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Positives And Negatives Of Fear On Little Ones

If you don’t do as I say, the black evil witch will take you away and give you punishment. If you disobey, we will shut you off in a dark room. Seems like something you have said to your little one? Portraying ghosts and evils as a form of fear to control your kid or make him/her obey you is one common practice. But ever wondered what it really does to that innocent soul? From the best to the worst, it does it all, not only on their ways of living but also on their behaviors. Scientists say that fears are equally important and dangerous for human beings of any age.

“However we treat the child, the child will treat the world.”
– Pam Leo


General reasons why Parents use variety of Fears for kids:

  1. Disobedience
  2. Stubborn nature
  • Irresponsible behavior
  1. Failing in exams
  2. Indiscipline
  3. Improper eating habits
  • Home works not done
  • Remarks in books
  1. Random play times
  2. Crying

“Without fear we’d jump headlong into things we shouldn’t,” says Tamar E. Chansky, PhD author of Freeing your Child from Anxiety.

Some common Fears used are:

  1. Dark
  2. Loud sounds
  • Monsters
  1. Ghosts
  2. Animals
  3. Masks
  • Separation
  • Punishment
  1. Closed rooms and bathrooms
  2. Teachers

Fear is more of playing with the mental state. It affects physiology of the body as well as the chemical balance of the brain. And it is not necessary that same fear will work with everyone. What works as a fear to someone may have no effect on someone else is one very important research done by scientists.“There is a very strong relationship between age and the types of fears that people report in many different cultures. This tells us that there is something fundamental about the development, as it relates to fear,” explainsPine (a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health).

The positive outcomes of fear can be as follows:

  • Discipline: Fear can discipline your child.
  • Punctual: Fear can help make your child be punctual.
  • Bad habits: Fear can make your child get rid of bad habits like breaking things, stealing, lying, etc.
  • Studying: Fear can make a child study better.

However, it is just one side of the coin. On the other side, it can do following too:

  • Lack of self-confidence: Fear has all the powers to make your child devoid of confidence. It can come out in terms of playing or speaking or studying.
  • Aggression: It can lead to anger in kids.
  • Lack of concentration: It can also lead to lack of concentration and focus. A child might find it difficult to focus on tasks like eating, playing, studying, etc. and find themselves distracted most of the times.
  • Lack of social interaction: The fear of being insulted due to fear leads the child to become a loner and lessen their communication skills.
  • Stranger attraction: Your fear usage can make him away from you and attract the company of strangers.

Here are some alternatives that can be used in order to keep the dosage of fear, good enough to strengthen your child for lifetime and lesser than that creating the negative impact:

  • Use a fear with no end result, e.g. 1,2,3… that’s it. It is ok not to speak out as to what will happen after 3.
  • Get yourself in calm mode before you say anything in anger.
  • Be kind but firm. Do not involve harming end result to fear, stay on the point and let the child understand.
  • Give your child some time. After all, he/she is just a child.
  • Give choices to them when they ask for things that are not acceptable for you.
  • Give them time deadlines and rewards for work done in time.

The short term effects can make your child do everything as you want and say, whereas, in long term, they might not be able to fit in anywhere and make themselves a rebellion or a loner. It is you, who can decide the type and intensity of fear and hence make your child the best for life.


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