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Parenting Guidlines

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Fears and Fantasies

 

Fantasy is a normal and healthy part of childhood and we should not discourage it any form. Children seem to have a real as well as an imaginary world of fantasy.

Fantasy includes day-dreaming, having a conversation or playing a game with some of their close friends or imaginary friends. He may relate an imaginary story about some experience as if it had actually happened. Then he will slowly and gradually learn to distinguish between reality and imagination. He should not be scolded for this, nor told that he is telling lies. It is not even wise to correct him every time he relates such a story or plays a make-believe game. This may also be a way to combat a child’s own fear or frustration. Playing at games such as chopping off people’s heads does not mean that the child has a cruel nature or will grow up to be a bandit. The child puts his fears into fantasies, and in this way gains control over his fears. This should not be blocked as it is a natural outlet.

Fears are due to the strange noises and strange things in a child’s environment. While some degree of caution is a part of education, the parents should not try to frighten the child. Parents have a habit of frightening the child about doctors, injections, bitter medicines and so on, or even of ghosts and spirits who will come in the night to take the child away. All this is wrong obviously. A gentle, calm reassurance helps to calm the child’s fear. The child should be picked up, cuddled and reassured.

 

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