I Want to Help My Son Overcome His Fears | About Islam
Home > Ask About Parenting > I Want to Help My Son Overcome His Fears

I Want to Help My Son Overcome His Fears

Questioner

B (30_female_Australia)

Reply Date

Feb 21, 2019

Question

My son is 5 years old and is afraid of cats and dogs. I think it's a big problem because he sees cats and dogs daily on the streets, and I want to help him overcome this fear of him.

Counselor

Answer


Fears

In this counseling answer:

•Allow your child to acknowledge and discuss his fears. Respect your child’s feelings and accept his fear without judging or ridiculing him.

• Fear of cats and dogs is an example of acquired fears, as they are acquired through learning.

• It’s important for you and his father to point out to your child what is real and what is not. Techniques that give kids a greater sense of control over their fears are the most beneficial.


As-salamu `alaykum sister,

May Allah bless and protect your son.

Actually sister, the world can sometimes be a frightening place for young children. Things that seem perfectly normal and safe for us as parents may appear harmful and dangerous for children.

Parents have to understand that fear is a normal human emotion. All children have fears at some point in their lives, and with the help and care of you and his father, your son can understand his fears and learn to cope with them, in sha’ Allah.

Children of 5 years tend to be scared of almost anything that they don’t know, which, at that age, covers a lot of ground. Remember yourself when you were 5 years old.

I Want to Help My Son Overcome His Fears - About Islam

Your experiences are so limited, you’re going to find almost anything frightening, and so does your son. There are a number of ways you and his father can step in to help him. Behavior modification uses games and

There are a number of ways you and his father can step in to help him. Behavior modification uses games and play situations to help children become more comfortable and gain the confidence to control their fear. Hugging your kids daily gives them a sense of security and reassurance at a time when they are confused, scared, or uncertain.     .

How Can You Calm Your Son’s Fears?

• Allow your child to acknowledge and discuss his fears. Respect your child’s feelings and accept his fear without judging or ridiculing him, because for your child these fears are very real. This is the most effective way to help your child cope.You should be aware of your own fears and should effectively deal with them so as not to transmit them to your child.

• As your child is afraid of cats and dogs, you can play with plastic cats and dogs together, draw pictures of cats and dogs, or let him name the cats and dogs and make up stories about them. If your son has success conquering one fear, his increased self-confidence and sense of triumph will allow him to overcome other fears more easily too.

• Fear of cats and dogs is an example of acquired fears, as they are acquired through learning. For example, if your son sees a scary movie or listens to scary stories about cats or dogs, he will be afraid and will associate these things (cats and dogs) with fear.

• It’s important for you and his father to point out to your child what is real and what is not. Techniques that give kids a greater sense of control over their fears are the most beneficial.


Check out this counseling video


Gradually expose your child to the feared object, situation, or animal. By repetition of exposure, the child will understand whatever it is that he is afraid of, and the reason for fear will no longer exist.

Now, your son is scared of cats, so you can gradually expose him by taking him to a place where there’s a cat, and have him look at it from far. After some time, he may pat the cat, then feed it, etc. This should be done very gradually, and in this way the child is given some control over his feared object to help him understand and handle his fears.

Let your child talk about his imaginative fears and try to make them pleasant or funny. Basically, you want to take the fearful object—for example, a dog—and actually use it to help him master his imagination, and therefore overcome his fears.

I hope this helps.

Salam

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

How Do I Raise a Child Who Experiences Anxiety?

How to Help Kids with Nightmares?

My Son Is Very Attached to His Mother




About About Islam Counselor

Add Comment


find out more!