Handling a Toddler's Numerous Fears
You must respect your toddler's fear, even if it seems irrational. Otherwise, your child will continue to worry, but refrain from sharing his feelings with you. Toddler fears don't go away just because you don't think your child needs to worry. He will internalize the fear, causing unwanted consequences, such as sleep disruption or avoidance of even pleasurable activities.
Here are some tips for helping your toddler's issues with fear:
- Prepare your child for situations ahead of time whenever you can. For example, you might tell him, "I have to turn on the vacuum now." Or, "There's a dog in the car next to us."
- Empower your child by whipping up a spray bottle of Monster Begone (which is really just water). He can use it to spray under the bed, thwarting monsters at night, or for wishing away the loud motorcycle riding by along the highway.
- Help him face his fears by taking him to the petting zoo or pet store. Have him start to get used to being around animals. Start with smaller animals and work your way up. If his toddler fears get the best of him, remove him right away so he trusts you'll help him when he needs it.