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Issues In Childrens' Literature:

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Naomi Catterlin

on 5 December 2013

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Transcript of Issues In Childrens' Literature:

Fear of Strangers
Issues In Childrens' Literature:
-Fears-

Work Cited
Kutner, Lawrence, PhD. "If Your Child Is Afraid of the Doctor." Psych Central.com. PSYCH Central, 2007. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.


Nemours. "KidsHealth." Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias. Nemours, 2010. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.
The nature of anxieties and fears change as kids grow and develop:


Babies experience stranger anxiety, clinging to parents when confronted by people they don't recognize.


Toddlers around 10 to 18 months old experience separation anxiety, becoming emotionally distressed when one or both parents leave.


( Nemours)
Children older than 18 months still possess the same fears stimulated visually, however they are combined with other fears.

Examples:
4 -6 year olds often have fears of ghosts and monsters. These can stem from strangers, meeting new people, or unfamiliar social situations

6-12 year olds often have fears regarding embarassing situations or attacks. This could stem from a stranger as well.
Fear of Doctors
Known as Iatrophobia
Part of why children are afraid of the doctor is because they don't know what to expect
Another issue for kids is that its a new, unfamiliar environment
Toddlers are just beginning to pay attention to the integrity of their bodies so they grow more concerned in doctors visits
Kids worry about pain, especially six-to-twelve-year-olds when it comes to shots.

Fear of Monsters
Age range that this is common varies greatly from child to child, though it's most seen between ages 3-8
Often starts because of movies or other media a child has seen
Because media such a big effect on this fear, media expressing monsters and other scary creatures in a positive way can have a very positive effect
Fear of Monsters
Other times books deal with the fear of monsters as a plot device, where the hero/heroine(s) have to bypass their fears to show their courage
These books don't always have a positive effect on a fear of monsters, and are often targeted towards a slightly older audience, though this isn't always the case
Introduction:
Every Child Has Fears
Children's Literature: Fears
Most of these fears are just phases in a child’s life and they will go away , but they can lead to a lot of unnecessary anxiety. (Child Anxiety Network)
Children’s literature can be used as a tool help comfort and sooth a child’s fear, and possibly even defeat them
There a lot of books out there that deal have themes that center around helping children cope with their fears.
Nightmares fall into the abstract fears category and is common in children who are around the ages 4 and 5 because according to the sleep foundation this is the around the age where children’s imaginations develop and children begin to understand that there are things that exist that can hurt them.
Nightmares
Fear of the Dark
Sterling Honig, Alice , Susan Miller, and Ellen Booth Church. "TEACHERS." <i>Scholastic Teachers</i>. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2013.
Wolfe, Ireland. "Fear of Abandonment in Childhood Development." <i>Everyday Life</i>. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2013. .
Why are Children Afraid of the Dark?
“The fear of the dark tends to evolve around the time children are old enough to have a sense of imagination,” says Jenn Berman,PhD
The fear of the dark hits home for kids around the ages of 2 or 3
Old enough to imagine, but not wise enough to distinguish fantasy from reality
Gives the unknown an opportunity to be scary

Why are Children Afraid of the Dark?
According to Dobbins, an assistant professor of pediatrics and child psychiatry at Southern Illinois University
“There are fewer distractions to keep a child’s mind occupied at night.”
“So instead, his imagination runs wild, as a result, a kid who seems well adjusted during the day may be more vulnerable at night.”

What Causes Kids’ Fear of the Dark?
Television
The sights and sounds on TV are too stimulating for their brains
Books
The images can be intimidating and provoke already active imaginations
Stirring up all sorts of ideas that can come back to haunt a child who is lying alone in the dark
From drawings of monsters to fairy tales and witches

Fear of Abandonment
Book #1
Sound psychological advice and a night light help Sister conquer her fears

According to Dr. Alice Sterling Honig, "Fear of abandonment by familiar parenting figures is one of the greatest fears of childhood" (Sterling).
Book #2
When bedtime comes Little Bear is afraid of the dark, until Big Bear brings him lights and love.

Book #3
Together, Daisy and Darkness dance and play until bedtime
This enchanting story personified Darkness as a friendly and welcome visitor
Reassurance
Stat: 90% of children between the ages 2-15 have some type of fear. (Child Anxiety Network)
There are three common categories that childhood fears fall under for children ages 5-12.
They include the abstract ( Ghosts, the dark, monsters, things that go bump in the night, etc.)
Phobias (spiders, dentists, heights etc.)
Realistic situations (abandonment, death, natural disasters, etc)
Children ages 5-7 are more likely to experience the more abstract fears and phobias. While children ages 8-12 suffer from realistic fears. (Nemours)
According to the children's health organization the reason for this shift is to the cognitive development of children, in that as they age they become more and more aware of the world and what I that to them (both emotionally and physically)
Any child could experiences any of these fears at any stage of their life, these are just commonalities.
"National Sleep Foundation." National Sleep Foundation. National Sleep Foundation, 2013. Web. 04 Nov. 2013.
"Child Fears, Phobias and Anxiety." Child Fears, Phobias and Anxiety. The Child Anxiety Network, 2001. Web. 04 Nov. 2013
Older Readers
Age:
Infants become upset when a parental figure leaves the room even for a moment (wolfe)
Toddlers and young children will branch out more on their own, but will still have fear of abandonment if you are gone for a any period of time.
Cause:

Most causes involve a child feeling
insecure
and
unattached
to the parental figure. According to Ireland Wolfe, "Insecure attachments can happen because of different factors, including opportunity for attachment, quality of caregiving, infant characteristics or family structure. "

"Childhood
trauma
can also cause a lasting fear of abandonment. Losing a parent through death or divorce are obvious causes. However, abuse, neglect, a parent with a substance abuse problem or parents with depression can also contribute to fear of abandonment" (Wolfe)
So how do we help these children feel less afraid?
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