Children's fears specific to each period

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Children's fears specific to each period
Children's fears specific to each period © Fox Photos / Hulton Archive

Humans, as well as animals, have the basic emotion of fear. Evolutionarily, it plays a crucial role in defense. During times of fear, a person mobilizes all defensive forces in order to defend himself from an object he perceives as threatening.

Fears children develop as they grow We often find developmental fears in children that are normal for a certain age, but then disappear when the child outgrows the developmental stage. Every developmental stage has a specific fear associated with it, which has a specific function.

Therefore, a newborn's fear of complete destruction in the absence of adults arises in the first months of life (partially due to his helplessness in the situation if left behind). This fear is called the disintegration fear by psychodynamics.

The primary fear in the first half of a child's life is the loss of an important person (the child still cannot retain the image of a close person, but if the person is unavailable, the child develops the fear that the person is lost forever in a situation when that person is not available).

As the child gets used to cleanliness in the second year of life, he begins to understand that the mood of someone close to him depends on his behavior. It is a period of fear of losing someone important to you. When a child reaches the age of three, the parents begin to impose various prohibitions on him or her, and punishment is the main fear he or she has at this point in time.

A person with socially acceptable behavior develops socially acceptable behaviors primarily as a result of "fear of the superego", i.e., being afraid of punishment.

Expressing fears

A child's fears cannot be verbalized in the first years of life; they are perceived by parents through their child's behavior, parents believe that children have less capacity to bear fear the younger they are.

As parents, we are innately capable of recognizing our children's fears and we play an integral role in caring for them. As a child develops speech, he can also verbalize his fears, so that by the third year of life we are able to talk about specific fearful people, things, or phenomena.