nighttime fears: 2 Articles

Creating the Find Out Files My Fears: Interview With the Author

Magination Press’s new series of activity books, The Find Out Files, help kids explore emotions and relationships. Magination Press interviewed author and parenting expert, Isabelle Filliozat, about creating My Fears, one of the books in The Find Out Files. Magination Press: You chose a meerkat as the animal guide for My Fears. Why is a meerkat well-suited to the topic of fear? Isabelle Filliozat: Meerkats are called the sentinels of the desert. They have this behavior of looking around and paying attention to any movement, this quick reaction. That’s why I choose them to illustrate the “protection from danger” system. Fear being the primary emotion of that system. MP:  You explain how fear is a physical reaction that protects us from danger, and so sometimes fear is a good thing. Why is it important for people to learn to tell the difference between real dangers and perceived ones? IF:  If it is a real danger, fear is useful. It can save us. Fear helps us perceive danger, see a movement, identify a threat. It gives us the energy to step aside, run, escape. But if it is not a real danger, there’s no use to stress our body like that ! Shivering in front of a mouse, or a dead rat, panicking on a plane or choking in an elevator doesn’t bring us any positive benefit. But all those irrational fears come from our story and if we listen to them, and analyse their roots, they help us cure our inner-self. MP: How did you decide which common fears (swimming, monsters/nightmares, or meeting new people) to feature in the book?  IF:  I wanted to feature a physical fear, a mental fear, and a social fear. Then you have tools for about any fear.  MP:  Sometimes, when people are afraid, they get angry. Why is that? IF:  Because it is the same structure in the brain that sends the order for  fear or anger: the amygdala. Both emotions ensure protection. When there is a threat, the amygdala triggers the stress reaction. Depending on the circumstances, we have three possibilities: fight, flight, freeze. So facing a danger, someone may display a fighting behavior.  Also, if you were taught as a child that you shouldn’t be afraid, that boys don’t fear, you fear your fears! You don’t want to surrender to fear, don’t want to be seen as a coward… so you display aggressive behavior. Or if you were beaten or harshly scolded when you were afraid, then feeling fear is so stressful, so you attack! Some people like scary movies or books. Why do you think that is? Some people like taking physical risks, to climb cliffs, to drive their motorcycle fast, to jump from high bridges, to surf big waves. Stress, fear—it’s adrenaline. It’s sensations. It’s excitement. It’s feeling alive! But we don’t all dare take risks! Almost all of us like suspense in movies or books, we identify with the characters, we feel sensations, quiver, thrill, our heart beats

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Creating the Find Out Files My Fears: Interview With the Author 2020-09-08T22:58:53-04:00

Soothing Bedtime Worries

Bedtime is a trigger for many kids. Unlike the rest of the day, bedtime is a time in which children are expected to be alone. In addition, bedtime is often when children slow down and tune into themselves and reflect on their day; as a result, this may be when they express concerns and worries or exhibit separation anxiety. Fears about going to bed, worries that seem only to appear at bedtime, attempts to sleep with parents, and pleas for a parent to stay until they fall asleep are common.

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Soothing Bedtime Worries 2018-09-26T14:24:57-04:00