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Question
Posted by: Laurel | 2010/07/15

Child is afraid

Hi there,

Please assist, about 2 months ago my son had watched a movie with me. In this paticular movie there was a scene where a pet snake at home got out and was on the little girls bed. That same night about 2am he woke up sceaming hysterically that the snake was coming after him. I was up almost till 4pm with him in my arms on the bed trying to calm him down. He would look around the room and then on the bed and insist he can see the smake coming for him.
Since then he is so afraid to go into the room or be anywhere in the house alone. He is constantly behind me and will only go to be when we do. Most days he falls of to sleep in the lounge.
He has become fearful. We avoid him watching any movies that are scary. Last night he got up again and told me that there was monster on the wall coming for him. He came and hid underneath the blanket with me and I had to stay awake almost an hour trying to comfort him. Then he fell asleep so did I but right next to me. Please can you tell me why this is so?
He is with a daymother &  I am not sure how much television he watches during the day. Why has he become so afraid.
What can I do to help him and get him out of this fear?
Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

It happens. And though one would recognize this as a scary movie, some films that you might think were OK for the kids may unexpectedly contain scary scenes. And kids reactions are somewhat unpredictable. I think scenes involving kids may be more affecting.
You don't seem to mentio his age, but when you refer to a day mother, I'm guessing he is rather young.
SOme kids also have phases in which they produce such monster fears on their own without the aid of the films. it may arise without apparent cause, and fade away similarly.
It can help to use a night-light so he can see things look OK ( and to reduce mysterious shadows ) and to conduct a well-lit inspection with him before he goes to bed, to see there are no sinister things lurking around.
Ask the day-mother if and if so what he watches on TV by day. And talk with him about how some films are made to be scary and are not actually real, and explore what he thinks about it - talking at a bright and safe time of day.
I'd be interested to see what other experienced parents among our readers suggest here, too.
If this persists ( and it seems to have lasted at a marked level for some time now, a child psychologist may be able to help reassure both of you

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/07/15

It happens. And though one would recognize this as a scary movie, some films that you might think were OK for the kids may unexpectedly contain scary scenes. And kids reactions are somewhat unpredictable. I think scenes involving kids may be more affecting.
You don't seem to mentio his age, but when you refer to a day mother, I'm guessing he is rather young.
SOme kids also have phases in which they produce such monster fears on their own without the aid of the films. it may arise without apparent cause, and fade away similarly.
It can help to use a night-light so he can see things look OK ( and to reduce mysterious shadows ) and to conduct a well-lit inspection with him before he goes to bed, to see there are no sinister things lurking around.
Ask the day-mother if and if so what he watches on TV by day. And talk with him about how some films are made to be scary and are not actually real, and explore what he thinks about it - talking at a bright and safe time of day.
I'd be interested to see what other experienced parents among our readers suggest here, too.
If this persists ( and it seems to have lasted at a marked level for some time now, a child psychologist may be able to help reassure both of you

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