Why is a 3-4 year old in this much distress? It's because the adults in his life let it happen. He was told more than his little life could handle.
I was in the market in the evening three days after the Presidential election took place. Small groups of adults were huddled together, some tearfully describing how they "heard" how Trump was planning to put Muslims and gays in internment camps and that their children were afraid. I wanted to shake them and ask them "how" and "why" their children knew this stuff. May I say that later I learned from the internet that Martin O'Malley made these statements? Incredibly irresponsible on everyone's part.
On television and radio and from the conversation I overheard at the grocery store, children are concerned about being put into "tents" and taken from their families. Children should not even be considering these traumatic events. Do these parents have no boundaries? Their job is to protect their children. No matter WHAT is going on and no matter how much stress parents are experiencing, children are not to know of it. Keep it to yourselves.
They can't possibly understand why father is having an affair, what bankruptcy is and they don't understand the national debt, the collapse of the economy or diseases and disorders that ravage family members and friends.
One of the higher ranking firefighters arrived, in full uniform and performed an inspection. The home had minor exposures such as no hard-wired smoke alarms and they did not have an escape plan in place. The changes were made; the family had regular fire escape drills and her issues were resolved.
Parents took her concerns seriously and addressed them in age-appropriate ways.
Remember how tiny they really are even if they're bodies are not. They have a different relationship with the world than you have and what you "brush" off, they take it, ruminate and worry about it and it erodes their souls, senses of confidence, competence, security and safety.
Children of all ages are wonderful observers of the world, but lousy interpreters of it. Let your shoulders carry the burden, not theirs.
Just do the best you can.