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How can I help my daughter get rid of her fear?

Q: My 5-year-old daughter always remains scared. When she was a year old, she used to cry when she saw someone in a black dress. She did not mingle much with other people and preferred to play alone. She overcame this but is still reserved. She is still scared of things. She does not play in the swimming pool, if we go out, she does not like rain. I explained her things when she saw about Tusnami on TV. If we talk about death or she sees an accident on TV she gets scared. I avoid letting her watch TV and talk about such matters. Last week she saw an accident on TV. She keeps questioning me whether all people in Mumbai are nice? Do accident takes place everywhere? I am a working woman and she is looked after by my parents. Me and my husband make it a point to spend lots of time with her. I have stopped watching TV or movies. I ask her questions about what she did in school, how are her friends. I am a little disciplined. I point out wrong things and ask her to correct them. She is good in academics and her teacher always says good things about her. They recently told me that her confidence has increased tremendously from the time she has started going to school. Her Doctor says she is perfectly fine. Should I go for counselling?

A:Your own behaviour seems contradictory. On the one hand, you try to explain about tsunami or death to her, and on the other hand you have stopped watching TV with her. The security and confidence level of a child is determined by the stability of attachment with the mother-figure. Maybe your child would benefit from a higher sense of security. This can be achieved through closer bonding and time spent with her. Most children her age are afraid of trying out new things. As a parent, you cannot protect your child from the realities of the outside world. Instead you should try and make her stronger to enable her to face the harsh realities well. It seems that her school environment is a good stabilising influence on her emotionality. She will hopefully overcome her fears. In case she does not improve, you can consult a counsellor or child psychologist.

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