“Mommy!! Monsters are under my bed!!” Our creative and knowledge hungry preschoolers are constantly exploring, being exposed to new things and developing new skills. All of these exciting and new things are wonderful for development and can encourage a very active imagination.
However, these new things, ideas and images, combined with an active imagination can create fear and anxiety. Fears and anxiety in preschoolers are completely normal and can take anywhere from six- twelve months for them to be overcome.
Typically, your child’s fear will fit into one of these three categories:
1) Specific Things- spiders, the dark, monsters in the room, the neighbor’s dog etc.
2) New Situations- new daycare, new people, new events etc..
3) Being Hurt- covering their “boo-boos,” being embarrassed when they receive even minor scrap or cut.
Some children will immediately vocalize to you or another adult what they are feeling fearful of, whereas other children might be less vocal. If you notice your child having difficulty sleeping, sleeping too much, backtracking on potty training or a sudden increase of aggressive behavior these can be signs that a child is experiencing a new fear or feeling of anxiety.