Some Things to Do if You or Your Child is Experiencing Fear
Everyone experiences some level of fear at times. During some periods we’re more fearful than others. Fear is a normal response, especially following a traumatic experience.Fear is experienced in different ways. Sometimes we’re not at all sure what our fear is about. It’s just there. At other times there is a specific person, place or a specific situation which triggers our fear. Fear is an alarm, a red flag, a warning signal. It lets us know to be a bit more cautious. It can ready us to take immediate action. The worst thing to do about our fear is to ignore it or minimize it. Fear has a purpose, it’s telling us to slow down and to be very careful. Maybe it’s telling us we need more information about our current situation in order to reduce that fear. Maybe it’s telling us we need to definitely protect ourselves and our children.
It is critical to not ignore or try to shut down our fear, but pinpoint what it means. Very often discovering what it means reduces or removes it. Answer the following questions the best you can. The answers will become your plan of action. Taking action will in itself help alleviate some of your fears.
How to Relieve Fear
Ask your child the following questions. Your child's answers may give you a better idea on how to help.
- What scared you the most when this happened?
- What scares you the most now?
- List the major elements of that fear. Who or what does it involve?
- Of these elements, which are realistic - could happen again?
- Identify (with the help of a trauma specialist) what you need to do to help your child feel safe and be as physically safe as humanly possible. Initiate these actions.
- Take active measures to decrease your child's fear (installing security devices, restricting activities, modifying activities, seek advice from others in similar situations, etc.)
- If you are not taking any action, ask yourself - Why are you feeling that powerless? Do you need help? More information?
By answering these questions you have the information you need to now take action. Taking action alone will help to alleviate some of your fear.