Categorized | Parenting, Toddler Behaviour

Fear In Toddlers - What Parents Can Do

Toddlers develop some sort of fear at one point or another. This is a totally normal part of childhood. But, parents can help ease fear in toddlers more conveniently with a few easy steps. Here is how to do it.

Helping Toddlers Cope With Fears

Know The Reason

What is your toddler afraid of? Darkness? Monsters? Strangers? Crowded places? Doctors? Spiders? No matter how shallow they may seem, recognizing what your toddler’s fears are is an essential step to helping him overcome them. Maybe he is afraid of the dark because he cannot see anything or he is scared of strangers because he feels overwhelmed with their presence.

Do Not Brush Them Off

Do not just laugh and tell your toddler he is silly. Never downplay your toddler’s fears. Instead, take them seriously. Do not make fun or ignore his fears. Reassure your little one that you understand how he feels and that he can always come to you each time he is scared. Remember, the degree of support you give to your child gives him security that it is okay to be afraid and once he understands that, he can properly deal with his fears.

Explain and Expose

The unknown is the root of fear. Your toddler may be scared of the doctor because of the white coat the doctor is wearing or the long needle the doctor uses when giving him shots. Explain to your toddler that the doctor is making sure he is okay. The doctor only checks him up to make sure he is strong and that by sitting still it will be all over before he knows it.

However, reasoning might not completely erase his fears so demonstration is necessary. Buy a storybook about a doctor so you can read it to him during story time. Or, you can show him a picture of a doctor and a little boy smiling. Pretend play also works. Buy him a doctor play set and take turns being the doctor and patient. Eventually, he will be able to realize that there is nothing he should be afraid of and he might even be excited for his incoming monthly check-up.

Solve The Problem Together

If your toddler is afraid of the dark, go to a store and buy him a nightlight. Let him choose the design that he wants. If your toddler is scared of dogs, show him that you are not afraid of him. Let him watch as you and your house dog play fetch. Create a monster chant together so he can say it each time he feels scared. Show your toddler that you are not afraid of his fears, this encourages him to imitate you which will help him overcome his fears.

Offer A Comfort Object

Giving your toddler your old teddy bear, a blanket you used when you were a baby or a special pillow can help ease his fears. Comfort objects can offer your scared toddler familiarity and reassurance. Let him hold on to it at night, when visiting his doctor or when meeting new people.

Give Praise

Facing fears can be hard work so once you notice your little one is making progress commend him for a job well done or offer him a reward like letting him pick out a new toy or cooking him his favorite food. Your optimism encourages your toddler to strive harder.

Fears come and go but it is important that you help him deal with them so he can function better.

Leave a Reply

  1. We welcome any feedback, questions or comments


August 2014
« May