Facing childhood fears can actually help your child develop confidence
Jessica (6), Tommy (2) and Lola (3) are usually very calm children, but suddenly, their parents realized that they were becoming skittish kids. Tommy couldn’t sleep alone, as he was afraid of the dark; while Jessica thought there was a monster under her bed. Lola had a problem with animals: every time she saw a dog, she started to scream. Their parents, though surprised, found a mutual element in their childhood fears as they started to develop around October.
?Halloween Can Wake Up Children’s Fears
Many children experience new emotions related to fear when Halloween is just around the corner. The decorations, all the scary movies on TV, or evenings getting darker sooner, don’t really help a toddler or little kid to cope with these emotions. There are a lot of new stimuli that they don’t know where to place. Halloween is an unexpected event for them and they, especially in early childhood, don’t really distinguish what’s real and what’s part of their imagination. They struggle to understand why someone would do something scary on purpose.
Remember fear is an innate emotion: we are born with it, it’s a survival mechanism that helps us protect ourselves from dangers. These days, childhood fears in early children become more powerful, developing in a fast way that we sometimes don’t follow. Little ones often develop fears of the dark, thunderstorms, animals, and loud noises. When they start going to school, being separated from their parents, social isolation, and not finding friends start to become fears as well.
But, how can we help our children handle their fears on Halloween?
4 Tips To Help Our Kids Cope With Their Childhood Fears On Halloween
- Involve your little one in Halloween’s activities, like carving the pumpkin, getting candy ready, or helping create the Halloween costumes. With inoffensive activities like this, you will help them to understand that Halloween can be something fun and worth celebrating. But don’t make him or her take part in the celebration if she/he doesn’t feel ready. Think about an activity he/she may feel more comfortable and safer with, like staying home instead of going out to collect candy: all the scary costumes and pranks can make him/her feel afraid.
- If you go “trick or treat,” prepare your child for the festivity. Tell your kid that people find fun in scary costumes on Halloween, but they are real people and not monsters or creatures.
- Try to have a plan for any unexpected behavior that may occur, like a tantrum. Be calm in your approach and stay at your kid’s side while he/she is calming down.
- Create new family and happy traditions that help you bond, for example, telling “scary” tales that have happy endings, they will help your child understand that monsters, spiders or bats are not so scary by creating good memories!
- Nevertheless, your kids can develop childhood fears that are not only related to Halloween but that they may feel difficult to struggle with every day.
Here are some tips to be empathetic with them and help them feel calmer when they are anxious and scared.
Helpful Tips To Combat Everyday-Fear
- Try to calm your child using reassuring words and not raising your voice. Keep in mind that, in that precise moment, your child is not going to reason. We can help him/her understand that the fear is not real, but not now.
- Tell your child that he/she can share his/her concerns with you, and acknowledge the fear as something that is valid and it’s making him/her feel bad.
- Offer support and ideas to help your child cope with fears, like taking deep breaths or using a flashlight by the bed.
- Try not to tell your child “don’t be afraid.” Try an achievable step-by-step process in which they can confront their fears gradually.
- When may it be the time to consult a pediatrician or mental health professional? If they don’t respond to this process or your repeated attempts to help them or if their childhood fears interrupt their development or activities, it may be the right time.
How Can Lingokids Help Your Kids Overcome With Their Fears?
The first step for your children to identify their childhood fears is to first identify the general emotions they are feeling at each moment. We recommend you to watch our “The Robot Contest” episode, which almost 160.000 people have already enjoyed. Your child can learn about various emotions and how to deal with them through our lovable characters.
Also, our activities related to emotions will be a great support for you: they will have fun while the characters help them “classify” each feeling. Is Lisa sad or happy? Is Billy feeling angry?
Are your kids developing more childhood fears on Halloween? How do they express these feelings? How do you help them handle them? Let us know in the comments!