Christine A Howard

Things That Go Bump In The Night & Other Common Childhood Fears

Children are very susceptible to all kinds of fears and anxieties. You might find that your young toddler starts to be scared of quite a few things.  This may happen even before  your child can talk and explain the fears to you. Instead, your child may simply have a meltdown when they encounter what they fear.  Once your child is old enough to speak, he or she will be very eager to let you know of their fears.  They know at this age that you will keep them safe. Thankfully, your child will eventually grow out of most of her fears. While your child has them, though, you will find that it can be incredibly difficult to deal with.  To help you out, here are some of the most common childhood fears and what you can do about them.

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 child under a blanket looking scared



Lots of adults are scared of spiders so there is no wonder that children also become very scared if they see their parents begin to panic whenever they see a little eight-legged critter. If you have a problem with spiders in your house, it’s worth finding a pest exterminator firm that offers a spider control service. Once the child sees that everything has been done to remove the arachnids from the house, they should be happier knowing that they won’t see quite as many anymore. If you aren’t scared of spiders yourself, it’s worth letting your child watch you hold and handle a few. They will see that you are happy to touch these creatures, which should calm their fears.



The Dark

There are lots of children who refuse to go to bed because they are scared of the dark. If your child is still fairly young, then you can add a nightlight to their bedroom. This will illuminate the room through the night so that they don’t have to worry about being in total darkness. Why not try spraying some anti-monster spray around their room as well? Of course, this isn’t really spray that will scare off monsters.  You could just use a spray bottle full of water or a small bottle of calming aromatherapy oils. What your child doesn’t know won’t hurt them.  In this case, it may just help you and your child have a good night’s sleep.  Your child will believe there is no way any monsters will try to come into his room once the spray has been used.

child looking out of a hole

Natural Disasters

If your child is old enough to understand some of the things that they see on the TV, then they might quickly learn about natural disasters.  This could be something that easily panics your child, especially if he or she sees news reports about the aftermath of the disasters.  Your child might start to worry that this could happen to you and your family.

It’s really important that you talk to your children about what they have seen on TV.  You can relieve their fears by explaining that you live in an area where those kinds of natural disasters are rare. You should also explain that, in the event that anything were to happen to you, the emergency services are well-trained and will be able to help out your whole family. Explaining that disasters are very rare is a good strategy to try as well.

Having your child help create a disaster relief kit for your home will also help them feel more prepared.  If they feel prepared, they will inevitably be less frightened.  You will find great ideas on Pinterest or other places on the internet.  Because we live in areas were tornadoes can strike, we have a kit for that type of natural disaster.  Just knowing what to do during a natural disaster will help your child’s fear.

child brushing their teeth


The Dentist

There are lots of children who have a very real fear of going to the dentist. In actual fact, this is one fear that some people don’t grow out of.  There are lots of adults who share this fear as well! If you don’t want your child to be scared of the dentist, you need to start early when they are still babies. Make sure you take them with you when you have your appointments. This gets them used to being in the dentist’s room from a very early age. They will also be able to watch what happens when you are in the dentist’s chair. If you set a good example and your children see that nothing bad happens to you, then they shouldn’t be too scared by the time they need to be examined by the dentist.

Scary News Reports

I’ve already mentioned that hearing about natural disasters could be scary for your children.  That’s not the only news report that could worry them. If they watch the news and see stories about wars, political upheaval, and diseases,  this can scare them needlessly. They  might end up worried about a lot of different events and how these things could have an impact on them. Again, this is something that you should discuss with your child. Simply voicing their opinions can help them feel better. If your child is still quite young, it’s worth turning the news off when they are in the room and shielding them from anything that could cause them a lot of worries. 

These subjects are handled in school as well.  If your special needs child becomes upset by news events, you may want to add this to their IEP.  They could possibly do alternate assignments in lieu of discussing these events.  This is especially important if your child has a past trauma history.  The news could be a trigger for your child.  

child walking with her dad


Separation From Their Parents

Almost every child starts to worry and panic when they are separated from their parents unexpectedly. Even if this has never happened to your child, it could in the future.  You might find that they go through phases where they don’t want to leave your side. They might end up becoming very clingy and even start to cry when you leave them. This may be especially true when you need to leave them at nursery  or babysitter.  This is totally normal.  

Don’t worry that your child will be glued to you forever.  Luckily, there is plenty that can be done to prevent your child developing this kind of separation anxiety. For instance, just saying a very quick goodbye can help prevent too many tears when you leave them anywhere. Teaching them coping songs is also a good idea as well. We used to sing “My Mommy Comes Back” by Baby Songs before going to church nursery. For example, telling them to repeat phrases such as “I am very brave” and “mommy will be back soon” can help them manage whenever they are separated from you.

Things That Go Bump In The Night & Other Common Childhood Fears

Every child has something that they fear.  It’s when these fears begin to creep into the everyday that they can become concerning.  Hopefully, you can help your child overcome their fears with these handy tips!

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