Toddlerhood is the period when children mentally and emotionally develop. Just imagine, your kid will grow from a little baby that cannot let you go even for a moment into a preschooler. The transition period is always complicated, and the way parents react to diverse toddler fears and anxieties will influence not only how fast your kid will overcome them but also which traits of character will be developed. So, what are the most common concerns and how to answer toddler fears? We are going to cover the topic and provide you with effective tips, read on.
1. Scary Darkness
Honestly, not only toddlers but also some adults are afraid of dark rooms and staying outside after the sunset. Why are children afraid of the dark? Something that is not visible is fearful by its nature, especially for toddlers. Have you ever thought why your little one has ceased to fall asleep on one’s own? This can be the fear of the darkness.
If your kid is one of the children afraid of the dark environment, here are some possible solutions:
- Teach your baby to switch on the lights in your apartment;
- Get a night-light in the bedroom;
- Accompany your kid to every room in the darkness and show that there is nothing to be afraid of;
- Go out when it is dark outside for your kid to get used to it; older ones can be also explained why it is getting dark in the evening.
2. Dangerous Monsters
Most often, children afraid of monsters attend kindergartens and communicate with older kids at the playground. While a preschooler may already know who zombies are and not be afraid of them, toddlers’ imagination draws completely different pictures.
As a parent, you should take this fear seriously and check every possible corner of your flat to make sure that the monster is not there. Be creative — you can make a sign that monsters are not allowed in the room and attach it to the door, come up with a magical spell that will protect your child until the morning, or prepare a protective potion to spray the room with.
Psychologists also recommend making fun of the monster your kid fears. Suggest drawing it and then add a funny hat or create a fairy-tale about this character where it is depicted more positively.
3. Lightning & Thunder
If you reside in regions with an extreme change of the weather, this is common that children afraid of loud noises are uncomfortable during the storm with wind blasts. If hurricanes and other calamities are frequent in the area where you live, follow weather forecasts and warn your baby about the approaching storm. You can even create a special calendar where you will draw the sun, clouds, lightning, and other symbols.
4. Nightmares & Bad Dreams
Children afraid to sleep alone most likely suffer from dreams that scare them. Little ones discover the world around, and it is complicated for them to tell between reality and imagination. If your little one wakes up at nights crying and refuses to stay alone in the room, you can try the following:
- Get a night-light and switch it on when your toddler wakes up;
- Do not ignore your baby hoping that toddler nighttime fears will be soon over, this may cause more serious consequences;
- Suggest a favorite blanket or toy as a night protector;
- If the situation is not getting better, it’s better to make an appointment with a doctor.
Kids know perfectly well who they can trust. The fact that they are afraid of unknown people is not one of the toddler irrational fears but is rather a protective reflex. Therefore, parents should not insist on babies’ contact with unknown people. If this is a relative, do not try to persuade your little one. Instead, show with your behavior that this is a trustworthy person. It will take some time for your little one to get used to a stranger and begin communication.
6. Separation With Parents
If a mom is staying with a baby during the maternity leave, most often children afraid of being alone won’t let their mom go without heart-breaking hysterics. Why is this happening? They are afraid that most people in their lives won’t come back. How to solve this problem? To show your kid that you will always come back.
First of all, never try to slide out of the home. When your kid notices your absence, it will be even worse. That is why come up with a special good-bye ritual. In a while, your baby will get used and be sure that you will come back. It is also essential that a kid is left with a well-known person. That’s why if you have just hired a new babysitter, it is not the best time to leave home.
This word sounds weird about toddlers. However, for them, being alone means being without an adult in the same room. Children afraid of staying alone in the room will gradually become more independent. Parents just need to be patient and wait when their little one is ready for this important step. Until then, plan your routines so that your toddler can spend time with you as much as they need. And do not compare your baby with the one across the street who is playing on one’s own since the age of two.
8. Dogs & Big Animals
Of course, you will hardly meet an elephant in the street, however, children afraid of dogs are met quite frequently. Probably, your kid was once frightened by sudden barking, and now dogs are associated with this fear. Be supportive and show how friendly dogs are. However, do not approach even the kindest dogs you know. They tend to jump on the legs, your toddler will unlikely be fond of this affectionate gestures. Remember, dogs are almost the same height as your kid. For them, this animal is more frightening.
9. Toilet & Bathroom
Adults usually do not think about how different functions are fulfilled by equipment in the bathroom and toilet. There are lots of strange and loud noises, as well as lots of water from taps. The best way to overcome this kind of toddler’s fears is to show how everything works. Let your baby try to flush some toilet paper and let them participate in the process of potty washing.
Also, you can try to teach your kid swimming. Getting used to water can help overcome fears related to it. Usually, kids get quickly used to the noises from the flushing water.
Most often, we go to a pediatrician when your kid is ill. No wonder, this person is associated with negative emotions and feelings. To overcome this fear, be always with your kid waiting for an appointment, try to relax him with the help of games or songs, and promise a reward for obedient behavior.
Lots of toddler fears and phobias pass quickly if parents are supportive. For parents, it is important not to develop new ones when they are trying to make their kids behave well. Never mention leaving a kid alone somewhere when they do not want to leave, do not try to make your kid clean teeth by mentioning painful procedures at the dentist’s office. Stay patient and confident, and this period of anxieties will be soon over.