Posted by: Adell | 2009/02/03

Fear - 5 year old


My son is nearly 5 years old. He used to sleep in his own bed, but recently he stopped, and is coming to our room, because he is afraid of the dark, monsters and burglars. (That some of his school friends told him about, and monsters as seen on cartoon channel.)
The other night my husband was not home, and my son went in to a state of fear and anxiety, because " who will protect us" , and you can tell it' s not a naught stunt, he is REALLY afraid!
We bought a special night lamp, his father goes in to the room to chase the monsters away, we assure him that all is well, but still nothing is changing his views.
He used to watch DVD' s in a seprate room, now he dont want to be alone, he dont even want to go to the toilet alone.

We never talk in front of him about bad things, and we didnt have any theft or losses, so assume it' s friends at school.
What do you recommend we can do to " help"  him, to get through this?


Worried Mom

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Our expert says:
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Its quite common for these sorts of fears to arise at this age, just when you thought he'd be OK about it. Calming him and talking through that these are nasty ideas, but not real, and unable to harm him, does help. Maria's answer is typically brilliant. Its a pity that other kids at school sometimes seem to get pleasure out of frightening another child. Continue to respond calmly, and offer him ways in which he could get rid of monsters--- such as by throwing a pinch of salt at them, something simple he can do and to help him feel more secure about mastering the situation.

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Our users say:
Posted by: hmmm | 2009/02/03

Play John Lennon' s Instant Karma song and sing the words " why on earth are we here, surely not to live in pain and fear"  :)..maybe that will help?

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Posted by: Lou | 2009/02/03

I had a similar isse with my step child. Simply explain to him that God is always with him and he will protect him.

I am not religious myself, but that seemed to work - especially if he goes to Sunday School.

Reply to Lou
Posted by: B | 2009/02/03

Some other things you might try.

Let him make a " magic"  wand which will " evapourate"  monsters, you just need some carboard, a stick, glitter glue etc to decorate. Once finished attach it to the headboard or stick it above his bed to watch over him while sleeping.

Make a sign on the computer that reads " no monsters/burglars allowed in this room/house"  print it out and stick it in a few places around the house.

We have an alarm system in the house and I showed my son how the lights go on when there is movement or if a window opens, then I assured him that if anyone enters the house during the night we will hear the alarm and the police will come to protect us.

Reply to B
Posted by: Maria | 2009/02/03

Many kids seem to go through this stage. Has he watched Monsters Inc? It' s a cute movie that puts a completely different spin on monsters.

Please limit his time watching cartoon channel. The days where all cartoons were harmless and appropriate for young kids are long gone.

Acknowledge his fears and don' t ridicule him, but try to bring some humour into it. My husband always tells our daughter she doesn' t have to worry, one of our cats are really scary to monsters and burglars. The other day he suggested that she pours some yogurt down the monster' s neck as another one of our cats loves yogurt and will then lick the monster. Monsters obviously hate being licked by cats and will run away. Etc. Etc.

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