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 Post subject: Fear
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:59 am
Posts: 893
Location: Cloud 9
My 9-year-old son has terrible problems with fear. He is terrified of being upstairs/downstairs on his own. Props the door open when he cleans his teeth. Won't sleep in his own room & creeps in with us most nights. Even noises like the lavatory flushing can turn him into a blubbering wreck.

He has always been afraid of 'monsters' and from a very early age had complete hysterics over innocuous episodes of "Oakey Doke" or even Teletubbies! He cannot watch Dr Who or anything with werewolves, zombies or monsters of any kind.

He dreads bedtime and has started to put himself down. "I hate being me" , "Why am I so stupid?" etc.

Should I get him some outside help? Anyone had any similar experiences?

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Fear
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
Charlotte67 wrote:
My 9-year-old son has terrible problems with fear. He is terrified of being upstairs/downstairs on his own. Props the door open when he cleans his teeth. Won't sleep in his own room & creeps in with us most nights. Even noises like the lavatory flushing can turn him into a blubbering wreck.

He has always been afraid of 'monsters' and from a very early age had complete hysterics over innocuous episodes of "Oakey Doke" or even Teletubbies! He cannot watch Dr Who or anything with werewolves, zombies or monsters of any kind.

He dreads bedtime and has started to put himself down. "I hate being me" , "Why am I so stupid?" etc.

Should I get him some outside help? Anyone had any similar experiences?

Thanks


Hi Charlotte67,

Have sent you a PM, partly from DS. To me the fear is normal but exaggerated, the self put downs are more worrying.

Do a web search and try a few strategies, if you do not feel confident with that that then seek help.

Many children have similar challenges but parents do not like to talk about it. :cry:

You are on the right track and doing something about it. :) :)

stevew61


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:35 pm
Posts: 609
Dear charlotte,sorry to hear of your DS fears, I'm sure that they are just exagerrated normal ones! My DD nearly fell down the stairs tonight, as she was so busy trying to make sure she shook the towel hard enough to shake all the huge spiders out! (there was one, once about 2 years ago and it was tiny!)

My DS,now 16,used to have fears almost on the scale of yuor son's.I think you should try to play his fears down,without belittling them and reassure him that he'll get through it, and that he's safe.

Maybe you could do some research on "clever" make up that shows how people "become" zombies! Some kids have really vivid imaginations,and this may stand him in good stead for creative writing a bit later on.
Don't know if that will make any difference but I wish you and him well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:59 am
Posts: 893
Location: Cloud 9
Thank you guys! I'm probably just overreacting to the current episode. As I mentioned before, he has always had problems but we have recently taken a step backwards. DD is the opposite and enjoys winding him up and DH has little patience.

It is extremely distressing to see the blind terror on his eyes as he begs for help - this sounds like an exaggeration, but unfortunately is not. Like all parents I guess I want an instant fix.

Just helps to 'talk' sometimes...

Will have a search on the web Steve.

Thanks again!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:40 pm
Posts: 226
Location: surrey
Dear Charlotte,
I'm sorry to read about your son, I guess I've had similar probs with mine, but to a much lesser degree. He only gets nervous after tv programmes that are scarey etc etc. He is 11 and prefers lights on, checking under beds etc.
I would agree that the self put downs are more of a worry and I would get advice from your doctor if I were you.
Is he having any problems at school? Chance of being bullied or teased? Sometimes these things can affect kids in strange ways.
Sorry if I going down the completely wrong path, just a thought.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:59 am
Posts: 893
Location: Cloud 9
Thanks Melinda. He has had problems with low self-esteem and anxiety and saw a lady at school a couple of times. She said to make sure he receives lots of praise & not to allow him to back out of situations / stop doing things / shrink his world until it feels comfortable as it would spiral smaller and smaller.

Hard to explain this to new teachers each year as outwardly he's such a confident, articulate & mature young man.

I think she visits the junior school too so will look her up again.

Thanks for your help. Feel much better now! I don't want to take up anymore of anyone's time so please feel free to ignore this thread now!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:18 am
Posts: 4083
How can we ignore you, OBABO?? :lol:


My younger kiddo used to be worried about dark corners and shadows when he was about 8. I don't know where he got this irrational fear from as we never watched/read anything remotely inappropriate for his age.

There was a particular big shadow on the stairs from the stair post that used to worry him. We couldn't remove it for obvious reasons and I used to talk to the shadow and it would 'talk back' in a funny voice (it was me of course!!)

Every time we went up and down the stairs on many a winter's night, the Stair Monster would squeak and giggle and te11 us tales and ask us how we were and where we were going and what we were going to fetch.

In the end, kiddo could see his fear was indeed irrational as a shadow cannot talk, let alone be a friendly,nosy monster. He got over the fear slowly and the biggest breakthrough was when he went off to prepare for bed without Mum or Dad going along as we11 and saying goodnight to the Stair Monster.

We would also go around the house looking at corners.
I would ask him who he thought lived there and what they looked like and we'd give them names and funny voices and laughed with the pretend monsters who were lurking and tell them off for making me55es and being noisy. We sometimes leave his favourite toys in the dark corners to keep the monsters entertained. It was a11 a game and he hardly remembers it now.

It is very normal to have these fears but as stevew61 said, they are very exaggerated. Acknowledging them and not belittling them is the first step. Dealing with them wi11 be the way forward but how you do that wi11 depend on your child.

Desensitising him by exposure to the fears is only one method. Confronting and humanising the 'monsters' le55en the terrors but in the case of your son, it might need more than simple rea55urances as he seems to have 'suffered' from a young age.

I agree that avoiding situations can exacerbate problems and helping him to tackle the fears will give him a better chance of actually getting rid of the fears.

Quote:
She said to make sure he receives lots of praise & not to allow him to back out of situations / stop doing things / shrink his world until it feels comfortable as it would spiral smaller and smaller.


A friend with a child in circumstances very much like your situation did not do much, other than 'pander'(for want of a better word) to her son's fears. She had years of restless, sleepless, disturbed nights herself. I doubt that children grow out of these fears so some action to addre55 them is nece55ary..

Hope you get more ideas in your search on web and that your DS wi11 make some headway soon. :D


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