Home Psychology What Children Worry About, Based On Their Age

What Children Worry About, Based On Their Age


Adults are not the only one with problems. Children struggle with fears and worries all the time. And therapists have divided their fears based on their age and their stage of development.

But, first let’s look into the question, “Why do children worry?”

As any parent would tell you, all children have different temperaments. Some are more anxious, some are criers, while others are calm and peaceful.

Anxiety is something that can interfere with the child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. It could be defined as a state of an extreme worry.

Children are anxious, and they worry because as their brain develops, they are trying to interpret many external factors such as their environment, the people, the things, the places… Plus, they are not able to cope with their anxiety until after adolescence.  

But, what things make children worry?

Below is a list of the children’s biggest fears and the meaning behind them according to their age.

INFANTS & TODDLERS (0-2 years old)

External ‘Locus of Control’ – When your kid starts to take their first steps, they begin to experience the exciting feeling of independence. So, they feel a heightened need for control over their environment. The things that they can’t control (a burst of thunder, or a honking car) are frightening.

Loud Noises – The baby’s brain is extremely sensitive to sensations. A loud noise immediately overloads their brain and sends it into high alert.

Being Separated from Their Parents – Infants (up until they are 8-10 months) think that what they can’t see just vanished. When their parents are temporarily gone the child things that they are gone forever.


People in Costume – Children are not comfortable with the things they don’t know and are unfamiliar to them. Imagine what a giant man in a colorful costume with a big red nose will do to their young mind.

Fear of the Dark/ Being Alone at Night – Children have a difficult time separating reality from fantasy. If a kid associated darkness with something bad and scary, then they will be scared every time a light goes off.


Being Home Alone – Even though they are much older, young kids are still afraid of facing the world without their mom and dad.

Something Bad Happening to Those They Love – They start to understand the concept of death, so they fear the death of someone that they care about.

Being Rejected – When they are starting to see all the big world that is out there, it is normal that they worry about the image that they present to it. And rejection is something that they fear to face.

ADOLESCENTS (12+ years old)

Their Grades – With their understanding of the concepts of success and failure and the development of their competitive nature, they fear low grades of performance and failure.

Their Image – This is a period when they start asking the question, “Who am I? What’s my worth?” They feel worthy only if they are socially accepted by their friends and classmates.

Opening Up to You – Adolescents want to feel independent. Also, they fear that if they open up to you and are being honest you might judge them.

Do you have something else to add?

Image: Archi@

Mary Wright


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