Do You Have a Fearless Child?
Some children, many of them boys, are born without fear or with very little fear. Usually this fearless behavior coexists with a great deal of physical energy. The parents of these children have a very difficult time keeping them safe.
Children usually use parents as a base from which to explore the environment without fear. Well, fearless children do not feel much need for a “safe” parental base. Therefore, fearless children do not require as much parental support and reassurance. For this reason, fearless children are “at risk” to form weak relation-ships with parents.
Fearless children simply do not need parents as much.In addition to having high energy and fearlessness, at risk children also have a penchant for enjoying risk taking. Pleasure in risk taking can stomp out (extinguish) any natural fear an at risk child has. Psychologists tell us that fears go away when feared objects are associated with pleasurable thoughts or sensations. For example, a thrill-seeker afraid of heights might engage in sky diving. The thrill of the leap and the enjoyment of the view would extinguish the fear of heights.
In some children, the process of fear extinction happens naturally due to the child’s enjoyment of dangerous activities. Since these children have a very large appetite for entertainment, they engage in thrill seeking activities more. When they enjoy dangerous activities, children become even more fearless.
Fearless children have a difficult time learning moral lessons from punishment. Even if spanked they remain fearless. Some researchers have said that a fearless child has to have an exceptionally strong love for his parent in order to develop a conscience. Unfortunately, it is also these fearless children that are at risk to have weak relationships with parents. This issue is discussed in detail in Just Like His Father?
We need to keep in mind that the at risk child may be a thrill seeker who will lose what little fear he was born with. Once the fear is lost, his risk taking will become more and more daring, and more and more rewarding. The more rewarding risk taking becomes, the more the child will prefer risk-taking activities to other activities. Remember that balance in pleasure is important for balance in life. If enjoying risky activities is more important to the child than enjoying relationships or other meaningful hobbies, there will be a problem.
Because of risk taking, physical injury including head trauma is more common in at risk children and adults with antisocial personality disorder. Unfortunately, the brain damage that results from head trauma also worsens antisocial personality. SEE MORE