Fear: an unexpected friend

Raise your hand who has never been afraid!

The world of fear sometimes gets alive; Our beats begin to increase, breathing gets weaker, we feel a nod in the throat…

In moments like these you would like to run away but, you will rescind. It remains because often behind the fear lies a positive energy that faces us and overcome our limits. It opens new ways and new possibilities. It really makes us discover who we are.

Fear is an emotion that comes from our unconscious and reminds us that despite the desire to control everything, there is something stronger that frightens us. It is the same fear we felt when children told us a tale in which there were bad characters that scared us so much that, once defeated, they were no longer afraid of us!

“Fairy tales do not tell kids that dragons exist. Children know it already. Fairy tells kids that dragons can be killed.” 

-Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Fear tells us that we can lose, that there are monsters; But sometimes these monsters are inside of us, we are to make them and thanks to the fear we face them. Many studies confirm that negative emotions are essential to our survival as they activate problem solving, a quick response to immediate problems.

This emotion is therefore important because it represents our alarm bell; What tells us the presence of a threat next to us. It has the advantage of signaling the dangers and activating the body. For example, we think of a child touching a boiling pot, not knowing the danger he is about to incur; He will get burnt, he will experience pain, he will probably cry and go away immediately: surely, from that experience he will learn that he does not have to touch the pots on the fire! In this way fear becomes positive and becomes experience, knowledge.



Fear in children: some ways to deal with it

Fears are emotions that every child lives in the course of development: darkness, monsters, ghosts, wolf, height, noises, lightning, insects. But quiet because they are an important factor for the child’s psychic maturation and cognitive development.

They are, in fact, the most useful physical and psychic reactions, carried out in the face of an alarming state of the organism, when faced with something we do not know. Children experience many fears because they feel helpless and still know little about the world around them. So these emotions are transient and linked to the reality that the child is discovering.
We parents and educators play an important role in helping children deal with their fears. We must activate useful behaviors to support them. Here’s what can we do:

Let’s express the children asking them to tell the emotions and fantasies that frighten them, with gentleness and without forcing them. Feeling understood helps reduce tension and helps tackle the problem;

We show serenity and avoid the two opposites: let us not always look anxious or always dim, because the little ones may feel alone and inadequate or otherwise emulate and become “splattered” even in spite of their limitations and emotions;

We show closeness and affection as fear unfolds. A calm and affectionate presence has an immediate calming effect.

• Educate children about positive behaviors: it is best to always propose positive heroes through fairy tales and fairy tales that defeat the bad ones thanks to their kindness and kindness.

• Avoid comparisons: every child has its own times, which must be respected.

We never say, “Face the fear, you have to be strong” because it can turn fear into terror and exaggerate the problem.

• We do not hear the children of the queens: they will feel a sense of guilt and they will feel inadequate.



Letizia Grasso, Educationalist
“All grown-ups were children, but few of them remember it” This phrase is engraved on my heart. The child who marvels at small things is always with me. I firmly believe that the school should focus on self-construction of knowledge through direct contact with the outside world and, therefore, through the experiences of life. A school open to life and from life itself learns. A school that teaches to observe every little thing, to wonder and to ask questions. A school that forms adults who know how to reflect and put into a relationship the mind and heart.”