Following a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, irrational fears may develop in which some particular thing or situation evokes great anxiety to the point of panic, and is, therefore, strongly avoided. The child may become afraid of beds, his house, or darkness.

A younger child may explain that imaginary monsters are threatening him. An older child may be afraid to go to school or even to leave his home. Reassurance to the younger child regarding monsters can be done by words, explanations, pointing out to the child the difference between his fantasy and reality.

With school phobias (refusal to go to school), it is essential to see to it that the child gets to school. In this instance, firmness is necessary and the child should know that you do expect him to attend school. The teacher or the school counselor can be of help to you.