I have a three and a half year old boy. We have been going to this theme park for years, he has gone on all of the rides which are age appropriate since a little more than one without any sign of fear. Today he has been completely different. He won't do anything, he breaks down into uncontrollable screaming when we get close. He won't even walk by the adult rides, he says they are "too scary". He doesn't want to watch the Sesame Street characters. Is this the normal way fear develops in children, or is it possibly a sensory issue? (There were children yelling excitedly, maybe too much stimulation?)
And, what should I do or not do?
We were able to distract him in line by keeping him busy, and he went on some of the ride he was on last year. Afterwards we asked him if they were scary and he said "no". We didn't push the issue with the rides he has never been on before, because we didn't know how he would react. When approaching the adult ride (one in particular) we would wait till it stopped before walking past. On many occasions he asked for his headphones (which we provided). It was a jarring experience for us because his reaction was so different to when he was younger, in fact he has done the same things at a younger age with absolutely no sign of fear, and we were scared of pushing him too hard and introducing significant stress.