Children copy our behaviour and learn from our reactions so we need to overcome our own fears in order to avoid passing on the same fears to our children.
We all have fears – the things we just don’t like. I can think of a few: I am not that keen on spiders or earwigs and I don’t like mud on the carpet! These things don’t affect my life; I can pick up spiders in a piece of toilet paper and then pop them out of the door, and the same with earwigs. I don’t like to make a fuss and I don’t want my children to have any reason to be scared of them too, after all there is no logical reason to not like them.
However more than something you just don’t like is a phobia:
A phobia (from the Greek: φόβος, Phóbos, meaning “fear” or “morbid fear”) is, when used in the context of clinical psychology, a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed, often being recognised as irrational. In the event the phobia cannot be avoided entirely, the sufferer will endure the situation or object with marked distress and significant interference in social or occupational activities.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia)
I am not sure if I do suffer with any phobias, but I really don’t like heights that much. I also avoid theme park rides that leave my stomach behind. Fortunately heights and theme park rides don’t have any effect on my day to day life!
There are also rational fears: weighing up the likelihood of something being dangerous and taking careful steps to protect yourself from that danger – for example I think it is best to avoid a growling dog in the park!
One thing I have had to overcome is my dislike of dentists. I do have a genuine reason for not liking dentists, but I think this may have been a fear that has been passed to me by my own mother and possibly her mother too.
My grandmother was of a generation that had her teeth taken out for her 21st birthday! It seems madness now. My mother isn’t happy with her teeth, they are crooked, but they are her own. As a child I spent a lot of time with my Grandmother and she did like to spoil me especially with sweets. I don’t remember my Mother being very thorough with teeth cleaning and she didn’t believe in visiting the dentist. I only visited the dentist twice as a child, the first was with severe toothache and the second was to have the seven decayed teeth removed. I remember very clearly the toothache and how my mouth felt after my teeth were removed.
I definitely don’t want my children to have the same experiences with their teeth and fortunately there have been great advances in tooth and dental care, Colgate have a great range of products available, such as the Colgate pro clinical toothbrush to ensure you are able to take care of your teeth at home between dental visits.
We visit the dentist every six months and I always have my check up at the same time as the children, I have never let them know how I feel about visiting the dentist.
I am still anxious about the threat of treatment, but the internet has a wealth of information and tips, click here for some useful advice on caring for children’s teeth.
Thankfully my children’s teeth have always been fine and any treatment I have had has been quick and simple.
My children always call me to remove spiders and my son wasn’t that thrilled by the ride I braved with him at a theme park in the summer. But we are not afraid to go to the dentist and my eldest daughter (8) has more teeth than I did at her age!