For a child, the world is a large, mysterious place filled with many new, exciting and confronting things. Occasionally these things can become overwhelming and cause anxiety or fear for the child. When situations like this occur it is important to be understanding and work through the fear with the child.
An example of this happened recently at Thuringowa Central World of Learning where a little girl has been at our service since she was a little baby.
When she was little, she was quite afraid of a concrete lizard we had in the Nursery Room. Slowly, with help and encouragement from her educators and family, she overcame her fear of the lizard.
Last year we had the Jumping Castle come to visit us for a few days, and the little girl would not go anywhere near it. We weren’t sure if it was the structure itself or the noise from the compressor.
With the help of her Mum, we decided that this year we would try to help her overcome that fear. It has taken 3 days and lots of perseverance, but we finally have success!
Although she is still a bit fearful at times, she has graduated to climbing onto the Jumping Castle and jumping with an Educator.
It started out with just coming into the area of the castle and watching, followed by encouraging her to climb onto the edge and sit with an Educator whilst other children were jumping, to now being able to jump with an Educator on the jumping castle.
She still has moments of anxiety and when this happens, we take her to another room where she cannot see or hear the castle.
The important thing is she is slowly overcoming her fears and we are all very proud of her.
Any child can be anxious or fearful of items or environments that they do not understand. When we are patient and understanding of this fear there is a great opportunity to help the child conquer that fear, and achieve learning outcomes alongside it. In this case, the little girl was able to feel supported to participate in the experience and feel supported to feel secure, confident and included.