Saturday, April 8, 2023

My child is afraid of animals, what do I do?

Fear of animals:

For many children, the experience of owning a pet is irreplaceable, while others lose their fear. Help them overcome their fear of animals so that they can enjoy the diversity of nature.

My child is afraid of animals, what should I do?

Not all children react the same way when they see a dog or other animal. Some want to flirt with her and are very attracted to him. While others prefer to stay away and express their fear of animals.

There is no specific reason that can explain this phenomenon. Sometimes this may be because of a previous bad experience, or because they have learned that an unfamiliar animal can be dangerous. There are also children who are frightened by the strange silhouette of the animal.

Although fear is a defense mechanism that keeps children in a safe zone, it is better to teach them to be careful and respectful than to be afraid of animals. Because it prevents them from having a rewarding experience with them.

How do you overcome fear of animals?

To take this step between fear and respect, we offer some recommendations that parents can follow to guide their children:

  • Try to understand the fear of animals.
  • Talk to the children to manage their fear of animals.
  • The fear is irrational. Therefore, forcing children to forget this fear of animals will not help them eradicate it.
  • It is best to try to understand what scares them and find a strategy to help them deal with it. For example, if your child is afraid of dogs because of their size, don't suggest approaching a large dog. When they are in the presence of a calm little dog, approach him first and then encourage him to follow you under your protection.
  • Children may approach overly excited or embarrassed and startle the animal. Often this provokes a violent reaction, which will frighten the child even more.
  • Avoid puppies to overcome fear of animals.
  • Try to distract the animal by hitting its head. Then invite the child to touch it on the one hand, preferably not by the tail, so as not to scare the dog. Also, know that the animal's head can be scary to a child.
  • In fact, young animals are more unpredictable than adults. For them, the game could consist of biting, scratching, or jumping over people. What may mean to the animal a gesture of trust, joy or tenderness, may seem like a hostile gesture to the child.

Learn the language of animals:

Pets have their own way of communicating with people. Learning and teaching this language to your child can be helpful in facilitating the meeting.

For example: "An open mouth with lips back, tongue hanging out, and a relaxed face is an invitation to interaction," confirms Linda Case, author of The Guide to Understanding Our Two Best Friends.

Learn good manners:

Like puppies, babies sometimes experience unexpected reactions. This fear can turn into excitement once the first encounter with the animal is successful. In fact, through these feelings, the child can react by frightening or upsetting the animal. Then explain to him that he should not push or pull the hair or grab the animal by the tail.

Do not bring animals home:

Many parents think it is a good idea to have a pet at home. Over time, the child and the pet can get used to each other. However, they will spend many days of unnecessary stress.

Instead, wait until your child is ready. Some parents keep the animal in a room until the child begins to trust it, but this is also not recommended. He can become aggressive because he understands that it is not his role to socialize.