My Child Is Afraid of Birds: What Do I Do?
Fear of animals is very common during childhood, especially between 2 and 4 years old. During this period, it’s normal for children to think that animals are dangerous or threatening. This is because they’re just beginning to get to know the world around them. An example of this is that many children are afraid of birds.
Is that the case of your child? Why does this happen? How can you help them? Next, we’ll answer all these questions.
But before answering those questions, you need to know that fear is an emotion that has helped human kind survive throughout history. This is because it has kept them away from risks. Thus, fear isn’t always negative; sometimes, it’s about evolution and adaptation.
My child is afraid of birds: What do I do?
This fear usually occurs when children have witnessed a bird acting in a weird or aggressive way. However, there may be other reasons to explain such irrational fear.
Nevertheless, if your children are afraid of birds, the last thing you need to do is to avoid places where birds are, like parks, beaches, etc. You might think you’re protecting your children, but instead you’re teaching them to run away from their fears. And, this won’t help solve their problems.
Would you like to know what you can do to help your children face their fear of birds? Here you’ll find some ideas.
Stay calm and act normally
First of all, stay calm. Remember that you’re the adult and you must set an example. Probably, you’ll have to face uncontrolled crying, tantrums, and even anxiety episodes whenever they feel scared by the presence of birds.
In those cases, you must be patient and act normally. Thus, they’ll feel that they’re not in danger and that birds won’t hurt them.
Be nice to your children and show compassion
It’s important for your children to know that they can count on you. So, they’ll tell you their thoughts and emotions and they won’t be ashamed or judged.
Show them you understand the situation. Because, who isn’t afraid of anything? Also, let them know that you would never expose them to a dangerous situation. You’re there to protect them and to make sure nothing bad happens.
Ask a professional for help
If you feel that your children’s fear of birds is excessive or inhibiting, it might be more than just a fear. We might be talking about a phobia known as ornithophobia.
In this case, you should ask for professional help. Visit a psychologist specialized in children’s phobias. This professional will help you treat your children’s irrational fear through psychotherapy.
Ornithophobia is a specific phobia that consists of extreme, irrational and inhibiting fear when people are in contact with birds. So, people who suffer from this phobia may have the following symptoms:
- Loss of control.
- Anxiety or panic attacks.
- Breathing difficulty.
- Excessive perspiration.
- Heart palpitations.
The importance of treating this fear
Without a proper treatment, children will be afraid of birds until they’re adults. Accordingly, this may become a greater problem and limit their lives. So, don’t think of this as a petty subject.
In conclusion, if your children are afraid of birds, take into account these recommendations we just gave you. This will help them live a normal life, without being scared every time they see a bird next to them.