By Allison Cooper. Image via iStock.
I can remember the scream as if it is a movie that plays in my memory. The piercing shrill that filled our tiny apartment as my son recalled an image that startled him from a Minecraft YouTube video he had watched earlier in the day.
No matter how much you try to protect your child, you never know what will be that “thing” in the world that turns into a huge fear for them. We rushed to his side, consoled him until he finally fell asleep, but this turned out to be much more than a one-time occurrence.
Days turned to weeks, weeks into months, and then finally my husband and I realised that an entire summer had passed us by dealing with our son’s fear each night. He would remind us as soon as it was time for the lights to go off that “every time I close my eyes, I can see him.” Such a scary thing to witness as a parent whenever you feel helpless in the matter.
Anxiety is a word that is used quite often in adulthood, but what happens when it’s a child dealing with it? Many times it’s brushed off as fear, leaving parents questioning: When is fear just fear, or time to talk to a doctor?
First and foremost, every experience is different, which can either be consoling or nerve-wracking. Not to mention it’s also a very frustrating experience as a parent. There are so many times where I just wanted to grab my son and tell him to snap out of it, because he was safe and cared for, but that wouldn’t have helped the situation anymore. I’m not a doctor, just a concerned mama, so here’s what we did whenever we noticed that this fear was getting out of hand. (Post continues after gallery.)
Talk about it.
Yes. Talk about the problem. Let them understand that you understand their fear and try to figure out a plan of action to work through it together. Let your kiddo know that you are on their side, that you’re not angry with them, but that sometimes in life we need to face our fears to overcome them. There is a huge learning experience here for the whole family.