When fear becomes a hindrance for your child

As a parent you want the best for your child and it is understandable that when your child is anxious, you want to do something about it immediately. Children also want to do something about it and will want to avoid fear. Yet fear is a useful emotion, because fear has an alarm function and you will avoid dangerous situations. A little bit of anxiety can also help your child to increase motivation and concentration, and therefore also the chance to achieve a good performance. However, if fear is of such a nature that it will hinder social and emotional development, then it is important to be alert as a parent.
For example, it may be that the demands made at school cause extreme anxiety, for example being tense for a test is normal, vomiting is not. Does the child not understand why it is anxious? Can’t the child stop crying with fear? Does the fear remain for a longer period? Does the fear lead to avoiding a situation, for example not going to school? Does the fear not suit the developmental phase of a child? Does the anxiety cause a low self-esteem, poor sleep or other things that cause it to malfunction?
Do you recognize this with your child and are you looking for a way to deal with it? There are various advice that I can give you and that can be applied immediately.

1. Start by discussing the fear with your child and let the child come up with solutions himself. Think together about what you could possibly have as a reward for overcoming pieces of fear
2. Consider intermediate steps
3. Do not continue in the event of panic
4. Pay attention to the things that your child does
5. Be proud
6. Express your confidence
7. Be a good example for your child in dealing with your own fear
8. Consultation (parents together) and choose one line
9. Accept (temporarily) that there are things that are too difficult for your child
10. Hold on to what is going well

Do you want to know more about fears? Agnes Scholing & Maaike Nauta have written more about the subject of fear.

Drs. Diana Rongen

Terug naar overzicht