Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Concept Of Fear

I was reading a friend's blog post about his son being afraid of his own shadow, so I decided to write about the concept of fear in children and how I deal with this with Yining.

First of all, how do children know what to fear? My theory is: They dont! The concept of fear must have been introduced by 3rd parties like, parent, caregivers, companions etc.

Yining is 15 months now. From very young age, I have been trying not to introduce fear to her. For example, when there's thunder, I will tell her it's 雷公公 or I never used darkness to frighten her when she walks into the unlit bedrooms at night. As a result, she's not afraid of trying new things. She might be apprehensive, but she's never rejecting. Of course, there is a catch to this. This little rascal is now never afraid to explore, but I don't think it's a disadvantage. This definitely beats the opposite behaviour.

I think this is important in life when Yining grows up. Alot of us grew up in traditional Asian families when we are always apprehensive and less adventurous. We end up being confined, ironically by ourselves. It will take years to shed this mentality, that is if we manage to shed it.