Fears appears, usually, after the first year of life.
Being afraid to the unknown is universal.
"Separation anxiety" appears at 8 months if parents haven't trained the child that they desappear. Some training examples are: leave the room and return again, play hide and seek, and allow the child to be in contact with other people.
Toddlers between 1 and 1 1/2 years old are afraid of the new situations. objects or toys too big or that make strange noises, unknown people that want to touch them, and even playful cubs that can make them fall. Help the kids to get use to animals -without pressure- until they get enough confidence, but always be around to avoid the animal to push and make the kids fall down.
Kids are afraid of doctors because of shots. It is a good idea to hold the child when he is going to be vaccinated and do this at the end of the doctor's visit. If you want, you can give the kid a candy immediately after.
Being afraid of the dark is frequent. To avoid it, reassure the kid everytime is taken to bed, say nice words to confort him, and leave a small light besides the bed. When children are teething, they can awake in the middle of the night because of the pain and, if the place is dark, they can associate pain and darkness.
When parents are scared, they can transmit this to their kids wiyhout even noticing. Remember that kids learn by imitation and repetition.
While the child is growing it has to confront new challenges that will produce anxiety and fear. He/she needs to learn to tolerate his/her parents absence when:
Mom gets out and leaves him..
When he/she should sleep alone.
When the children should stay with other people that are not their parents.
When he/she should go to a day care.
Children need to control anger, jealousy. They need to control sphincters, they realize that other kids may have more abilities than they have... They know parents are expecting a lot from them... All of these things generate fears.
It is a lot what a kid learn in one year. We should understand if they feel afraid or anger. These are ways to manifest his/her tension produced for intense learning.
Extract from: "enseña y aprende" ("Teach and learn")
Author: Beatriz Manrique.
Reproduced with author permission