Some fears that children have are irrational, and parents may not understand, but some fears you can see where they may derive from. The fear of elevators is one of those that is not so unclear that you can’t understand completely. It is an object that you stand inside that moves, and you have no clue how it happens. This may throw your child off-kilter or make them feel weird while inside. It even makes many adults feel strange or uneasy. Dealing with elevators can be a major headache, especially if you live in a large city or at the top of an apartment building in that city. This article is for your reading pleasure if you are encountering any of these issues. Take a look and see if you can get you to the top.
1. Talk To Your Child About the Fear
It is important to approach your child with an open ear about any fear that they may have. You need to let them know that you hear them and you’re there for them. You can not diminish their feelings in any way, or they will not express them in the future. This will leave you in the dark for future events similar to this one. You need to know what about the elevator that scares them. The elevator may make strange noises. It may make their stomachs feel sick. Your child may have heard scary stories or watched a scary movie.
Whatever the reason that they are scared of the elevator, not that you know, you can address each one of them individually. Tell them about how safe they are. Dismiss the fictional movie that they saw or the untrue story that they heard. Use your mommy skills to comfort them through anything that you may be able to help with.
2. Use the Stairs When Possible
No one wants to use the stairs if there is an elevator available, but if your child is afraid of the elevator, it may be your only option. Try the stairs for a while until you can solve your problem. Think of it as an attempt at getting healthier. Becoming more acquainted with your building is a good way to look at it if the stairs are in your apartment or job. This may not be an option if you have to climb to the 50th floor, but possible if you have to go to the 5th floor.
3. Insist But Do Not Force
Coaxing your child is okay, but forcefulness is not the best of ideas. Children tend to pull back as much as you push. You can always drag them kicking and screaming, but that will more than likely leave you both very embarrassed in public situations every single time. This can become a daily routine, and it can get ugly. Try talking calmly to your child. Explain why you need to get in the elevator. Children don’t understand time or jobs, but they do understand and feel emotions, so use the inflection in your voice. Tell them very sweetly that “Mommy has got to get on the elevator, or she will never get to work in time.” SMILE!
4. Get Other More Professional Help
Sometimes you need to call in reinforcements. Your child trusts you and your opinion, but they may need to hear it from others. Your health care professional can give good advice, and if your child is old enough to listen to them, they may take their advice. Give it a try.
This may not just be hearing it from a doctor. You can get your husband or a favorite aunt to tell them. An older brother or sister might be able to mimic the correct behavior and get them to see the error of their ways. Try letting them get on the elevator and show them that there is nothing to be afraid of.
5. Try Rewards
There are many ways to motivate children. Rewards come in all different shapes and sizes. They can be verbal or physical, and children like them all. Different children prefer different types. It is up to you to figure out which works best for your child. Most of the time, it depends on the age of your child. You can not motivate an infant to do something with money, or you can not motivate a teen with a toy, so it is important to take into consideration who you are trying to motivate.
When it comes to the elevator situation, you should think of talking to your child about what would help them attempt to get on the elevator. Maybe if they gave it a try, it would warrant a big smile and a hug. It would make you so proud of them. They would feel like they are a “big girl!” Once you find the appropriate reward for trying something new, the sky is the limit, and you can get a child to do anything within reason, and they will soon discover that many of their fears were unreasonable.
For a child to shy away from elevators can be stressful for parents, but it happens quite often. You must learn to deal with it and try to de-escalate the situation as soon as you can so that you can continue your life in a way that does not disrupt your day. Children can be difficult with things such as this, but not impossible. If you will try to:
- Talk To Your Child About The Fear
- Use The Stairs When Possible
- Insist But Do Not Force
- Get Other More Professional Help
- Try Rewards
More than likely, your child will outgrow this fear in the years to come regardless of how you approach it, but meanwhile, you must deal with it, so be patient. Be gentle; it is a genuine fear and not made up. Your child needs to know that you are concerned and hears that they are scared. Let them know that you are there for them and willing to work through it with them.