Childhood phobias are a particular kind of worry. Specific phobias are strong concerns of certain circumstances, objects, or creatures. Typically, phobias first manifest in children between the ages of 7 and 10. Usually, phobias don’t go away by themselves.
Think about the type of anxiousness your kid could be feeling. Phobias are not defined by fears that are more universal in nature, occurring in a variety of contexts. It’s common for many young toddlers to experience occasional dread.
Signs of Childhood Phobias
Concerning ideas: claiming, “My bed has a monster under it!”
- Steer clear of alone time: expressing intense anxiety at being separated from caretakers
- Particular worries: having severe anxiety if one’s parents enter the basement or cross the street
- Becoming immobilized: avoiding going outside or to school because of a fear of storms or wind
- Abrupt behavioral shifts: losing interest in enjoyable activities the youngster formerly enjoyed due to worries about coming into contact with the feared object
- Refuses to go to sleep: unable to get a good night’s sleep in their bedroom
- Manifestations of distress: seeming visibly distressed, showing signs of a fast heartbeat, blushing, perspiring, pacing, or behaving very anxious
Fears and Media Coverage
If your normally content youngster begins to show these symptoms, it’s possible that they’ve lately been exposed to something frightening. Think about if violent crimes, kidnappings, or killings have recently made the headlines. These terrifying news broadcasts, regrettably, exist in our reality. You may assist your child by paying close attention if they show signs of sudden dread following a recent occurrence they saw on television.
“Crimes do happen, but these news programs do not make it more likely to happen to you,” you should remind your youngster. Both your house and your school are secure locations. You can talk to your parents or instructors if you need assistance managing your anxieties. We’ll keep you secure. Remind your youngster that these are typical concerns, but they are still very improbable things to happen.
News stories that stir up controversy can harm kids significantly, oftentimes without the parents’ knowledge. Recall that perceived threat may affect our nervous system and psyche in the same way that real threat does. When a child’s nervous system is activated, terror can become very real even when nothing is occurring. Open communication is the best course of action in this situation. Often, you may help your kid process these distressing situations by speaking to them directly and reassuringly.
Typical Childhood Fears
- Fear of the dark complaining because it’s too dark to sleep
- Fear of dogs: People who are so afraid of dogs that they avoid going to the park
- Arachnophobia, or the fear of spiders, is the inability to stop talking about them.
- aversion to insects displaying a strong dread of getting stung by a bee or bitten by a bug
- Having a fear of elevators might force you to climb eight flights of stairs at the doctor’s office.
- Fear of small places, or claustrophobia: being very agitated in cramped areas such as elevators, buses, trains, or packed rooms
- Fear of getting shots: Experiencing inconsolability prior to vaccination
- Weather-related fear: Refusing to step outside in the rain or with strong winds? having a severe phobia of storms or tornadoes
- A fear (germophobia) of germs: Having a severe fear of contracting an illness from being among germs; this anxiety is sometimes linked to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) when it is accompanied by obsessive cleaning or hand washing procedures.
- Fear of the natural world being fixated with natural disasters such as fires, floods, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, or the sun scorching down on the earth
- Fear of separation: It is common for infants to experience fear of being separated from their parents during specific developmental stages (8 months, 18 months, and 24 months). Newborns and infants naturally find it difficult to be apart from their parents. Some children still experience separation anxiety after the age of two or so, which can lead to a diagnosis of separation anxiety.
- Fear of monsters or ghosts: The youngster may be afraid of monsters after seeing a horror movie or watching a YouTube video; they may constantly check in the closet and beneath the bed.
The three most frequent causes of phobias in children are traumatic experiences, frightened first experiences, and sensory sensitivity.
Even though they may not be inherently nervous, children might develop a phobia if they have an exceptionally upsetting first experience with an object. Kids who have painful experiences of many types might have phobias. Finally, phobias may emerge in children who are particularly sensitive to particular noises or sensory events.
What is the Cause of these Phobias?
Typically, the youngster experienced a particular bad event or felt threatened by the thing they were afraid of. Your child’s brain has been programmed to associate this terrifying initial experience with dread and a strong desire to stay away from the circumstance going forward. A youngster who is scared of the wind, for instance, could recall a time they spent hours in the basement due to a tornado warning.
It’s possible that an animal has previously threatened or assaulted a youngster who has a fear of dogs or snakes. The sound of canines howling so loudly terrifies some young kids. It’s possible that these were traumatic experiences, and the child’s nervous system is very susceptible to similar circumstances in the future. Many situations might be frightening for a youngster who is particularly sensitive to specific sensory stimuli. A youngster who is sensitive to stimuli such as fire alarms, sirens, barking dogs, or school safety drills may experience severe distress.
After witnessing frightening films, TV series, or videos, other children could develop a fear of ghosts or monsters. These anxieties frequently appear “out of the blue” as the parents might not be aware of the triggering incident.
Children with a history of trauma may also become afraid of certain things or circumstances. For instance, a youngster may acquire a fear of loud noises or unexpected guests if they witnessed a criminal breaking into their home and injuring family members. These concerns make perfect sense, but the phobia is more severe and crippling than a normal fear experienced in childhood.
How do Phobias Appear?
A youngster with a phobia may exhibit severe symptoms, such as tantrums or panic attacks. Sweating, trembling, dry mouth, and hyperventilation are some of these symptoms.
It’s possible that you’ll be able to see your child’s dread clearly. They may appear stiff-legged, with chilly, clammy hands, and wide eyes. They could also be experiencing nausea or headaches in addition to avoiding stimuli due to the fear, which could be causing them to feel unwell. They can be pacing, wringing their hands, tapping their feet, or turning pale or red-faced.
Some children may even become ill due to the phobia, including headaches, nausea, vomiting fits, and chest discomfort in addition to stomachaches. The kid may experience dyspnea or begin to breathe rapidly. They might have lightheadedness or dizziness.
If your child is facing any kind of fear or phobia, you must visit Child Psychologists that can help in elimination the phobia and thus helping your child to live a fruitful life ahead. If you are looking of a child counsellor near me you can choose TalktoAngel, an online counselling platform that helps to provide personalized therapy at the comfort of your own house.