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6 year old scared to be alone...

Posted by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 6:56 PM
  • 10 Replies

My 6 yr old son is terrified to be alone in a room. He's always been this way, since he was a toddler, but it never really bothered me and I figured he would grow out of it. He relies on my other son, who is 8, to be in a room with him for any reason and it's starting to become a problem. He cries when I send him upstairs or downstairs to get something if the room he's going to is empty. He won't shower unless his brother is in the bedroom (connected to the bathroom) I have no idea what he is so afraid of! I've tried forcing him to go to his room and spend some alone time and he freaks out, screaming and crying like he's being tortured. What should I do?!

by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 6:56 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Bmat
by Barb on Jan. 10, 2013 at 7:14 PM

For some reason he is equating being alone with punishment. Never threaten that he will be left behind or alone. I wonder if a big stuffed animal that he can hug or have sitting in the room with him would help.

snowiscold
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Mama, I don't have any advice for you, but I can empathize.  Until I was about sixteen, I was terrified to be alone also.  Perhaps you could put night lights in each room if he is afraid of the dark.  Playing some music throughout the house to help distract his thoughts when having to enter a room alone may help.  Best wishes to you and your son. 

Bmat
by Barb on Jan. 10, 2013 at 7:26 PM
1 mom liked this

What about keeping it light and standing in the doorway and having him count to ten while he stands in the room alone. Then next time stand farther back in the hallway. Then next time have him count to 10.  Make it a game. You can even take some turns. Or say, instead of his standing in the room counting, hide a quarter in the room, or one of his toys- as a game- or the kitchen timer- he'll hear it tick and have to search for it before it goes off- fun things like this (and him in the room by himself-  he can even find them and then run to you in another room to show you) and not emphasizing about the being scared.

shellbelle4
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM

He is afraid of the dark, but none of these rooms are dark when he's in them. He just won't venture into a part of the house that isn't occupied at the time, even his own room to play, or get dressed. I'm at a complete loss.

Quoting snowiscold:

Mama, I don't have any advice for you, but I can empathize.  Until I was about sixteen, I was terrified to be alone also.  Perhaps you could put night lights in each room if he is afraid of the dark.  Playing some music throughout the house to help distract his thoughts when having to enter a room alone may help.  Best wishes to you and your son. 


shellbelle4
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 7:31 PM
1 mom liked this

I love this idea, thank you! Will try it tomorrow for sure.

Quoting Bmat:

What about keeping it light and standing in the doorway and having him count to ten while he stands in the room alone. Then next time stand farther back in the hallway. Then next time have him count to 10.  Make it a game. You can even take some turns. Or say, instead of his standing in the room counting, hide a quarter in the room, or one of his toys- as a game- or the kitchen timer- he'll hear it tick and have to search for it before it goes off- fun things like this (and him in the room by himself-  he can even find them and then run to you in another room to show you) and not emphasizing about the being scared.


StarburstKisses
by Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 7:43 PM
1 mom liked this

I'd want to know what it is he's afraid of. No one gets that scared over nothing. I know something you might not want to hear but has he ever told you that he's seen things in the home? Some people believe in the supernatural and others don't. I was leery of asking but this was the first thing that came to mind. I was SERIOUSLY afraid of the dark. I couldn't go anywhere, leave my bed at night, etc. when I was little. If it was dark or the basement or if I was alone. I grew out of it but was still leery of it in my teenage years. We had  a house fire when I was 13 and at 14 I had a dark experience and still have issues with being in the dark. I'd see if something is bothering him. 

StarburstKisses
by Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 7:44 PM

has he talked about why the dark scares him? Has he said he's seen anything? 

Quoting shellbelle4:

He is afraid of the dark, but none of these rooms are dark when he's in them. He just won't venture into a part of the house that isn't occupied at the time, even his own room to play, or get dressed. I'm at a complete loss.

Quoting snowiscold:

Mama, I don't have any advice for you, but I can empathize.  Until I was about sixteen, I was terrified to be alone also.  Perhaps you could put night lights in each room if he is afraid of the dark.  Playing some music throughout the house to help distract his thoughts when having to enter a room alone may help.  Best wishes to you and your son. 



AndreinaCleary
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 7:46 PM
1 mom liked this

The worst thing to do is force anyone (not just a child) to be with their fears. Thats like asking someone who is scared of spiders to go in a room full of them alone. You should ask him why he is so scared of being alone in a room. Maybe something happened to him when he was a baby that terrifies him to this day. Children don't just develop fears out of the blue it is usually brought upon them. For example if a little girl is  scared of bugs its usually because she see's her mommy scared of them all the time. There was actually a case where this little girl was terrified of stuffed teddy bears and her parents couldn't figure out why. One day the father decided to dress up like one to show her that they can be nice and she freaked out as usual but screaming "not you too daddy". He finally asked what she meant and why she was so scared and aparrantly some psyco molested her while wearing a teddy costume. Im not saying he got molested but what I am trying to say is that if he is fearing an alone room its got to be something about being alone himself. He may feel unprotected in some way or out of reach from something. Ask him and if he wont tell you then take him to a psycologist or ask your other son to help figure out why. Sometimes they will confide in sibilings more than parents because they feel they will get in trouble with the parents even if its not their fault. My little brother would never tell my mother anything but I would go find out for her and tell her what it was that would bother him. Then she would ease it in a convo for him to confess on his own. Be patient because a fear can be a horrible thing.

shellbelle4
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 8:27 PM

When I've asked him why he's scared to go into rooms alone he says because he feels like something is there with him. We have only lived in this house for a year, and his fears have become worse since we moved in but I think it's because it's a much bigger house. When he was a toddler he was very clingy to me, followed me from room to room but I was ok with it. Maybe I shouldn't have allowed him to be so attached to me.

Quoting StarburstKisses:

has he talked about why the dark scares him? Has he said he's seen anything? 

Quoting shellbelle4:

He is afraid of the dark, but none of these rooms are dark when he's in them. He just won't venture into a part of the house that isn't occupied at the time, even his own room to play, or get dressed. I'm at a complete loss.

Quoting snowiscold:

Mama, I don't have any advice for you, but I can empathize.  Until I was about sixteen, I was terrified to be alone also.  Perhaps you could put night lights in each room if he is afraid of the dark.  Playing some music throughout the house to help distract his thoughts when having to enter a room alone may help.  Best wishes to you and your son. 

 

 


Lindalou907
by Silver Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 8:47 PM

He will outgrow it eventually, he has an active imagination and something or someone scared him. My kids all went through phases like that, I found out later their cousin had been telling scary stories. See if you can find some childrens books about the subject, I know Berenstain Bears has one, also, the previous suggestion about longer and longer exposure to being alone is a good one!

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