Childhood Fears by Age

As children grow they have different worries and fears. There are common childhood fears that tend to coincide with different stages of development. Below are the most common childhood fears by age.

Great list of common childhood fears divided by age.

As with most things – this list isn’t exhaustive
and some children will have different fears – or will have a fear outside of the common age range.

 

Childhood Fears for AGES: 2-4 years old


Fears around the potty and potty training are common at this age. Read Why I am Afraid to Go Potty for tips on how to conquer this fear.

 

Worried it will hurt to poop
Worried they will fall into the potty
Worried about the sound of the toilet flushing
Worried about bugs coming out of toilet
Worried about getting poop on their hands
Fear of the dark
Fear of closets
Fear of sleeping alone
Fear of thunder
Fear of shadows

Fear of loud noises (vacuum, garbage disposal, garbage truck, fireworks etc.)
Fear of sudden, loud noises
Fear of being separated from a parent
Fear of slides, bounce houses and rope ladders
Fear of people in costumes or wearing masks
Fear of bugs, dogs, birds and other animals
Fear of strangers
Fear of TV shows – even kid’s tv shows with scary themes
Fear of escalators
Fear of getting lost
Fear of water, the bath and/or pools


Childhood Fears for AGES 5-7 years old


Toileting fears can continue at this stage of development:

Worried the toilet will overflow
Worried about bugs coming out of the toilet
Worried it will hurt to poop

Fear of the dark
Fear of what might be under the bed
Fear of monsters, zombies and dinosaurs
Fear of ghosts and the supernatural
Fear of closets and dark cracks (when door is ajar)
Fear of TV shows that are scary
Fear of weather changes (storms, lightening, earthquakes, tornadoes etc.)
Fear of being separated from parent

Fear of teachers who yell or show disappointment in them
Fear of tests (timed math tests, spelling tests etc.)
Fear of peers not liking them
Fear of doctors, dentists, shots and other medical procedures
Fear of escalators and/or elevators
Fear of water and pools
Fear of sudden, loud noises
Fear of bugs, animals and insects

 

OTHER ARTICLES:  What Every Anxious Parent Should Know

Learn the most common worries at each stage of development.

To purchase Infographic click here.


Childhood fears for AGES: 8-11 years old



Fear of dark (this one never seems to go away!)

Fear of closet and dark cracks (when door is ajar)
Fear of ghosts, poltergeists and evil spirits
Fear of bad guys and being hurt or kidnapped
Fear of being home alone
Fear of 5 nights at Freddy’s
Fear of Annabelle, Chucky and other horror movie dolls

Fear of the Bloody Mary folklore – which tends to manifest as a fear of the bathroom
Fear something bad will happen to their parent(s) when they’re not with them
Fear of dying and of loved ones dying
Fear of illness, disease and mystery aches and pains
Fear of school failure (even when they are getting good grades)

Fear of taking tests and doing presentations
Fear of throwing up in public or at school
Fear of being ridiculed by peers
Fear of having no friends
Fear of teachers who yell or show disappointment in them

Fear of disappointing parents
Fear of germs and getting sick
Fear of doctors, dentists, shots and other medical procedures
Fear of some TV shows
Fear of bugs, animals and insects
Fear of heights
Fear of amusement park rides
Fear of elevators
Fear of storms and natural disasters


Childhood fears for AGES: 12-18 years old



Fear of dark (as usual)

Fear of ghosts, poltergeists and evil spirits
Fear of bad guys breaking in, killing them, kidnapping them
Fear that someone is watching them (through window)
Fear of being home alone

Fear of Internet characters like Slender man
Fear of dying and of loved ones dying
Fear something bad will happen to their parent(s) when they’re not with them (car accident etc.)
Fear of disappointing parents
Fear of illness, disease, mystery aches and pains
Fear of throwing up in public or at school
Fear of germs and getting sick
Fear of getting poisoned
Fear of doctors, dentists, shots and other medical procedures
Fear of failure in school (even if they get good grades) or in sports

Fear of taking tests
Fear of school presentations
Fear of being ridiculed by peers
Fear of having no friends
Fear of getting fat, having acne or other image-related worries
Fear of flying
Fear of heights
Fear of amusement park rides
Fear of a fire
Fear of asteroids hitting the earth
Fear of war and terroristic attacks
Fear of weather changes and natural disasters
Fear of being homeless in the future
Fear of car accidents
Fear of school shootings or other mass shootings


Having some fears during each developmental stage is normal. However, if your child is immobilized by fears or it is impeding their daily functioning – it would be a good idea to talk to your pediatrician or a child therapist.

 

OTHER ARTICLES:  PSP 017: Separation Anxiety in Older Kids: It is More Common than You May Think!

image

To purchase Infographic click here.

Additional Support

If you need additional support with anxiety, take a parenting e-course to learn how to teach your child to crush anxiety. Taught by a child therapist, you will be given all the skills to help your child fight back.

design
Do you know an anxious teen? Give them the only self-help book teens are likely to read:Finally a teen anxiety book that teens will want to read!

