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Natural Birth & Parenting Natural Birth & Parenting

Help with anxiety in my 5 year old!!

Posted by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:47 AM
  • 8 Replies
My son is almost 6 and will be starting kindergarten in a few weeks. He has always been a worrisome child and lately his anxiety is becoming more and more severe.

He had a nightmare 2 weeks ago and his once wonderful bedtime routine is now a drawn out battle that gets worse every night. We have tried writing his dream down and burning it up, applying "good dream cream" to his forehead every night, talking about it and letting him sleep w our blankets and pillows.

His daily behavior has gone from a mostly agreeable disposition to constant defiance, bargaining (attempted), whining and crying over the smallest things. My FIL said he reminded him of Caillou!! (He wasn't trying to be offensive, I despise Cry-you and having my son be compared to that bratty cartoon boy really struck a cord with me).

I am growing increasingly frustrated, angry and feel helpless to give my son the confidence and assurance he needs to get back into the more relaxed, calm and happy boy he used to be. Please help!! Any suggestions are appreciated!!
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:47 AM
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Replies (1-8):
isaacsmommy68
by Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:12 PM
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I remember that age. My son went through the same thing. I think it is just a lot of changes with school and stuff. We cut out a lot of tv and video games. Made him play with his toys and read more. We got a dream catcher to put in his window and also had this room spray made with essential oils that we sprayed every night. We called it "monster spray". I gave him a little more attention than normal. He outgrew most of it. Kindergarten is a big adjustment.

JoJoBean8
by Group Mod on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:21 PM
1 mom liked this
Vitamin B helps my anxiety.
Sarah725
by Group Mod - Sarah on Aug. 22, 2013 at 4:11 PM
1 mom liked this

I thought this was a good tip that I read from this article..

One calming trick you can teach her is something I call Bear Belly Breathing. Have her lay down and put one of her stuffed animals on her tummy, and ask her to make the little animal rise and fall as she breathes in and out. This deep breathing will help her relax and get out of the "storm" of those wild emotions that descend upon her when she starts feeling anxious.

http://www.parentdish.com/2011/02/07/anxiety/

 

tabi_cat1023
by Group Mod - Tabitha on Aug. 22, 2013 at 5:13 PM
1 mom liked this

my 6 year old is the same way, our doctor has said that a therapist may be helpful.  As far as dreams have you tried a dream catcher?

jconney80
by Group Mod on Aug. 22, 2013 at 6:30 PM
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I think it would be helpful to figure out where the anxiety is coming from. My 3.5 year old son has Aspergers type autism. He has anxiety about a lot! His anxiety is due to not being able to read between the lines in situations. He immediately hits flight or fight mode when presented with a new situation that he has no experience with and it's hard to talk him down from being scared. When I say that you need to see where it's coming from you need to think about how he learns....visually, through listening, by facts, etc. My son needs lots of structure and his routine to be the same everyday to feel safe and secure. I talk about every next step of his routine as we go through it (we're getting a bath and then it's time for pjs then we read books).

Before we do anything new we talk about it, watch videos on it, and look up social stories on Google to walk us through so that he knows everything that is going on (for example: first day of kindergarten social stories...google this and they're free!). Then it isn't left up to his anxious mind to figure out and fill in the blanks. With kids who have anxieties I never do anything that "validates" their fears. We don't acknowledge anything is real such as monsters or that dreams have any power over us. I validate their fears and feelings but not the actual thing because you don't want to make it an "entity" to be feared. A lot of times kids with high anxiety have a very overactive imagination (my kids all fall in the Aspergers range and this is so true for them) and they are very visual. So use that visual learning to fill their head with rational thoughts and tangible things that they can put their hands on. You can do this by everything I suggested above. If he's starting kindergarten try taking him into his classroom with his new teacher ahead of time and walking through what his day will look like. He will have a lot more confidence because in his mind he can't visualize it without seeing it. After walking through it he can visualize it and you can talk it out in the days before it starts. I hope that makes sense. 

Everything I've said does NOT have to be just for autistic kids. This helps any kids with any type of anxiety. Or adults! I grew up with a lot of anxiety about everything and I would have been so much better off if someone had done this for me. It helps my kids deal with stuff so much better.

And honestly I don't buy into kids are whiney and bratty because of how they're parented or treated. Some kids are wired differently. They are just more scared of everything or prone to anxiety for whatever reasons. They just need a different approach. Just because someone comments on your kid being like a stupid cartoon doesn't reflect on you or your parenting. It just means your kid has different needs. And that's perfectly OK. People give far too much credit to environment and how people parent. 

jconney80
by Group Mod on Aug. 22, 2013 at 6:32 PM
1 mom liked this

Also you might try a visual schedule. You can google them and see how you can give a visual to each part of his bedtime routine. Make it fun. Let him move his tokens through the steps himself to feel ownership over it. Maybe it will distract him from being upset. 

Shama10
by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 9:16 AM
1 mom liked this
Your concern for your son is understandable. It is so hard when their sleep is interrupted and we can't 'fix' it. Have you considered calling your pediatirican and sharing this? I know for me, after I discuss my concerns with my doctor for any medical issue, I can be given peace of mind and/or a plan of action.I'm praying for you. Keep us posted on how you are doing, ok? {{HUGS}} Shama
bloomsr
by Bronze Member on Aug. 23, 2013 at 9:25 AM
Thank you ladies very much for your advice:)
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