Monday, August 8, 2011

3 year old fears

Has anyone else experienced sudden new fears with a 3 year old?  I don't know if it's just his age, or that he has discovered that the world can be scary - or that he likes the attention he gets when he acts scared...

How do you deal with preschooler fears?

His current fears:
The tree house next door (there is no tree house next door and to my knowledge, Monkey has never been in a tree house) - this one surfaces at night.
The lion at the zoo (totally legit - he was close to the glass by the sleeping lion and it sat up and startled him)
The giraffe at the zoo - BIG animal
The alligator at the zoo - big share teeth and claws
Fire trucks

His fears surface as he experiences things - he was never afraid of trains before we tried to ride the one at the zoo today.  The fire truck fear started on July 4 when we went to a parade.  The animals have crept in as we've seen them at the zoo (both the giraffe and lion happened on Saturday this week).



  1. Gracie is terrified of the dark, and storms... Her body trembles, and she gets a look on her face like I have never seen before....

    So I don't really dismiss her fears, but we have brief discussions about what she ISN'T afraid of, and by the time we're done, she's generally calmed down enough for me to explain that she really isn't afraid, she's just unsure.. She used to freak out if I had the weather channel on, even if it wasn't raining or storming.. Now she can watch it with me and doesn't react -- only if she wakes up to a storm.... As far as the dark, I'm still working on that... 3 is a hard age... good luck!!!!!
    Jessica V.

  2. Storms, I forgot about storms. I think we're past that one now, but it was the first thing that he was very afraid of

  3. Try reading books with friendly animal characters in them. Richard Scarry has nothing but animals! There are also books about mother animals caring for there little ones in the wild - it may show him that they don't just go around eating little boys, you know?
    As for the firetruck & train - they can both be very loud. Maybe next time you are around them, bring some earplugs. I always have a kids'-sized pair in the bag when we go out for my little guy. Plus, maybe find some DVDs about them at the library. The "Lots & Lots of..." series (just fill in the blank - trucks, trains, firetrucks, etc.) is one of my son's favorites.
    The treehouse? Maybe he saw a commercial or something on TV. There's also the magic treehouse books - maybe even a book cover scared him. Is he able to recall what makes him afraid?
    My little one isn't afraid of anything at all. Our problem is too much confidence. He's not yet 3 and he's willing to head off to the store or library on his own, tries to pet woodchucks and skunks, etc. Worries me that he's going to get himself seriously hurt. I hate saying this, but I really hope he get a little fear into himself soon!

  4. Great ideas, I'll definitely try them. We'll put some animal books on reserve for our next library trip this week (not sure if that will be Thursday or Friday).

    He'd never had any fears until a couple of months ago when he realized that thunder was loud. We've worked through that one and I imagine we'll make it through the others also. we don't want him to be afraid, we want him to be wise!