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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My six year old had a horrible nightmare last week (Thank you Shel Silverstein) and is still obsessing over it. She is seriously freaked out all the time that her mom and dad and brother will be killed...by a purple snake. Or a lightbulb head.

She has never, ever had problems before with separating real from nonreal; so I think it's an underlying anxiety issue about separation and her new baby brother?

She's having a hard time getting through the day without some serious anxiety and tears. We've tried journaling, drawing, recognizing where she got the scary images from (purple snake - shel silverstein, lightbulb head - in her Magic School Bus "Electricity" book). But she seems totally freaked out by it and keeps thinking well, rather unrealistic thoughts like monsters are looking at her through electrical outlets, etc.

She's had some serious death phobia since she was about 3, but never like this. I know she has a vivid imagination. And uh, I can tend to get worried about things myself, but I have my coping techniques (above) which don't seem to be helping her much. We've tried being empathetic, working through it many different ways...her dad is wondering if it's an elaborate attention-getting situation, but I don't think so...but I don't know for sure.

It's worrying AND annoying. Help. I'm worrying about her worrying!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by MissRubyandKen
. She also didn't want to go anywhere alone in the house for about 2 mos. But it did drift away and I haven't heard about tailypo since! I don't think you described the particular behavior you are dealing with? And has she only had the nightmare once? I know for my dd when she has even one nightmare about something she can get very anxious right before she goes to sleep because she is worried about the possiblity of having it again. So she would want to talk about it every night as well. And then I would veer the conversation gradually away from it with reminders that I was right there and she was safe in her home with her family. Don't underestimate the soothing effect of 'I'm here, everythings alright'!!!!
Yes, that sounds like you're pretty much describing the situation. Also, you too Wolfmeis. She's had the death phobia since her grandma died when she was three. I know that elementary age is usually when new anxieties start cropping up, but yes, it is irritating.

Today is a little better than yesterday, so maybe there is hope...we can try doing a lot more reassurances, esp at night. It does sound like platitudes, you're right - but still - maybe saying it enough times does help eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good idea, Mata...we'll try it tonight...

ETA: She and my husband flushed them down the toilet, which apparently was amusing and relieving. Thanks for the great tip!
 
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