It is very normal for any toddler to be anxious, scared, clingy or withdrawn. They can have many fears like fear from dog, the darkness, monster and ghosts, vaccinations, doctors, water or any other thing. Along with other feelings it is common to develop the feeling of fear too. Now that they are more independent, they are venturing into the outside on their own and sometimes get scared. Their vocabularies are limited and feelings multiplying into millions. Their brains are unable to comprehend everything they see, feel, hear and touch, thus they start fearing things, people and situations. There can be a number of reasons for such fears but sometimes it can be without reason too. Your toddler might have seen your discomfort with the water or darkness and now is scared. Sometimes it may be due to he/ she as an individual is not comfortable with the particular person, event or thing.
Different kids may have various kinds of fears .Few toddler feel scared in a new place or with new person or loud noises. With their age their imagination and thinking also grows and crosses many boundaries. As parents you should not get worried and tensed .Give your support to her/him and try understanding them with love and empathy. The best help you can provide them is to teach them how to manage their fear. Few tips might be helpful in certain cases:
- Fear of the Dark:
Most of the toddlers are afraid of darkness. They feel uncomfortable at those corners of the house which are dark. To help them you can teach them how to switch on the lights of that place .At bedroom you may put night bulb for some light to avoid complete darkness. Take them out in dark along with you and show them things which can only be seen in dark like twinkling stars; looks attractive in dark, a firefly or any other thing.
- Separation Anxiety:
As your toddler now distinguishes between familiar and unfamiliar faces, he feels insecure on not finding you around. Work this out with him by gently playing hide and seek and increasing the time of separation slowly. He trusts you the most, and is also worried about him. Assure him that Mommy is always around and nothing will happen to her.
- Fear of Animals, Insects, Bugs
Let him touch the dog if it’s pet, in your presence .Explain him it hurts only when you hit them or misbehave with them. See if he particularly dislikes some insects or bugs, help him wipe his fear away.
- Ghosts and Monsters
If your child feels there is a shadow in the room or there are some monsters under his bed, do not laugh on his imagination. Be considerate, read him a story, decorate the room in bright hues and light the shadowy corners of the room. Show them the monster masks and explain its not real. You may take the help of books with pictures if needed.
- Noise Fear
If he feels scared when vacuum cleaner is on, you may bring him small toy version of it with less noise. Slowly he may become habitual. Explain, explain, explain and be patient.
Avoid too much of care, it may be harmful for your toddler in future. Kids with adequate care and protection turn up as confident individuals as compared to raised under over protective parents. It is not possible to get rid of any fear quickly or in just a few days .It may take months or years too. But we should keep on supporting them and teaching them.
Some fears will gradually go away as your little one takes a major control on his feelings. Some fears remain forever. But if your toddler is deeply scared of something and it is consistent, you may consult a doctor once as it may be due to some anxiety disorder. Also avoid discussing in front of other kids about your toddler’s fears, never make fun of them or tease them. Avoid expressing your own fears in front of them. Understand that your toddler is going through a huge transition where he looks for your support continuously, his highly complex brain is juggling through many emotions, situations and people, and he really does not know what to do with all the exposure coming in his way.