Top Toddler Fears—and How to Conquer Them!
Learn what tops the list of the scariest stuff for young children and how you can use playtime to conquer those worries
Why kids fear it: Cognitively, young toddlers cannot yet fully understand the relativity of size. So, if the water can go down the drain, kids under 2 see no reason why their own arms, fingers, toes, and belly can’t follow! Plus, the loud gurgling sound can be startling or scary and highlight the loss of all of that water and potentially themselves next.
As toddlers begin to understand the size of their bodies relative to the drain their fear will diminish. Toilets (especially loud public ones) present an even bigger version of the drain. Imagine what the swirling water could look like to a young toddler who simply understands that the movement’s purpose is to whisk things away.
What parents can do: Start off with a smaller drain when your child is not in the bathtub. Allow your toddler to play with toys in a sink, then demonstrate at the end that the toys still stay in when the water drains. During bathtime, avoid draining the tub while your toddler is sitting in the bath. Offer reassurance when she is afraid, but don’t be surprised if she doesn’t believe you when you say she can’t go down the drain.
What not to do: Never force your toddler to face her fear of the drain. She really believes she could go down that drain! With some sensitivity and pacing, your child will outgrow and master this fear.
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