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My 32 month old has recently taken to saying literally thirty times a day,"I'm scared." When we ask him what he is afraid of he rarely has an answer. Once in a while he'll say it is monsters His affect isn't even truly "scared" when he says he is scared. At first I was concerned. Now,honestly, it is starting to drive me bonkers.

Noah is an only child. He has been with us since he was 6 weeks old. Could he have just really liked the reaction he got the first time he legitimately told us he was afraid?? He will slide it in if he is in trouble for something. (diversion...manipulation) This is not a house with yelling or raised voices. We do not spank. He has gotten his hand thumped 2 times. PLEASE SOME INSIGHT daft

 
daft

Asked by daft at 2:23 PM on Jul. 31, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • It's common for fears to develop at this age because their imaginations are also developing. It's also normal to use it for attention.

    When my daughter says she's scared, I say "but you're also brave." I tell her that being brave means to do the right thing even when you're scared.

    It's starting to catch on, just as I was about to leave her room after a goodnight kiss, she said "I'm scared." Before I could say anything, she grinned and said "and I'm brave!."
    mogencreative

    Answer by mogencreative at 3:39 PM on Jul. 31, 2010

  • 32 months is how old? In years? oh he is almost three years old? I say ignore it and he will stop. Almost 3 year olds do that kind of stuff even more if he gets a reaction.
    lady-J-Rock

    Answer by lady-J-Rock at 2:34 PM on Jul. 31, 2010

  • Yea, my 3 yr old is doing the same thing. She knows it evokes a moment of concern [read: attention] from someone. She also likes to pretend cry/whine like the baby because she thinks it will evoke the same reaction. It is annoying but of concern, probably not. I can't really offer any advice, because they take things so literally, you can't just tell them to stop doing it or explain when being afraid is appropriate.
    aluvk4evr

    Answer by aluvk4evr at 2:41 PM on Jul. 31, 2010

  • It's common. Explain to him that he should only say it when he's genuinly scared. That it's not right to say it if he's not really scared. He's doing it because he figured out what it means and he knows it'll get a reaction out of you. That's all.
    JazzlikeMraz

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 2:44 PM on Jul. 31, 2010

  • My daughter is almost three and she does that alot, I wouldn't be too worried I am tring to teach her the difference between saying it and actually being scared. He will most likely grow out of it in a few years.
    countrygirl06

    Answer by countrygirl06 at 3:26 PM on Jul. 31, 2010

  • That is too sweet mogencreative! I may take that advice!
    aluvk4evr

    Answer by aluvk4evr at 12:07 PM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • It is SUCH a relief to find out that mine is not the only child doing this. I have suspected everyone in our small universe of abuse, indicted myself for failure as a parent etc. etc. etc. eventhough everyone says he is one of the happiest kids they know. I particularly like the suggestion about telling/assuring him that he is also brave and have started to incorporate that. Thank You to All.
    daft

    Comment by daft (original poster) at 8:25 PM on Aug. 1, 2010

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