Practically every child is afraid of something -- for my little girls, it's the mean-looking dog next door. But new research suggests that once kids reach preschool age, they shift from having momentary fears -- like feeling scared when they hear the dog barking -- to worrying about things even in the absence of an immediate threat. "We used to think that children younger than 7 didn't have enough awareness to worry about what was going to happen in the future," says study author Kristin Hansen Lagattuta, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. "Now, we know that's absolutely not the case."
So don't be surprised if your child suddenly seems more anxious and fearful than usual. Help ease her mind by teaching her to manage these common fears.