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Not sure who I'm more mad at...

Posted by on Jul. 21, 2012 at 5:31 PM
  • 8 Replies
Me or my 6 (almost 7) y/o DS.

Just some background...my YDS is afraid of almost everything. We joke about it around the house, but generally try to help him get braver. A few weeks ago I took the boys to the History Museum. YDS got freaked out by some very realistic statues. He swore he'd never go back again.

Fast forward to today. I took my DSs (10 and 6) to the art museum today. YDS was acting scared before we even got there. I was convinced that if I could get him interested in an exhibit he'd be okay. I was wrong. Except for 3 or 4 exhibits he spent 90 min freaking out, crying and whining that he wanted to go home. He completely ruined the outing for me and ODS, who is an artist. I'm not sure if I'm more mad at him for not being able to get his shit together or me for subjecting him to a terrifying (albeit irrationally terrifying) experience.
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by on Jul. 21, 2012 at 5:31 PM
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Replies (1-8):
TroyboysMom
by on Jul. 21, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Anxiety is a very real (and terrifying thing). If this kind of behavior is consistent, and your younger ds is experiencing what you perceive to be irrational levels of terror or fear from seemingly commonplace things, you may want to talk to his pedi about it - it may not be so simple as "getting his shit together."

Also, you may want to change your approach. Trying to force him to "confront his fears" or "get braver" seems (just from what you've said) that it's not helping the problem get better, but is ending with you getting stressed out, frustrated, and guilty, and him getting stressed out, frustrated and scared, and your other ds having to be a miserable bystander. 

Have you tried taking the time to discuss and prepare him for whatever it is you are going to see? Prep time can work wonders with kids. Something like giving him materials beforehand to familiarize him with whatever situation he is going to confront may help (You may have already done this, I don't know). Are you asking him (calmly, and before the situation, or calmly, when it happens) what exactly he is afraid of? If you're visibly frustrated, or projecting the idea that his fears are not valid, it may make it harder for him to talk about them. 

luvcats406
by Bronze Member on Jul. 21, 2012 at 7:13 PM

I agree.  These are real fears.  I think we all do not like something.  Others might not understand these fears.  For instance, my sister hates spiders.  I do not like them, but she sceams and runs.  I do not get the big deal.  I think what should be done is to understand your ds has a real fear and to not force him.  He may grow out of this fear.  My ds had similar fears at that age.  I did not take him to those exhibits that he feared and now he does not have these fears.  If he does not grow out of these fears,  help may be needed.

steelcrazy
by Emerald Member on Jul. 21, 2012 at 8:30 PM

I also agree.  Everyone has fears, although most have learned how to cope with them.  I have a paralyzing fear of heights, and I do my best to use my coping skills to ride the glass elevator to the second floor of the mall.  However, I will never ride to the top of the Empire State Building, that would just be too much for me to handle.

Your son is still very young and may outgrow some of his fears.  If he seems to have a lot of fears and they seem to interfere with day to day life, then I would suggest bringing it up to his doctor so that he can get some help.  Getting angry with him won't do anything but get you more frustrated.  Your son really can't help that he has these fears and he isn't doing it to make you mad.

bleumonster
by Gold Member on Jul. 21, 2012 at 9:01 PM
My daughter used to be scared of the movie doll "Chucky" to the point that she would not sleep alone, you couldnt mention the name even in another context. She eventually got over it. No I never let her watch that movie ,someone else did.
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othermom
by Silver Member on Jul. 21, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Have you talked to his doctor about his fears and anxiety? If not I would. I have anxiety attacks and certain situations are horrible for me. I can't imagine what a child goes through with it. None of my kids have irrational fears like that, although my son does have social anxiety. We have slowly worked on it with him and he has out grown some of it

3babiesofmyown
by on Jul. 21, 2012 at 9:53 PM
I thin you've got some great advice here. I remember as a kod not being understood real well. Fears weren't the issue. It was people not understanding my emotions or force feeding me not understanding that I truly didn't like something. From that standpoint I think you realize your son's going through something here and you wanna help him and just don't know how. At the same time he's not the only person to worry about. Just don't dismiss his fears as something insignificant. They're significant to him. Work with this in him. He needs someone on his side.
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sunflowers12
by on Jul. 21, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Some kids are just high strung.. there is a way to get throu, but you really have to be creative and probably need to take your time with him sounds as if he may need different stimulation then the rest if the kids... It's tough thou when you try helping and it kinda back fires.. I would keep trying thou as frustrated as it may get you... It will help I think I know my youngest was afraid of lots if things when he was younger animals, water, he has a hard time with food more so when he was younger, but I know what he likes now and I don't push him unless he wants to try something new.. hope he gets better soon:)
Babujai
by on Jul. 22, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Thanks for all the great advice. I've been thinking about it since also and I think I really am concerned about his anxiety level. When I asked him what he was afraid of he said he was afraid that things would come to life. He usually has such a good grasp on real vs imaginary, so I was probably more confused and frustrated than mad. This fearfulness plus his temper issues is making me really consider getting him some counseling.
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