 

 

Here are some AnxiousToddler.com articles on how to help your child deal with their fears:

5 Things Every Parent Should Know About Child Anxiety

Teach your Child How to Fight Anxiety

Help your Toddler Fight Their Fear of the Dark

Below are other great books on child anxiety on Amazon:

Visit Anxious Toddlers’s profile on Pinterest.

 

37 responses to “Child Therapist’s List of Childhood Fears by Age”

  1. Mary says:

    I would like to get the poster of the “Child Therapist’s List of Top Worries by age. How can I purchase of copy of this?

    Thank you for your great website!!!

  2. Terri Moser, LMFT says:

    Is there a way I can get the PDF of the photo this is saved under on Pinterest? It has a black of a child and children photo with a blue back ground listing this step with arrows going from each section? I want to share it with my parents that I work with on the reservation.

  3. Being a child therapist would not be an easy job at all. A good friend of mine is going to school to be come child psychologist and its a very intense program to be in. Its cool that they are able to determine the fears of most children by their ages and I think that this could help parents with finding ways to properly raise their children.

  4. Karen Richardson says:

    Thank you for sharing your compelling infographic! I’m wondering if you have a list of references for the information about childhood fears.

    • Natasha Daniels says:

      I am glad you like it Karen. All information from my site is based on my clinical experience as a child therapist. For further reference you can read my book How to Parent Your Anxious Toddler – which discusses young children’s fears in detail.

  5. Michele Spirn says:

    This was a very interesting set of lists that I will keep in mind re: my grandchildren. I also recommend these lists to those writing children’s books. Very valuable and informative!

  6. crystal says:

    i see you had 5-7yr old have a fear of zombies, dinosuars , and ghost. What if your 7 yr old is into that stuff instead

  7. Pritam says:

    1st of all I want to say great post. The way you have just written & describe the article is simply amazing. It’s really amazing. Thanks for sharing the great article.

  8. Christina says:

    I’m wondering how much this pertains to anxiety disorders in children? My kindergartner was diagnosed this spring with GAD and specific phobia (anatomy – that is, abodyemigphobia), and I would love to read more about how to help her navigate life with anxiety! (We are doing weekly therapy, too, but I want to do whatever I can, as you might imagine!)
    Thanks in advance!

    • Christina says:

      (I should mention, I’m commenting more about the articles on your website, not so much about THIS particular page. This list isn’t particularly relevant to us! 🙂 )

    • Natasha Daniels says:

      Hi Christina,
      All of my articles on anxiety are relevant to childhood anxiety disorders. That is my primary focus in my child therapy practice and that is what I love to write about. I hope some of the articles help!

    • Jeremy says:

      I’ve suffered from Abodyemigphobia for as long as I can remember. Didn’t know it had a name until I finally got up the nerve to do a search for it. Apparently it’s very rare. I’ve never talked to a doctor about the problem. It doesn’t affect me too much, as long as no one brings up veins, blood organs cuticles etc in conversation. I feel my veins in my wrist, my heart and other stuff. It’s actually hard to type all this and for a long time I couldn’t write the word blood or veins in school and have it look like the rest of my writing…that being said, movie gore doesn’t bother me, i guess because I know it’s not real.

      • Natasha Daniels says:

        Thanks so much for sharing your worry Jeremy. I am sure there is someone else out there who is suffering with the same fear. This could help them identify what it is…thank you! I hope your fear gets less debilitating.

  9. larissa says:

    Wow, who knew there were so many fears involved with different ages! Having a list like this at hand is definitely important when it comes to dealing with anxious kids! Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. […] way to differentiate common worries from anxiety is the context of the worry. If a child is going to do a presentation the next day and she is feeling nervous about going to […]

  11. Sabrina Barbeau says:

    Do you have or know of any resources I can look into about helping a child with anxiety when you have anxiety as well?

  12. Christina says:

    This is a very detailed list of fears that children endure in different stages of development. With this knowledge, professionals and parents can be better prepared to help their children.

  13. Brian says:

    I feel like some of these worries never go away, even in adulthood! But conquering the smaller fears as a child makes the bigger ones easier to deal with later on in life. Thanks for sharing! I really liked the info graphic.

  14. Heather says:

    It’s amazing to see how many worries and fears remain consistent over time in a child’s life. That’s why it’s so important for parents to squash those fears in healthy, productive ways before they can manifest into full-blown phobias. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Aaron C. says:

    It’s interesting to see what phobia’s carry over into adult hood. Thanks for writing!

  16. Fritz Chery says:

    Fear is a huge killer of joy. I’ve noticed that as we age we grow a fear for hopes that haven’t happened yet such as having kids, getting married, fulfilling our dreams, etc. This is the best infographic that I have seen so far.

  17. Anna Stone says:

    I loved your post and info-graphics! This is one of those little details that make parenthood easier to handle! Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.