If a child fears the dark, the fear will be compounded if a child at school dies, and he or she has to attend the funeral with the rest of the classmates. The child may also not understand why the classmate should die at such a young age and may fear that he is next and be angry with God. Perhaps your child is even fearful that you might meet someone else and forget about him.
How to recognize fear in a child
If a child complains of a stomach ache constantly, it may be something worrying him or her. If a parent is newly separated, the child may fear that he or she will have no one to look after him if the other parent also leaves. The child may even think that it is something that he has done and blame himself. There are many symptoms that a child may be anxious: headaches, nausea, sweaty hands and perspiration, not eating, sleeping poorly at night, losing weight, spending long periods of time alone pining.
Dealing with anxiety in a child
Don’t shout or be irritated with a child who can’t articulate his fear; this may make it worse and the child becomes even more anxious as he may be afraid that his reasons for being fearful may be foolish or laughable and the parent will think he is imagining things. Ask your child what is wrong. Name a few things you think might be the cause, and don’t chastise the child or say something like, ‘that’s so stupid’, or ‘it’s nothing’ when the child tells you. It is something for the child. The child lacks experience and doesn’t know. It will also compound anxiety as you will not be seen to be understanding and the child may not take you into his confidence again. Not treating anxiety properly, can lead to stress and the child may suffer a panic attack.
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See if you can determine the cause of the fear. If it is a grandmother or someone close in the family who is critically ill, the child may be worrying about that, and you will have to pay special attention to the child, and tell him that his grandmother has lived a good life, and if God takes her away, it is her time and we should be satisfied with that. Be honest, but careful in your choice of words. If your child’s nervousness and anxiety are not constant, but sporadic, it may well be that your child is affected by certain events rather than being genetically a nervous and anxious child.
Consult a doctor to see if his health checks out. If there is nothing wrong physically, it may be time to see a cognitive behavioral child psychologist, Find a person with the right fit for your child. You want someone who is not going to recommend antidepressants and other drugs, but is going to work with your child until he or she has determined the cause of the anxiety and is going to provide more natural ways to help your child. You want to find ways your child can deal with anxiety and avoid medication entirely by doing things like yoga and meditation to prevent an attack. You want to avoid medication at all costs if you can.