Tackling Fear

Jack has suddenly become uncharacteristically afraid of everything.  He can’t go into another room of the house by himself AT ALL.  When he goes to the bathroom, he requires that I stand outside the door – he needs to be able to see me but I have to make sure to turn away so I can’t see him (he’s very private).  This morning he freaked out because he ‘couldn’t stop peeing.’  WHY he wanted to stop midstream is beyond me…

We’ve talked to him and cut out the scary stuff – no more spooky books or Scooby Doo until he feels safe again.  He’s gone back in time and is now watching Super Why!, Blues Clues, and Dora the Explorer.  Chip and Dale is his favorite, which is great but sometimes (like last night) we lose that DVD and the other stuff he has to choose from includes Monsters vs. Aliens, Finding Nemo, How to Train Your Dragon…all of which are apparently too scary.

We talked about his fears on the walk to school this morning.  He admitted he felt afraid when people get mad at him – he worries he’s going to go to jail when people get mad at him.  When I asked where he got that from, he said his step-uncle went to jail as a kid.  I have NO idea what that’s about – I’ll have to talk to his dad about that one.

Apparently this is a stage that many 5-6 year olds go through but man, is it weird!  It’s especially odd since he’s never been afraid of much – he loves monsters and aliens and dragons!  Holy regression, Batman!

We’ve talked about various things that Jack can do when he feels afraid (sing or pretend he is a fierce dragon and can chase away the fear) and I think I’ll get some books to reinforce these ideas.  I know there is a series called Scaredy Squirrel that would be helpful.  Anybody have additional recommendations?

Once again, he’s surprised me with an issue that I never thought we’d face.  Ahhhh parenthood!

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Comments

  1. B @ Myotherblog says:

    I don’t have any advice or assvice or anything different than what you are already doing. I think talking to him about it and adjusting his life to avoid things that scare him is a great idea. Please know you aren’t alone in this and that’s why i’m commenting (I also keep checking back to see if anyone has advice since I don’t know what to do either…) On our end, KT is definitely suddenly afraid of the dark or being left alone and I don’t know why either. I just let her sleep with her light on and with her door open a crack and hope she gets through this. We never watch ‘scary’ things anyway so I know it’s not that. I’m thinking that at this age they are getting even broader imaginations and I know that KT’s been introduced to the concept of fiction v. non-fiction at school and is still trying to determine what is real and what isn’t when she reads it or watches it, so I’m wondering if it’s something about that. Along with all this newfound expectation of independence in kindergarten…I dunno. 

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