Parental myths about childhood fears

Girl photo created by drobotdean –

Perhaps there are no people who never feel fear. But if in the animal world it is an instrument of evolution, then in people it sometimes causes not only an oppressed mental state, but also diseases such as asthma, gastropathology, disorders of the musculoskeletal system, etc. Therefore, it is very important that a person has developed self-control and he knew how to overcome his fears.

The foundations of such self-control are laid in childhood, and here a lot depends on the parents. The causes of fears in a child can be divided into three groups: intrauterine stress; stress that occurred in preschool age; stresses that happened at school age.

  1. Intrauterine stresses are: the intention of parents to have an abortion, statements and thoughts about the undesirability of pregnancy, scandals of parents during it, mental and physical trauma to the mother, complications during childbirth.
  2. To the stresses that happened at preschool age and influenced the emergence of fears in the child, experts include: scandals of parents, illness and death of loved ones, fright, horror films, physical injuries, rude "educational" means.
  3. The third group of stresses includes: the teacher's cry in the classroom, "studying" in the classroom, all kinds of threats based on poor academic performance, tense relationships with peers, some medical procedures, funeral rituals, horror films.

As you can see, parents are able to prevent the appearance of most of these causes. But if they have arisen, then the child needs help. Alas, this is sometimes prevented by parental delusions.

For example, many children are afraid to fall asleep alone in the dark. Some parents believe that it is necessary to “temperate” the character of the child, and deliberately leave him alone in the dark, “to get used to it.” There is no benefit from this. Moreover, ordinary fear turns into a neurosis.


For some reason, it is accepted that neuroses are characteristic only of adults. However, experts note that children suffer from neuroses much more often.

Do not take children's fears as trifles. It is necessary to make it clear to the baby that you understand his fears, that there is nothing abnormal in them, that all people at this age were also afraid of the dark (or something similar).

It should be excluded from the “arsenal” of educational means “playing on fear”, that is, phrases and “educational measures” such as: “If you don’t obey, I’ll give it back to your uncle” or “If you cry, I’ll leave you here alone and leave.” They are one of the main causes of the development of resistant in a child phobia.

Parental myths about childhood fears

Parents make a mistake, considering the manifestation of children's fears as an ordinary whim and punishing the child for them. This is not only wrong, but also very dangerous. After all, fear is one of the main emotions inherent in people. There is nothing unnatural in it. If people were not afraid of anything at all, then humanity would have died out long ago. Fear warns of a possible danger, allows you to focus on its source, encourages you to look for new, less dangerous ways to achieve your goal. This shows the evolutionary significance of fear. One can also consider fear as a stage in the formation of the self-consciousness of mankind. Remember: primitive man experienced superstitious horror before the coming darkness, thunderstorm, fire. And the child in his mental development, as it were, goes through all these stages of human development.

It is important to understand that in a child who does not find understanding with his parents, very often fears become obsessive, develop into a problem that will be very difficult to deal with in the future.

Parents of children who are prone to various fears naturally believe that in no case should they be told scary tales, since this can only aggravate the situation. After all, when a child listens to a scary tale, everything evil and frightening is embodied for him in the form of a fairy tale character. A happy ending builds faith in the power of good and punishability of evil.

Having the opportunity to play scary stories in his mind, the baby becomes the master, and not a victim of fear: now he can scare himself and calm himself, each time convinced of his own courage.

Parental myths about childhood fears

Book photo created by freepik –

How good is a scary story? Firstly, it gives the child the opportunity to move everything that scares him in real life, into a fairy-tale world, into a book that can always be closed. Secondly, horror stories help the child to believe in their own strength, in the ability to overcome fear and even laugh at it. This is because the reader or listener of fairy tales can determine the amount of fear that he is able to "digest" in a certain time. In addition, you can follow the development of a terrible plot in complete safety, for example, lying under a blanket on your favorite sofa. The kid can imagine the heroes of the fairy tale as terrible as he wants. In this sense, TV and film horror films are much less effective than scary books.

Parental myths about childhood fears

Kids photo created by freepik –

For the effectiveness of a fairy tale as a means of overcoming fears, it is important that the main character be the same age and contemporary as the child, and that events unfold in familiar conditions. Folk tales starring Koshchei the Immortal and Baba Yaga are also useful, but in a different way. They most likely will not be able to provide psychotherapeutic assistance to the child, since these characters will seem to him more funny than really scary. But fairy tales that tell about the events of our days and contemporary heroes can cause vivid impressions in the baby. Together with them, he will survive the "terrible" adventures and emerge victorious from them.