Helping Your Child Overcome The Fear Of Heights

The definition of Acrophobia is simply the fear of heights! It’s natural to have some form of Acrophobia because of our body’s natural instinct to steer away from danger. However, when this fear becomes debilitating, actions need to be taken to manage them. Some children with this condition are reluctant to do everyday tasks such as standing on escalators, taking the lift or crossing bridges. Here are some recommended actions that you could take to help your child manage Acrophobia.

Managing The Fear of Height

It is essential to avoid situations that might trigger anxiety in your child. Standing on precarious landings, on the edge of platforms or going to observation towers should be avoided.  If you’re unable to avoid such situations, give them extra time to mentally prepare themselves before letting your child confront them.

When carrying your children, do not pick them up. This might trigger anxiety in your child as they might not feel secure as you’re carrying them up. In these situations, it is essential to get down to your child’s level and securely carry them before standing up. Do hold them around their waist to give them a greater sense of security.

When a panic attack arises, staring into their eyes can calm your child down. Other ways of doing so include having them repeat comforting phrases such as “I’m safe.” and “I’m not falling.”. These exercises can reduce their anxiety when faced with such situations.

Overcoming This Fear

It is important to help your child understand that some fears are irrational and does not constitute the anxiety that they’re feeling. Allow your child to realize that at times, there’s really nothing to be afraid of and that they shouldn’t be afraid. Advise them that when these anxiety attacks occur, they should question themselves on whether these fears are signs of actual danger. If the situation is not dangerous, urge them to stay calm.

One who is reacting to vertigo might be mistaken as being fearful of heights. Vertigo is the feeling that you or the environment around you is moving or spinning. You can help your child grow accustomed to vertigo by having them perform falling trust exercises. These exercises do help in conquering the fear of heights as well.

The gradual exposure of their fears is useful to build up their tolerance! Find ways to slowly expose them to high places that would allow them to go beyond their comfort zone. Parents should start off small, such as viewing scenic areas and swinging on swings, before progressively moving on to higher grounds. Parents should guide and always be by their child’s side when facing such fears. Once they’re confident in these areas, parents could try working them up to being able to do these things on their own.

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