Childhood Fears

In this episode: A worried mom asks Janet what she can do to guide and support her 2-year-old daughter through an irrational fear.


Please share your comments and questions. I read them all and respond to as many as time will allow.

  1. Hi Janet! My two year old has had a fear of balloons for about 6 months now, and so many family events feature balloons (not at my own house of course). If the balloons are secured to an arch or something, she can simply avoid getting close but sometimes they are bouncing around on the floor and her cousins start playing with them and my daughter, when she sees these freely moving balloons, starts screaming and kicking and seems in total panic mode. She has told me that she remembers her cousin popped a balloon once, and I am guessing that is where the fear comes from. This cousin, who’s also two, loves balloons and has a fit if I try to put them away. I want to let my daughter process her fear but I also don’t think it’s fair to leave her screaming in fear in front of the whole extended family; I would rather let her process at home in more privacy. We (me and the 2 year old cousins mom) have tried to ask the cousins to just pick one room to be the “balloon room” so my daughter can easily avoid that room, but the other toddlers have trouble following that so when nobody is playing with them I just hide them away. I don’t want to be enabling or giving power to my daughters fear, but I just don’t want to make her have to do all that processing at a big family event. What are your suggestions? Thank you!!

  2. Lisa Bowles says:

    Hi Janet
    I have a nearly 6 year old boy who is very sensitive to noise. All of a sudden he is petrified of wind. The noise, the thought of tornadoes and even a slight breeze and he won’t go outside. Is this something rhat will pass or how do I deal with his fears. I’m finding g myself getting anxious if it’s bad weather or windy.

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