1 Mestrado Pré-Escolar e 1ºCiclo, CIDI-IESF, Instituto de Estudos Superiores de Fafe (PORTUGAL)
2 CIDI-IESF-Instituto de Estudos Superiores de Fafe (IESF) (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Page: 4835 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.1149
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
It is increasingly important to value the fears that children make us manifest, since it is often behind the behaviors that children demonstrate that can be associated with fears that can often become pathological fears, causing anxiety in children.

Thus, this study has as main objective to understand the perspectives that educators and parents have on this topic and as a research question: how educators and parents solve children's fears together. The methodological approach is qualitative, using 12 drawings of fears by 12 early childhood children, two semi-structured interviews with two educators and 12 open-response questionnaire surveys to the parents of the 12 children, which are then analyzed with the support of the webQDA ® analysis software.

Before taking the photographs, it was ensured that the parents or guardians freely and clearly consented to the participation of their child in the study, having been informed about the scope of the investigation. Data protection, anonymity and privacy of research participants were also guaranteed.

The results are the following emerging categories:
i) Identification of children's fear;
ii) Factors that generate fears;
iii) Action in the face of the child's fear;
iv) Identification of the main fears;
v) Impact of fears on daily life;
vi) Application of strategies to resolve fears;
vii) Impact of strategies in combating fear.

Triangulation of results was performed between drawings, interviews, and questionnaire surveys. Categorization was evaluated using the Delphi method.
It is possible to conclude that the drawings denote the children's fears and the educators, in a joint work with the parents, adopted strategies to solve the children's fears:
i) the use of stories that approached this theme, the games, since the child through the game it represents and explores its conflicts, which can be a way of resolution;
ii) a child who is afraid of an animal, the parents and educators would go with the child to see photographs, drawings or even take the child to see these animals and after several attempts, if there was a positive stimulus on the part of the child, this he could, for example, go to the house of a family member who has a dog (in these cases it was fear of the dog) to confront his own fear; iii) use of a comfort object (it can be a teddy bear, toy, a flashlight), since the child when confronted with fear created anxiety and having the object made the child feel more secure.

In short, parents and educators must always be attentive to all possible signs that the child may express in relation to fears and must always help and support, together, the child so that he can face and fight his fears, whether in school context, empowering parents to resolve them in a family context.

Thus, it is important to value and listen to children talking about what scares them, as well as being aware of behaviors that may be triggered by the presence of some fear.
Child and fears, Early Childhood, Perception of fears, Parental empowerment.