Your Toddler's Fears

 

Fear is very common in children between the ages of two and six. A child's most common fears will change with your toddler's changing age. From infants to young toddlers the fear of strangers is predominant. Around the age of 2 1/2 the fear of loud noises, animals, and doctors is realized. Somewhere around three years old the fear of people in masks and costumes, imaginary creatures and bodily harm top the list of fears.

Fear is not a bad thing in youngsters. The completely fearless toddler will be more likely to get into situations where they could get harmed. It is important for parents and caregivers understand the nature of childhood fears and how to handle them. Some pointers on how to handle a toddler's fears follow.

Acknowledgement

The fear your toddler may currently be facing may not seem rational to you, but to your child it is very real. You need to acknowledge to your toddler that his fear is real. Ignoring a fear can only intensify it and make a basis for a lot of other fears.

No Confrontations

Don't force your child to confront his fears head on. Forcing a child who is afraid of the dark to sit in a non-lit room could turn a simple fear into a phobia. Help your toddler gently face his fear in a manner that is comfortable to him.

Everyone has fears

Let your toddler know that everyone has fears. Even grown-ups like mommy and daddy have fears. Talk about your own fears at his age and how you overcame them.

Don't Tease

Toddlers take their fears very seriously, so don't tease or be unsympathetic to their feelings.

Understand the Reasons

Help your child understand the reasons behind his fears-such as the fact that he's trying to learn about new and rather scary situations.