Monday, January 24

Phrases that you should never say to your child when he is afraid

Fear is an emotion that, like all the others, has its function and can be very useful to us. However, it is very difficult for us to help our sons and daughters to manage their fears, since we tend to consider it a “negative” emotion and we tend to encourage them to stop feeling it. And also because we adults don’t get rid of our own fears either.

How not to act in the face of our children’s fear

Psychologist Alberto Soler spoke to us about how to help our children manage their fears at the last Educar es Todo event. In his presentation, Alberto indicated a series of phrases to avoid tell our sons and daughters when they feel this emotion. For example:

– You have to be braver

– Do not say foolishness

– But how can you be afraid of that?

– How do your friends find out …

– That’s bullshit

– You’re too old for that, right?

– Don’t worry, it’s nothing.

“We must give our creatures permission to feel”

Alberto Soler – Psychologist

With these kinds of phrases we deny and invalidate emotions of our children, we send the message that they are making mistakes by feeling what they feel. Instead of these types of phrases, as Alberto Soler indicates, “we must validate, give our creature permission to feel what you are feeling in that moment. Because if we remember that fear is neither a good nor a bad emotion, we have to allow that emotion to express itself ”.

Phrases like “don’t worry, it’s nothing” invalidate children’s emotions Unsplash

How to help our children manage their fears

Instead of invalidating his emotion, Alberto explains that “we must encourage his expression, and for this we must lose the fear of asking. We are afraid to ask them about their fears because we think that by asking we will make that fear bigger, and the reality is just the opposite”.

The psychologist adds that “we have to use open questions and encourage them to talk about what they are afraid of, and we are going to listen in an empathic and close way to help them to be able to give form to those fears ”. We can ask them questions like:

– What are you afraid of?

– How is that fear?

– And what worries you that could happen?

Let’s try not to give them the answer in the same question, for example: “And you are afraid of this, right?” or “what worries you is that such a thing happens”, but we must use Open questions.

Alberto Soler also encourages us to use the self-disclosure, for example: “Well, when I was little the same thing happened to me.” In this way they feel permission to feel what they are feeling.

Another resource that we can use and that we always claim is that of the example. “We can show ourselves as models of coping and self-improvement. We are not superman or superwoman, we too have fears … and we can give them examples of how they overcome and how they cope, ”says the psychologist.

If you want to know more about how to help our children manage their fears, here is the full presentation by Alberto Soler in the Educar es Todo event:

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