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ELELE Child and Family Psychological Counseling Development and Education Center Psychologist and Special Education Specialist Bihter Mutlu Gencer said, iki Two important points to be considered regarding child fears are; that fears should develop and disappear in time according to developmental periods; and appropriate attitudes that parents should follow to ensure that fears are not persistent. erek
: What are the most common fears in childhood?
Exp. Bihter Mutlu Gencer: Although childhood fears are one of the main concerns of parents, they are actually a completely natural part of child development. Even fear and anxiety are a functional emotion that should exist in human nature, provided that it is not excessive. Enough fear and anxiety protect us from dangers. A little anxiety can help us succeed in exams. Children's fears two important points to be considered; that fears should develop and disappear in time according to developmental periods; and appropriate attitudes that parents should follow to avoid persistent fears.
: Why does fear develop? What is the role of parents in this development?
Exp. Bihter Mutlu Gencer: According to developmental stages, childhood fears can be listed as follows. Infants have “fear of foreigners itibaren starting from the 9th month. (Some babies may even begin by the 6th month.) It usually ends at around 1.5 years of age. The point to note here is that if the child is still crying after seeing a stranger after 3.5-4 years of age, or if he / she does not leave his / her mother's knee when entering a foreign environment, it is useful to see a specialist.
: What are the normal fears?
Exp. Bihter Mutlu Gencer: In general, it creates “unknown and unexpected” fear. By the age of 2, children now engage in an effort to understand the world and life in some way. Everything is new to them and waiting to be discovered. Unexpected or loud sounds at this age are among the causes of fear. It is normal to be afraid of insects and animals. Doctor and needle fears of course it is normal. At this age, it is important to accept fear and to make the child feel safe, especially by hugging and caressing the mother. Parents The main goal should be: Ç Yes there are dangers in the world, but my parents will protect me gelişen slowly developing and settled by the age of 6-7 years, özg yes there are dangers in the world, but I can protect myself tir to ensure that the transition. In this period, ignoring the child's fears or over-caring, or zorla fears need to go on ”mentality to force the child, for example to force the child to fear the dog to touch the dog or water-afraid child“ once he gets used to ”saying that the fear of the increase in life will cause increased. people who are very confident, that is, their trust against their parents causes harm. The result of the child is that a if the people I trust most do so, what others do, the world is full of dangers. ”
Fear of separation from the mother may be seen due to the age of 3 to 4 years of age. It is not normal that the child never calls his mother when he starts the day of care, but it is not normal for the child to find it difficult to leave his mother after the appropriate adaptation period has elapsed. In fact, a child who is securely fastened is ready to leave the mother at the age of three and start the kindergarten. It is worth mentioning that a normal adaptation period regarding the fear of school leaving - the fear of leaving the mother - during the day of kindergarten or school has to be professionally worked with the child and the family whose fear continues. In addition, as the child's imagination develops at the age of 3 and is exposed to some situations early due to television and computer in our time, monster-ghost and dark fears accompany with it. (fortunately, the rating system on TV now protects the children to some extent - but the television programs that the child will watch must be chosen under the control of the parents.)
Perhaps, at the age of two, accepting and hugging the fear rather than explaining the sources and causes of fear is often sufficient for the child to relax. But now a larger child whose reasoning has begun to evolve wants to calm down with a logical explanation in addition to a hug. The child's judgment is improving, but his mental functions are still not enough to make the world fully meaningful. If a friend has scratched a cat, all cats can scratch at any moment. The toilet can flush it up. Thunder means a terrible sound. A witch on TV can visit her when she goes to bed in the evening. No matter how unreasonable the fear is “I understand you are scared, you know that all children of your age can feel such fears, this is very normal” such a totally accepting and respectful attitude comfortes the child first. Then listen to your feelings and thoughts about how you feel, and then kısa I understand you are afraid, let me tell you how the thunder occurs ”makes a short and logical explanation that alleviates the child's fear. Thus, the child does not have to cope with his own fear and the guilt of a parent who does not find it unreasonable and accepts it.
Sometimes the fear of the dark does not mean just fearing monsters and ghosts (although the child expresses it). If the child tries to deal with the internal conflicts during the day when he is left alone during sleep time, this may cause him to associate this unrest with the darkness. Or nighttime and dark fears may be fed due to the parents' discussion before the sleep, or when the child and mother and father live and go to sleep without being resolved. However, we should not wait for the fear to go away. As I mentioned at the beginning, fears occur with periods of age and when appropriate attitudes are exhibited, they go away permanently.
: When does fear turn into phobia?
Exp. Bihter Mutlu Gencer: Phobia the extreme fear of an object without a rational explanation. The source of phobias can sometimes be known, but often even a situation that has nothing to do with it can trigger phobia. Phobias, as mentioned above, are not specific to age periods and may not be associated with age. Phobic object or situation avoidance behavior occurs and this will prevent the normal flow of life and reduce the quality of life of a person, which is of course a very difficult situation for the person. Adults living with phobia may be able to keep their lives under control, even if it is very difficult, but somehow avoid the same behavior for children. Therefore, a child with phobia continues to live in general anxiety and restlessness. This is much heavier and tiring for the child and needs therapy.
: What are the duties of the parents against the feared child?
Exp. Bihter Mutlu Gencer: As I mentioned above, basic sense of trust A loving relationship and a safe family environment for building, accepting fear and listening respectfully, trying to convince and comfort the child with logical explanations are the main appropriate attitudes. It is also necessary to prevent visual learning. So it is important to try to control our own fears. If the child sees his mother hopping on top of the couch every time he sees a bug, he naturally buys that fear immediately. If the mother loses control when the child has a fever, the child is very afraid of being sick. After all, his mother is so anxious that he cannot protect himself…
: Is there a connection between fear and attachment to the mother?
Exp. Bihter Mutlu Gencer: It may be more appropriate to call it “addiction or undifferentiated yerine rather than loyalty to the mother. In fact, this issue may be an issue that should be dealt with by itself, but we can briefly summarize it as follows. When a secure attachment to the mother and a healthy relationship cannot be established with all the building blocks (due to various factors), it is difficult for the child to develop a basic sense of trust. Since the mother sees the world as a place full of dangers, the child feels threatened naked when she is not with her. In fact, the conscious or unconscious effects of the mother are very important at the source of this feeling. Since the mother is very anxious when she is away from the child, of course, the child feels it and, in any sense, to be separated from the mother by saying there is something to be afraid of, makes her uneasy in every sense. In other words, the mother cannot be separated, so that the child cannot be separated, unless the child cannot be separated from the mother, the mother becomes more anxious, the child feels this feeling more and more. This interdependence relationship continues in the form of a vicious circle. I think that even the mothers realize this is a step to change the situation. They should not hesitate to seek professional help to solve this problem as quickly as possible.
: When is expert support needed?
Exp. Bihter Mutlu Gencer: By the age of 6-7 years of school, we see that children have more feet on the ground and often their fears have gone by themselves. But, of course, it is not possible for the fears to pass completely. All of us as human beings we fear. I think there is a need to get support from an expert as soon as we understand that fears interfere with life functions.
Contact Bihter directly
Psychologist and Special Education Specialist
ELELE Child and Family Counseling Development and Education Center
Tel: (212) 223 91 07