Baffling as such developments may be to parents, this age of flourishing imagination is essential to a child’s well-being. Unfettered fantasy is the magical language of childhood: It helps the youngster adjust to the demands and frustrations of the real world by sheltering him from it. More importantly, it gives him the daring to explore. And imagining what can be is the first step toward true creativity – that uniquely human gift that your child will carry with him always.
Fears big and small are a universal fact of early childhood – probably unavoidable even for the securest of children. Your youngster may voice anxieties as farfetched as “Are monsters real, Mommy?” or as logical as “Will the doctor give me a shot?” The thing to remember is that any worry, however silly it may seem to a grownup, can be quite real and utterly daunting to a young child. As you offer your youngster reassurance and comfort at such times, you should try to do so without using the words “There’s nothing to be afraid of.” To the child, there certainly is.
Many common childhood fears, such as the fear of strangers and fear of the toilet, result from developmental changes and therefore appear at certain ages. These fears wax and wane and sometimes reappear at later stages, but in general, children simply outgrow them. By and large, if you let your child know that strong and loving adults are watching out for his welfare, this will provide the security he needs to overcome the passing fears of childhood.