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From a young age, emotions are part of our life, providing us with the necessary tools to solve or carry out the tasks that we come across. They drive us to act to meet our needs.
In the case of fear, whether real or imagined, it allows us to avoid danger and act with caution.
Some of the reactions that trigger emotions are innate, while others are acquired. In general, they are learned by observing our environment, but in the case of fear, it is acquired through direct experience. We are facing an emotion necessary for survival because allows you to be safe from risky situations.
The 'feeling of terror' varies at different ages and some children are more fearful than others. The fear of being left alone occurs in children from 2 to 4 years old, along with other fears such as fear of animals, of the dark (being the equivalent of loneliness), of masks or people in disguise.
- It is a common fear in children. It disappears as we get older.
- Emotionally, loneliness scares us during childhood because it makes us feel defenseless.
Children love having their role models by their side and feeling like they can get their attention with everything they do. They need your approval, your support, your trust, and your help. They like to do things 'alone' but not alone. Therefore, this fear can occur in children:
- When they stay at school, since although they are surrounded by equals, they feel without the company and protection of their parents.
- When there is a delay in picking them up from school or any activity.
- When they are alone in their room, even if we are with them inside the house.
When children are very young, adults are the ones who are really afraid of leaving them alone with the belief that children do not have the necessary resources to cope with situations that happen to them.
Loneliness is difficult but it is an opportunity to learn. When they have to solve things by themselves, they develop strategies to find solutions, while if we adults are close by controlling and solving their problems, they may settle. To help them enjoy this loneliness, it is important that we gradually leave them 'alone' and in short periods of time:
1. Let them play alone, in their room, without our continued support.
2. Allow them to do tasks without company such as buying bread, going to class, etc. Always letting them know that the adult is nearby controlling.
3. Tell him in detail what the new experience he is going to face will be like and prepare him to face it satisfactorily. For example, by telling a story.
4. If the child has a hard time facing situations of terror of loneliness, ask what he is afraid of and try to understand him.
5. It is advisable to try to talk to the child about his fears, but without becoming obsessed and without becoming the main topic of conversation. Teaching to control emotions is different from repressing them. It is important that the child learns to express them according to the moment, the situation and the people present.
6. Don't force a confrontation with your fear. Facing your fear can only create more anxiety.
7. Do not minimize your feeling, quite the contrary. Clarify that we cannot avoid emotions. We are all entitled to all of our feelings, even those of fear.
You can read more articles similar to Children's fear of being alone, in the category of Fears on site.