Fearfulness and Anxiety – An Entertaining and Informative Video

little boy hiding under cushions scared - Fearfulness & Anxiety - Article by The Therapy Centre

Fearfulness & Anxiety – An Entertaining and Informative Video

Looking for a useful video to help explain fearfulness and anxiety to your children? A short video called “Alfred Jr. and Shadow- A Short Story About Being Scared” may be the perfect tool for describing to kids the normalcy of fears, and to teach them when to seek help about their fears. The video aims to teach children about fear and anxiety through the character Alfred the owl, in a straightforward and relatable manner. It discusses 6 different ways of feeling scared: normal scared, too much scared, embarrassed scared, scared of being scared, and painful scared. Normal scared is a good type of scared. All humans no matter what age or gender experience the feeling of normal scared every now and then. Some examples of being normal scared for children include war, diseases, fire, or even going to the dentist.  Too much scared, happens when individuals fear things that aren’t dangerous. Being too much scared can make the individual exhausted as all the worrying that accompanies this type of fear uses a lot of energy. Some examples of too much scared include reading out loud at school and sleeping alone. It’s important that individuals experiencing this type of fear, seek help to face their fears, as they can be conquered with the right techniques and tools. The next type of scared they talked about is embarrassed scared, which is having a fear of being embarrassed of what others think of you. For example, as mentioned in the video Alfred’s friend Joy had a fear of telling people that she was scared of elevators because it was embarrassing to her. If you are suffering from this type of scared it is also important to reach out to others, as suffering alone with this fear only makes it worse.

The next fear is the fear of being scared, in the video Alfred, talks about an incident where his brother was so scared once that he panicked, and it caused him to become scared of being scared. The concept that they describe here is a panic attack. A panic attack results when there is a sudden outburst of intense fear or discomfort that can be accompanied by symptoms such as a racing heartbeat, increased perspiration and shortness of breath to name a few. (For more information on panic attacks, feel free to read our related blog post linked below.) Individuals can grow a fear around the symptoms they experienced as well as the process of the panic attack, making them fearful of experiencing that again in the future.  If you are experiencing this type of fear it is important to remember that this type of fear is not actually dangerous and that the feelings will pass. The last type of scared that they explain is painful scared. This type of fear encompasses things that are usually hard to talk about for children. For example, physical abuse by a parent or adult, inappropriate sexual interaction between children and adults, or dealing with a parent who is intoxicated. If you or anyone you know is experiencing this fear it is important to talk to someone you trust or like to help you get protection.

The end of the video then shares useful tips for adults on how to help a child that is scared. Some of the tips are:

Validate their fears
– Let them know that you understand what they fear is scary

Avoid saying there is nothing to fear
– By saying that there is nothing for them to be scared of, it makes them feel as if you do not understand them and therefore cannot help them

If you or someone you know is experiencing anything similar to what was described, you do not have to deal with it on your own. As mentioned in the video it is beneficial to seek out help from others. At the Therapy Centre, we have trained clinicians who can assess and treat Anxiety Disorders and various irrational fears that children can experience. We work collaboratively with our clients to provide the appropriate treatment. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Emotional Coaching techniques are helpful in addressing these concerns. With two offices located in Oakville and Hamilton, we are accessible from Mississauga, Milton, Halton Hills, Guelph Wellington and the greater Niagara Region.

Video Source: YouTube Video. Alfred Jr. & Shadow – A Short Story About Being Scared (Video File). Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH7gUgTSVg0

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