Big scary things

Big scary things image

Big scary things

I hate spiders! I also hate things that are clustered to close together. It took me years to deal with my anxieties and to prepare myself on how to cope with them when I am faced my fears.  From adolescent to adult we experience anxieties and fears one time or another. Children Deal with fears all the time. Especially foster children who come into care and have been through many Traumatic situations.  Most children do not understand how to deal with their fears, anxieties and the unsettling experiences.

There are many different ways that you can help a foster child deal with their fears and anxieties. Coping skills are great strategies to help a foster child if their experiencing fears and anxieties.  Often times you hear a child say “I can’t do this” “I am scared” or just plain “NO”. Teaching a foster child positive self-statements is a great technique that is helpful when they’re feeling anxious. For example saying “I can do this” or “I will be OK”.” Another coping skill is breathing techniques.

If a foster child is experiencing physical symptoms of a panic attack or a flare up; their breathing becomes heavy or they feel like they can’t catch their breath. Introducing a breathing technique is very useful to calm them down and bring them back to a state of relaxation. Another big tip would be to never belittle a foster child’s fears. Telling a child that their fears are childish or ridiculous won’t help that foster child’s fears go away. It’s definitely doing more damage than good.

Foster Children never know what to expect from day to day when their faced with their fears. And during that time you want to provide as much support and approach the child with a lot of gentle care. These tips were so helpful to me especially dealing with my own son’s anxieties and fears. His anxiety was triggered by fireworks and loud sounds. Fourth of July was always a struggle for us but we utilized coping skills to help us through those long summers. There was a struggle at times because he would never want to come outside. If he knew fireworks were going to be going off he would automatically hide in fear. I took the approach to never cater to his fears.

I did a lot of reinforcing that fireworks are not bad and yes they may also be loud but you are safe. When the fireworks go off I was there as support letting him know that everything was OK. To give him more comfort I gave him his favorite Spider-Man headphones to block out the loud sounds. This was very comforting to him because he could still see the fireworks but not letting the fear of loud sounds win. Summer is now more enjoyable for my son. Using these coping skills not only prepares your child but makes them adjust to new experiences. And eventually they may even become braver to things more than you.

Dashai Thompson

New Beginnings Family Services Recruiter