. Be in the distance no more than 30 seconds, and then come back again. Gradually it will be possible to accustom the baby to complete solitude in the room. But remember that finding a child unattended can be dangerous for him.

    Masks, costumes, growth dolls

    "I'm afraid of masks because they look unnatural, and I do not know what's behind them."Masquerade costumes and height dolls on the holiday can bring joy to children, and may frighten them. The fact is that they tend to look unnatural( they are not like real people and animals, they are too large or disproportionate), and this very often frightens children of preschool age. At the festival, do not approach the actors in masks too close - let the kid first examine the heroes from afar, and then ask the actor to remove the mask and smile at the kid.

    Fear of

    doctors "I'm afraid of a doctor because he makes me hurt."Fear of medical procedures overtakes the child already in the corridor of the hospital while waiting( or even at home), and it is important to properly prepare it. Talk in advance about the procedure, promise a small reward( sweetness, going to the park, etc.), while waiting, distract him with songs and games, in order to reduce tension. If possible, be present with the child during the procedure, and after that, be sure to praise him, tell me how brave and strong he is.

    Animal Fear

    "I'm afraid of other people's animals, because I do not know what to expect from them."Do not laugh at a child if he is afraid of cats, dogs or insects. Do not say: "Do not invent, there's nothing to be afraid of."Instead, say: "I understand that the dog scares you. Let's walk past it together - I'll hold your hand. "Introduce the baby to the safe insects, holding them in their hands, not insisting that the baby takes them in hand.

    Horror in children


    Sooner or later the child begins to notice dead pigeons and insects on the street, pay attention to the concept of "death" in adult conversations. Fear of death is often found in pre-school children( 64% of girls, 36% of boys), because they begin to understand that someday( or even suddenly) his parents and himself will not become. He is afraid that one day he will close his eyes, "and that's it."Your task in this situation is not to hide your eyes and not to run away from the answer. And even more so, do not blame for such thoughts. Simply calmly explain to the baby that everyone is dying, and that's fine. Let him know that this is natural and not terrible.

    Never laugh at your child's fears, do not belittle their values, do not ignore them and, moreover, do not punish them. Only your understanding, respect, sensitive attitude and assistance will help the child overcome his fears and come to mental equilibrium.

    In addition to the above, the correction of fantasy fears in preschool children can be carried out by drawing and molding from plasticine. Ask the child to draw his fear - it can be a monster from under the bed, images from a nightmare, etc. Think together with the child what fear can fear: for example, laughter. Then you need to laugh at this fear together, paint something funny for him, etc. And you can burn a leaf with a picture and say goodbye to this fear forever. Remember that you can not put pressure on a child and make him draw. Otherwise, it will close in itself, and fear can intensify.

    If the child is afraid of a doctor or animals( situational fears), then the method of play is good here. Let the kid himself be in the role of a doctor - usually children like it. You may have to play the same situations over and over again, but with a soft and unobtrusive approach, fear will gradually go away.

    If you see that a child's fears interfere with his daily life( flatly refuses to sleep, became aggressive or withdrawn, does not let his mother take a step away from himself), then doctor's consultation is necessary. Remember that the fears of preschool children are easily corrected by specialists, if you contact them in time.