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2 years
Mon fils a 2 ans il a commencé a avoir peur d'un acteur sur la tv quand il le voit il commence a crier et son coeur bat rapidement je ne sait pas comment reagir en face de sa reaction que doisje faire
Jun 24, 2015

Dr. Zakia Dimassi Pediatrics
Your child's sudden fear of this particular TV character may very be just another instance of the many unexplained and passing quirks of childhood. This is indeed a common phenomenon at this age. Though you may not really know what exactly triggered it, it is usually explained by a new developmental awareness of his environment, or some change in family routine.

Babies and young toddlers have an underdeveloped sense of the past or future; they live in the present and are easily distracted from something unpleasant. But between the ages of 2 and 3 years, children begin to have their own little worries. Around that age period, children’s imagination starts widening up. Inevitably, this is accompanied by new fears setting in, because children would be having a hard time distinguish between reality and fantasy.

Almost anything in the child’s surrounding can frighten him/her at this stage: monsters, animals, loud noises, even the bathtub. Fear is a normal feeling that happens to children; children and toddlers develop various fears that usually come and go, and are typically inconsequential. Some
frights will pass in a few days, while others can persist for a year or more. In few instances, however, they may interfere with the child's life, such as preventing him from engaging in the regular activities, or produce significant stress for him or you, in which case it becomes necessary to intervene and work on them. This is done by teaching kids to actively face their fears.

How to deal with your toddler’s fears?

Take his fear seriously. Let him know that it's okay to be scared. Approach him by saying something like: "That man suddenly appeared on TV and scared you. You didn't like that."

Take the lead. Show him a behavior that makes him feel safe dealing with that TV character, such as touching the actor’s face on the screen and smiling.

Teach him how to overcome his fear. Fear is all about loss of control. Help your child take control again by talking to him about what he can do that will make him feel less frightened.

Practice, again and again and again. Gently persuade him to follow baby steps. Start exposing your child to a photo of the face of that actor “in small doses”. Once he shows signs of comfort, invite him to watch you or an older sibling watching that character on TV. Eventually, he should be able to watch that character on TV with ease. Maybe he can just stand near the character and ave. Each step will boost his confidence and make the next step even easier. 

Praise him as much as you can. Facing fears can be demanding on your child. To promote progress, give your son plenty of positive feedback, and maybe tangible rewards, such as allowing him to choose a new toy.

Try to see things through his eyes. Children typically feel anger along with fear. So you need to be patient. You can also emphasize to him that being brave is an even better way to get your attention.