Although fears are normal in children, strong and irrational
fears — termed phobias — can interfere with a child’s
An infant is usually fearful of strange faces, loud noises,
animals, a dark room and pain. A 6-month-old infant can
differentiate between known and unknown faces, but is not able
to understand that the unknown faces may not pose any threat to
him. After about the age of 2, most children start accepting
unfamiliar people without any fear.
School children are afraid of death, darkness, animals, high
places, thunderstorms, lightning and kidnappers.
MANAGEMENT: Make sure nobody laughs or makes fun of a fearful
child. Help him get over the fears by providing support. Hold
the child’s hand in a dark place. If he is afraid of, say
snakes, let him first see pictures of snakes. Let him then see
someone holding a non-poisonous snake. Let the child then touch
it if he is willing.
Gandhiji was taught by his maid to recite God’s name (Rama)
whenever he felt fearful of the dark. You may consider this
If your child is phobic, consider taking the help of a