My 4-yr old grandson has become fearful about imagery suggested in his gym class. Also, he often counts to 4 during the day. Should we be concerned?
As a retired early childhood teacher, i would probably reassure the parents, do some research, and check in with my school psychologist if this were my student. but since this is my grandchild, and his mom, my daughter, has asked my advice, i am more involved emotionally. he becomes frightened and leaves the class, usually during the warm up or wrap up when the recorded voice or teacher suggests that the children imagine something slightly scary such as a bear in the woods, other large wild animals, or uses a big scary voice. he has a vivid imagination and communicates/plays well, so i am thinking this is normal. this started after his baby sister was born a year ago; the pregnancy was very difficult for his mom. what do you think and any suggestions for helping him? also, is the counting normal? any suggestions if not?
Being afraid of big animals or other scary things is normal at this age. If your grandson achieves all developmental milestones and thrives emotionally, I do not see a reason for concern. Perhaps you could have a word with the teacher to suggest implementation of other, meaning less scary, techniques to help children with their warm up or wrap up. Fear motivates only a few! As to the counting, try not to pay attention to it for a while. However, if that continues or intensifies, advise the mom to discuss it with the child's health care provider at the next well visit.