Fear and the Fearless… (Finding the middle ground) by Dyslexia Dublin © 2014
We have to look at accrued and non-accrued experiences to understand why we have fear or lack of fear.
Part of our brain stores fear or lack (riding our luck) this area is known as the episodic memory. O had several experiences as a young child, and some of these are firmly parked there.
During my early years, I was bitten by a small dog at the age of 5-6 years old and that keeps me at more than arm's length until I know I can trust that particular animal.
I can remember going to this friend's house, they had German Shepherds (Alsatians); the father seemed to take delight in watching these dogs pin me into a shell in the corner.
I had another harrowing experience; being thrown in a swimming pool as a child and being rescued by a young girl, to this day I am not comfortable with water (not helped by me being dyspraxic). I have to be in touch of the side or shallow water that enables me to stand.
We can also have a fear of separation and loneliness, equally we can have a fear of being around people.
Certain levels of fear have to exist to keep us safe; however this cannot be so inhibiting that it precludes us having a life, we need to find that balance.
This balance becomes so much harder with those like me who have a learning need, we usually fall into one side or the other…fear or fearless.
We start learning the minute we are born, when a child starts to fall its arms go out due to reflex action, quite often in children especially those with a learning need like dyspraxia would not have this reflex. It has to be taught. Early years is a good time to introduce friends and this can help overcome fear…but can also create fear, keep an eye on those they are playing with and make sure they complement what you would like for yourself and your child.
Children are vulnerable…they often don't see the signs warning them of imminent danger.
Introduce protective wear early so one there is no stigma, and you don't have to raise the fear levels by explaining why you want them to wear shin pads, cycle helmets or skull caps (rugby).
We need to socialise early too, get our children use to people and noise…much of the fear of going swimming is the noise created by the acoustics of the swimming pool, take them on quite days until they enjoy the water and then introduce noise.
Try not to ignore your child's actions, they could well be seeking the attention if the reaction is negative.
You need to get good at vocal-tone, we are no different to any other species that relies heavily on sound to interpret approval or disapproval.
To understand your child you need on occasions to go back to being a child, walk there walk and talk there talk, you will be surprised how different their world looks from down there.
Inquisitive does not always equal bold (behaviour) it is more often than not curiosity and exploration of their rapidly unfolding world.
Let's look at the memory areas that have an effect on fear, there are regions that work in tandem with others, like Symantec (memory) we know we were born in a certain place but from that age its taught and not learnt through experience.
It's our episodic that becomes our inbuilt sat-nav so we can, for example, find our way around places our episodic memory builds day on day and stores events both good and bad.
We need to be very mindful of this in creating fear where needed. Our reaction or lack of (inaction) can help leave a bad experience with a good feeling or a good experience with a bad feeling.
Let me give you an example! A friend of mine was busy chatting, and his daughter wanted to show us a new tune she had learnt, his reaction was to tell her to shut that horrible noise up.
This event could then transfer to fear; thus preventing her from performing anything in the future, unless the situation is quickly reversed and confidence built.
We need to take a long look at this in all our children’s lives as it is key to applying the fear or removing fear in all circumstances.
Apart from as mentioned certain innate reactions at birth fear or lack of fear is controlled by us as parents and teachers. Children arrive into this world for the most part Tabula Rasa (a blank canvas).
We must also point out that if your child is like me and so many others their processing speed could be or is so much slower, this takes far more repetition to create or remove fear!
You need to counter the negative effects of learnt behaviours. We can be achieved by slowly taking the child or person on a journey!
We might need to do this several times to allow the good or bad experience for this to reverse.
Let us take our possible fear of water or perhaps flying, you have to saturate yourself in good experiences. Let's say you are worried about going on a ferry; you would be mad to make the journey in the stormy season and the same with flying.
If your child experiences safety and danger, they will quickly learn to apply this in the correct context…but remember as in my other articles over learning is a must to overcome the slow processing speed.
We adjust our body to variations of temperature etc., so why do we not consider adjusting our minds to danger or the lack of danger.
Finally, it is possible to clear your mind of anything, it’s a time and opportunity thing.
We should consider this as an area of huge proportion, and I would recommend those with concerns seeking the correct professional advice.
Our articles are for guidance purpose only and are put together by our extensive team. We always suggest engaging the work of a professional in all circumstances.
Dyslexia Dublin © 2014