How would you normally handle such a situation? When the lightning strikes, your child runs to you with his hands pressed on hard on his ears, saying “Mommy, I’m scared, mommy…I’m scared…”
Most parents would naturally hug the child and say “Don’t worry its just the thunder. It will not hurt you.”
Then goes another lightning and your boy stays in your arms to get as much security as he could. Are you going to let him stay that way till the rain stops? What if it rains the whole day, wouldn’t you want to get rid of his fear?
First, you must understand that your child is not a coward when he is afraid of something. He is just being unsure of what is going to happen.
Explaining is the cause of his fear, in this case, the thunder, is important. Let him know why there is thunder, why do thunder sound loud?
Then, change his fear to something that all kids love – FUN! I did this tactic on my boys, 4 and 2 years-old. It worked. There were several things they were afraid of at first, but now the feeling of fear against these things are long gone.
Thunder ~ we turned it into an outburst of acting silly. When the thunder came, I started to make funny noises and flap my hands in mid-air. Did it for a few times, the kids started to laugh, then they followed. So now it has become a thunder dance, whenever the lightning flashes, they are up on their feet getting ready for the outburst of energy. And when the thunder really came, my kids would be making funny sounds and swinging their whole body uncontrollably. And when its gone, they sit down and wait patiently for the next one.
Dark ~ we simply get illumine sticks. Lots of them. Allow them to stay in the dark to play with the illumine sticks.Get them to explore the dark with a torch light. Let them know that it can be fun in the dark too. For children who fear the dark, its a lot of reflection on the parents or caretakers. Children by nature are not afraid of dark. The fear is usually due to the misconception that parents give to their child through stories, like “ghost always comes out in the dark”, “there is a monster waiting for you in the dark room”. Beware of what you teach your kids. You may unintentionally introduced fear through your actions and words.
When the parents show that the thing that the kids are afraid of is actually fun, the kids just follows, remember children are natural mimics.
Is your child afraid of something?