Our 5 year old is now in the full throes of preschool fears and phobias! Now her current worries are tornadoes and airplane crashes. She worries and obsesses over a tornado “getting” her(esp. as her bedroom’s on the 3rd floor of the house) and that I’ll “forget” to rescue her,and asks “What does a plane crash look like?” and seesm pre-occupied that *I* will die in a plane crash when I leave for my Holy Land trip in 8 days, despite my reassurring her I have flown in over 35 planes and have never had ,or seen,a crash,and that tornadoes are not likely something she’d even see in her lifetime….(the closest I came was one was in a town 30 min. away)
It’s hard to “cure” a preschool fear, no matter how irrational. In the child’s mind, it is entirely likely and overwhelming, as they hear news reports of bad happenings and realize the world is fraught with dangers beyond their control and can be a frightening place. Now she’s afraid to be up in her room at night unless someone else’s up on the same floor with her,yet no amount of reassuring seems to convince her she’s safe.
I remember my childhood fears well: for me it wasn’t the typical monster in your closet or the Boogeyman; for me it was rabid dogs hiding under my bed, waiting to pounce and devour me(stemming from the fact that I really DID see 2 rabid dogs fighting in my schoolyard as a kid, with blood all over the snow and we were called quickly off the playground and hustled back into the building at recess) I was convinced they were hiding under my bed,and as soon as I stepped down beside it they would grab me by my ankles and pull me under….so I flicked off the light at the other end of the room and took a flying leap, diving across the room, into my bed to avoid being eaten. I also remember fears of fire and earthquakes.(Interestingly enough I was in a major fire, but only mild earthquakes as an adult)
Adulthood is filled with many various fears and worries as well, even more real and terrifying than childhood ones: real-life dangers lurk such as muggers and rapists, killers, pedophiles, kidnappers,terrorism,losing your children, diseases,early deaths of loved ones,natural disasters,accidents, war, famine,genocide,poverty,gov’t authorities with limitless and unchecked power to destroy, invade, trample on rights and freedoms of citizens, and corrupt, and so on; the list goes on,and I am by nature a “worrier” and fear wraps itself around me and refuses to let go; it takes hold as it walks beside me, strangling me, smothering me with fearful thoughts and worries, a myriad of terrifying ‘What-if’s” and renders me helpless and panic-stricken and all I can do is to cry out to God to ease me of the burden of fear, anxiety,and worry; like a loving Father He comforts me and restores my peace of mind, reassuring me He is always near, loving and protecting me ad keeping me safe,like how I comfort my preschooler with her worries and fears.She and I are not so different,afterall.We can comfort eachother. 🙂