The street was dark. Crossing the sidewalk, my 4 year old granddaughter noticed swarming on its way black ants. Seeing them, she became alarmed, frozen in helplessness that broke from her fear.
What is fear?
In order to survive and protect themselves in this world, our brain is endowed with an alarm system. When we are in danger, this system should enable caution. By the sixth month of fetal development, the embryo already has a system alarm. Later it will help the child to develop prudence, caution, deliberation and self-conscious. It is a complex system involving the work of the limbic system, hypothalamus, autonomic nervous system, the attention system, the endocrine system and many neurotransmitters. This alarm system plays an important role in development, and parents have a key influence on the fact that she functioned normally.
What are the causes of children anxiety?
The list of what can run this system alarm is practically endless, whether we realize it or not. When we feel fear, it means we are in a state of anxiety. There is a feeling of insecurity, fear and anxiety.
Children feel anxiety when it comes time to sleep; when the family has a new child; when parents divorce; when they lose their Teddy bear; when they realize that death is an inevitable part of life; when they reject friends; when someone is angry, and so on. These sources of anxiety are quite obvious, but there are also hidden sources – understanding that parents can't keep you safe; that your loved ones something can happen; what is it with you unbearable hard, that you cannot justify someone else's expectations; what you neglect is expensive for you; or that you have to keep the secret that you shared. All this causes fear and the constant vague feeling of insecurity, fear and anxiety. This is an indication that the alarm is in action, even if we don't understand what is bothering us.
Children do not understand that they are worried because the real root of their anxiety is a fear of separation from people or things to which they are attached. Such a vulnerability is not easy to endure. Fear of the dark, insects, noise, shadows, or monsters under bed is easier. Today, a growing number of children experiencing fear as they face separation from parents at an unprecedented rate over longer time at an increasingly younger age. Dr. Gordon Neufeld has revealed to us the essence of this complex phenomenon, so we can prevent and solve problems caused by excess anxiety.Prevention and solution to the problem of anxiety
Deep attachment to a caring adult is key to ensuring that the child will feel secure, and to prevent related problems. Children should rest in a safe relationship, at home or in any circumstances where they feel cared about yourself. Parents, teachers, and educators to consider this basic need.
While my granddaughter was standing frozen in front of ants, I approached her, took her by the hand and said, “Let's count to three and then run and jump through the ants!” So we did, and successfully jumped to the other side – together. This story is a metaphor. When our children are faced with anxiety, we need to give them support, a sense of security and reliability, and help to safely reach the destination. Then they will be able to grow and become independent.
©Shoshana Heiman (Shoshana Hayman)
P. S. And remember, just changing your mind — together we change the world! ©