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<p>DD will be 3 in Feb. and has recently developed a huge fear of costumed people.  At a festival this summer there were clowns there and she went absolutely ape-sh$t.  I tried distracting her, going to another area, talking about it, avoiding it, going back to the clowns, everything.  She could not be talked down from the hysteria, which lasted quite awhile.  So we left.  The same thing happened yesterday when we saw Santa.</p>
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<p>I'm really torn on how to handle this, and other fears in general.  I know all of this is a phase, but how do I handle it when it's happening?  It doesn't feel right to leave a situation right away if she starts crying and being scared, because I want her to see that it's OK, but I also don't want to make it worse by keeping her somewhere she is truly afraid of.</p>
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<p>What do you do??</p>
 
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