Sunday, September 14, 2008

Kid Fears

It began earlier this summer. Our neighborhood had a rash of break-ins. It was a hot topic with the neighbors. Little ears are very perceptive. We began to arm the security system during the day while we worked and at night. Our family changed.

The children who used to play easily in the living room while I did housework in the bedroom now scream and come running when I walk more than 3 feet away from them. Thankfully, Scott has not become afraid at bedtime. He is so active that he pretty much goes to sleep once his head hits the pillow. Sara, however, is a different story.

She's terrified to be in her room alone. She will start telling us she is scared before she even gets to her room. All our attempts to help fail. She can't seem to verbalize her fears. Sometimes it noises she can't describe. Sometimes it's her closet. Sometimes it's just "stuff". It's maddening. We want to help her and understand she is truly afraid but it ultimately culminates in frustration on both sides.

She begs me to lay with her which we will not do. We try to monitor her TV as she is at the age now where the fears are not "monsters under the bed" but REAL fears like fire, tornados......someone breaking in. And it is worse when Hubby isn't here at bedtime. She's always been less secure when he isn't here. We try not to make a big deal of it.....acknowledge her fears and reassure her she is safe but then change the subject and try to get her to think happy thoughts. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Many nights she finally gives it up based on shear exhaustion.

The really heartbreaking parts are like the night she told me she wished she could just go to sleep like Scott does and that she wished it was the way it was a few months ago when she just called me back a couple of times and then went right to sleep. That makes THREE of us!!


Kim said...

Sorry to hear Sara is having such a tough time facing such grown up fears. It's hard when kids hit the age where they realize that life really does have things to be afraid of.

Wish I had some great advice for you, but unfortunately I don't. Good luck. I hope it gets better soon.

Laurie said...

(((hugs))) Sorry Sara's having a rough time!! Just keep reassuring her and hopefully it will pass. Have you explained the house security system? Maybe if she helped set it each night and helped double-check locked doors, it might help her feel more secure?? Good luck!!