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6 Year old scared of everything

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have a 6 year old who is scared of everything. It all started around Halloween when he stayed with my parents and watched a movie that scared him. Now I have to check the bathroom before he goes in there. He refuses to sleep in his own room by himself. I know he is honest to goodness scared and when we talk about it he says, 'I know ghosts and witches aren't real but I am still scared of them.' I thought if I waited it out it would get better but it has not. Has anyone dealt with this and how did you deal with it? Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 10
I think there is something developmental going on at this age. My 6 year old is the same way.

We are just reassuring her she is safe, supporting her when she needs needs reassurance, and we have worked out a way for us all to fit into the family bed (she had been out for about 6 months prior).

I will admit to getting frustrated when she has asked me for the 100th time in one day if she is going to throw up (we all had a nasty stomach virus right when her fears started and she's fixated ) or when she refuses to go into the bathroom until I turn the light on.

Things are sloooooly getting better.
post #3 of 10
The less attention you give these "fears," the faster they'll go away. Pretty much at this point, your child has probably figured out that being afraid gets lots of attention from you, because of course you're being a nice mommy. But I would say, "Well, gee,....how about a nice game of checkers?" Just pay zero attention to the fears, which are mostly or totally fake anyway (even though they might seem real to you or even to your child), and let your child work through the feelings without your help. There is nothing to be gained by feeding the "fear" with attention. Nothing.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by freestyler View Post
The less attention you give these "fears," the faster they'll go away. Pretty much at this point, your child has probably figured out that being afraid gets lots of attention from you, because of course you're being a nice mommy. But I would say, "Well, gee,....how about a nice game of checkers?" Just pay zero attention to the fears, which are mostly or totally fake anyway (even though they might seem real to you or even to your child), and let your child work through the feelings without your help. There is nothing to be gained by feeding the "fear" with attention. Nothing.
I tend to agree. I'd acknowledge, as in saying, "You know _____ isn't real and you don't really have to worry about it," and then move on. I wouldn't go around turning on lights or checking the bathroom or whatever; that just gives the impression that there's actually something to fear.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by freestyler View Post
The less attention you give these "fears," the faster they'll go away. Pretty much at this point, your child has probably figured out that being afraid gets lots of attention from you, because of course you're being a nice mommy. But I would say, "Well, gee,....how about a nice game of checkers?" Just pay zero attention to the fears, which are mostly or totally fake anyway (even though they might seem real to you or even to your child), and let your child work through the feelings without your help. There is nothing to be gained by feeding the "fear" with attention. Nothing.
What? The feelings seem real to the OP and more importantly her child but they are fake? That makes no sense. By that logic all feelings are fake, since they can only seem real to the person feeling it.

Let your child work through them with out help? Really? Isn't that what parenting is? Helping you kids work through things that are a little to big for them to handle?

I find this post to be very...well...harsh? Non AP? Cold?

As a kid, I too had very intense feeling, dreams, fears at this age. My parents had a an "It's not real, buck up." attitude and I had lingering fears into early adulthood. And my fears were not "real" My rational mind new that a monster would not be coming out of the closet when I was in my teens, but the fear was still there and it was real enough to keep me up at night.

There is very real research out there that supports the idea that attachment and support actually help kids move through developmental phases better and more completely.
post #6 of 10
When my dd was 7 she saw something on tv about ghosts and then picked up a book at school about aliens... oh my, she was afraid to walk through the house by herself - we had to stand in the doorway while she used the bathroom. We tend to go with the past of least resistance and ended up letting her sleep in our room (we had a newborn in there, too) for a long time. I got frustrated quite often, but over time it *did* get better ~ the fears were very real to her, she was terrified.

Over time we came up with some bargains --- when I knew her fears were lessening but she just needed the confidence to be in a room by herself, I let her work towards a treat. Something like, *use the bathroom by yourself 10 times* and we'll pick out a book at the bookstore. It helped.

Hang in there! Give lots of hugs!!
post #7 of 10

Yes, all one can do is hang in there and keep trying all they can to get the fear out of the kid. I have a 7 yr old who fears to go to the bathroom or stay all by herself in a room. She needs an adult all the time around her. Funny as it may sound, she asks her 4 yr old sister to accompany her to the bathroom. And yes, she sleeps in the same bedroom with us. I challenged her with a prize of $50 if she over comes her fears of going to the bathroom without anyone or moves into the room( we live in an apartment complex - not a big or huge one) all by herself for a week. Its been 2 weeks, but still no sign of it. She kind of wants to get the $50 to add to her piggybank, but she is not seriously attempting to meet the challenge. I am encouraging her, but there seems to be something lacking. I also borrowed some books to encourage her on how to get rid of the fears, but nothing happened. I advised her to talk to me loud while she used the bathroom, or carry a stuffy with her to the bathroom, still did not work.

I am concerned that the 4 year old who is lot different will try to follow her older sister.

post #8 of 10

My six year old ds is going through this too. He had a nightmare three nights ago and has been positively glued to my side ever since. His fears are very real to the point of intense crying if I even remotely try to dismiss his feelings. I don't want to feed into the fears by any means, but I will be there for him and comfort him all I can . I have told him that dreams are stories our imaginations tell us while we are sleeping, and that they are not real at all, to which he replied "They were real to me and I am scared!" He wants me to accompany him to the bathroom, sit next to him at dinner, he will follow me out to do the morning chores, and has said that he will not let me out of his sight ever again. I have one worried little boy and I think that pushing him away or dismissing his feelings will only have the opposite effect than I am looking for as in making him feel like he can't count on me to be there when he needs me and as far as I am concerned, that is just unacceptable. So I guess I will hug him, and reassure him and try to redirect him to more positive activities. I am kinda trying to figure out the right thing to do in this situation myself so I would be interested to hear what others have to say. I feel for you and wish you luck smile.gif
 

post #9 of 10

my kids are generally NOT fearful. if on the once in a while time they express fear of going into a dark part of the house to retrieve something for example, and they cannot reach a light to turn on for themselves, i simply tell them that i will stand right here and i will count to five (or whatever number, i count slowly and calibrate my speed to their speed so that they always hear my voice). that way they know i'm "with" them, but i don't have to *accompany* them, and they know it is a small trip of limited duration. you can do it, it only takes until "the count of five." 

 

works for me.

post #10 of 10

Give him an empty spray-bottle and tell him it's "ghosts and witches spray."  Have him "spray" it under his bed, in his closet, etc.  Worked wonders for my ds. (oh, now I see this is an old thread.  I hate it when that happens!)  

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