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How to help children overcome a phobia

Fears during childhood are normal and disappear as children grow. It is a psychological response to situations that your children perceive as a real danger. When those fears become irrational or disproportionate and persistent they are known as phobias.

Is your child suffering a phobia?

Your child may be afraid of basic things like darkness, an animal, go to the doctor, or take an exam. With your help, he can overcome a phobia, face fears and learn to handle stressful situations. But it is important that you pay attention to their behavior so that you identify when a fear turns into a phobia.

The first sign is the intensity of fear. When the anguish before an object or situation is irrational, excessive and does not diminish over time, it is a phobia. Your reaction may even be terrifying and present symptoms such as tremor, sweat, dizziness, choking, stomach upset, among others. It is there that you – as a mother – must help the little one to overcome it.

How can you overcome a phobia?

When it is not so serious, you can overcome a phobia with the right family support and. It is important that you take the following measures at home:

1. Teach him to face the situation that produces the phobia

Avoiding it will only prolong your fear. Perform this action progressively. You don’t want to expose him to “shock therapy,” but rather show him that he can overcome a phobia. Accompany him so that he feels safe by your side. As you go, encourage him to face her alone. Start with drawings, photos, distant approaches, remember, it must be quite slow and progressive.

2. Avoid making fun of his fear or scolding him

When your child can’t control his irrational fear of something, don’t scold him or make fun of him. Nor tell him that his fear is absurd. Listen to him, talk to him, explain that it is normal to feel fear sometimes and help him analyze the cause, that way you can help the child overcome a phobia. You should do the same with the people around you, explain the situation and context before, that everyone respects what is happening so that new insecurities are not created.

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3. Provide information

If he is old enough, explain that his reaction is part of a disorder that has a solution, tell him that a phobia can be overcome and you can even talk about a phobia typical of your childhood. It will help you not to feel bad and you will understand that it is a matter of time if it is proposed, in addition to communication and possibly therapy.

4. Praise your progress

Positively reinforce your effort to overcome your phobia. A simple phrase saying, “How well you are doing” or “I’m glad you can do it” will motivate you to continue.

If you don’t see progress, don’t let much time go by. Visit a child psychologist and decide together the best treatment for the child to overcome that phobia. Psychotherapy or medical treatment is essential when cases are complex.

All the information we give on this site is indicative and you should go with professionals to have more details.

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