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How to distinguish a real fear in the child from a feigned fear to get attention


Having fears in childhood is not a problem but something absolutely normal. Fear protects children from possible dangers and helps them to be cautious and cautious so as not to get into trouble. Fears are evolutionary. Therefore, children depending on their age or maturational stage will have some fears or others. Normally they disappear as they get older. But, How to distinguish the real fears in the child of an invention to attract attention?

Many children use fear to hold their parents at their mercy as real hostages. In other words, many children use fear as a strategy to receive attention and affection from their parents. It is what is colloquially known as "cuentitis". The child invents or exaggerates his fear in order to obtain some benefit at that time such as getting away with it, sleeping in the parents' bed, avoiding being scolded, attention, affection, etc.

When the child is fearful, we must ask ourselves if the child may be trying to take advantage of his fear. In other words, we must think if it is possible that he is faking it to get something from us.

Normally, children tend to invent that they are afraid when we are angry with them so that we can be compassionate, when they do not want to go to their room, when we are not giving them the attention they need, etc. If the child expresses fear in these situations, it may be a feigned fear.

In any case, whether it is a real or an invented fear, it is necessary that we take into account a series of recommendations to manage the situation properly:

- Talk with the child about what generates fear with closeness and naturalness. We must offer our support and make him understand that what he is afraid of is not a real threat. We have to encourage you to rationalize that you are totally out of the woods.

- Don't overreact taking him in arms, giving him kisses and hugs, etc.

- Give them strategies so that they by themselves learn to calm down without needing us. Stay by their side but hold them accountable for controlling their emotions.

- Do not allow the child to sleep in bed with us. This cannot be the solution to the problem. If you are afraid and we allow you to sleep with us, you will surely use this strategy every time you are interested in sleeping with us.

- Not give him privileges for the simple fact of being fearful.

- Do not react with mockery if the child lets us know that something scares him.

- Do not scold or punish him for being afraid. It is important that we do not make you feel bad about being afraid.

With these recommendations, we can get the child to stop pretending their fears if they are. We are going to stop you from making profit by showing fear. We have to make him understand that this is not the best way to ask for help, attention or affection.

When a behavior is maintained over time, it is because some benefit is obtained by carrying it out. Therefore, if our son frequently invents that he is afraid, it is probably because he obtains some benefit from it. And, usually the greatest gift you usually receive from us is "ATTENTION."

If we detect that our son pretends his fears, we must ask ourselves the following questions: what does he need from us? Is it possible that we are not detecting what your needs are? If you use this type of strategy, is it because you don't know how to do it any other way?

We must seek professional help if we observe that the situation is prolonged in time.

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