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21

It is important to recognize that even though we, as adults, know that there are no such things as ghosts, to the child they are real. And no amount of logic will convince them otherwise. You have to accept, for a while, that what they think is real, is actually real, and then you can deal with making it not scary. So rather than trying to reverse their ...


16

We had exactly the same situation with our daughter, until very recently (she is three years old now). The best recommendation I can give you is: Patience.. Patience.. Patience... We were always firm about washing her hair regularly, even though she protested quite strongly. On the other hand, we always told her before, that we would wash her hair today ...


13

Small traumas are a part of life, and learning to accept that is part of growing up. Some thoughts: Talk about it. When discussing the incident use calming language: It was an accident, and sometimes accidents happen. One time I had an accident (describe briefly) and I hurt my leg (or whatever). It scared me, but then after a while I didn't really think ...


12

I think her reaction is not unusual. Her safe space was violated, and it takes a while for it to start feeling safe again. My parents had similar reactions when their home was broken into: startling at shadows and sudden sounds, fitful sleep, and some apprehension when entering the house. It goes away slowly. My gut reaction is to offer as much comfort as ...


11

Something happened. What, nobody knows except him. Probably he is now reminded of this when you give him a bath, and he starts screaming. If you now force him to have a bath even though he is screaming, this will just keep on making it worse. For every bath you give him while he is screaming, the association between horror and bathing will be stronger. ...


11

With my 22-month-old son, the complete opposite approach works best. If I take water in a pitcher and shout: "Wooooo SPLASH!" as I let it all fall on his head, he laughs and asks for more. If I try to do it slowly and patiently, he complains. In general, I find that adding sound effects to the activities he dislikes helps a lot (such as going "bzzzz CLIP! ...


8

I have a few ideas based on personal experience; the main focus is dealing with it as a gradual change, and keeping in mind that all children are different, so something that works for one child may not work in this case. Keep in mind that if she's that afraid at 5, the process may take a while - it needs to be done at her pace, not yours. Get her a ...


7

These kind of stories are meant to scare children - the child collector from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the wicked witch, Grimm fairy tales, Doctor Who - we have a rich history of scary stories for kids. The problem isn't the being scared - it's actually a good healthy part of growing up. The thing to do is not try to persuade your child that they shouldn't ...


7

One of the key elements of a parenting course I attended was to introduce the accidents/dangers in controlled environment. (ofcourse it was with respect to fire, sharp things etc, but could be tried here). You need to understand what part of the accidents the child is remembering. The gunshot or breaking of glass with no apparent reason (to her). If it ...


7

I remember hating swim classes as a child - I never did learn to swim properly, though I can tread water and get across a pool (which I eventually taught myself). I have never enjoyed it. When my kids were 4 and 5, we moved to a townhouse with a community pool. We went down there every day, usually twice a day, just to play. My kids taught themselves to ...


7

This might sound like a total cliche, but have you tried to get him to participate in extracurricular activities? Our daughter, a bit younger than your son, has really started to show more confidence in herself since she started tae kwon do. It sounds like he could use the balance a different atmosphere and environment, not to mention a different set of ...


7

All fears are rational, but the reactions to those fears are more or less extreme. When she expresses fear about the crosswalk you acknowledge her fear. Listen to her. When you comment you accept her fear as real. Her: "Cars were zooming through that crossing today!" You good: "It is annoying isn't it. They don't realise what it is like for pedestrians" ...


6

There are a couple of stumbling blocks you may be encountering, but first, I'd just like to say, many children have to be taught how to either reign in their over-developed sense of everyone bowing to their needs and whims, or they need to be taught how to speak up for themselves. When these two extremes are balanced, it can be referred to as self-advocacy. ...


5

I have to agree with Rory. I am 31 years old and I cannot watch horror films (seriously, the last horror film I watched was Thirteen Ghosts which many horror enthusiasts assure me is one of the absolute worst horror films ever made, but after I watched that movie I swore off of them altogether because I didn't sleep for days--and I was probably 25 when I ...


5

If you are religious, you can tell her that God is stronger than any ghost, and he will protect her. This is from the point of view of a Christian, but might work for other religions too. Tell her that she can pray for God to protect her, and he will, and the ghosts can't get to her. This allows her to believe what her mother told her, but also gives her ...


5

Unfortunately, this is kinda usual. Some kids are wide-open with everyone, and some are routine-driven and prefer just 'their' people. I have one of each: my daughter, who is now 5, still prefers Mama to EVERYONE. It was two YEARS before she'd let either grandmother hold her. The other one loves everyone and has never met a stranger. For the older one, ...


5

Ask her what she is afraid of, and then listen. Many kids are afraid of drowning, getting burned, being cold, not being able to see when the water is streaming at their eyes, not being able to hear if water is in their ears, the feeling of water in or on their nose or ears. Sometime it's the temperature and sometimes, it's the pressure. It may be something ...


5

On the other side of the coin, I've suffered from several phobias for many years and avoiding the stressor never helped. And in the instance of fear of water, I believe learning to swim is an essential safety skill. My daughter, now 5.5, was TERRIFIED of water. Her first lesson, around 3, was a great way to test the soundproofing of the pool area at the ...


5

I've known quite a few kids that just wanted to hold on to something while they fell asleep. Having a cozy, or something to regularly cuddle with is also completely normal and acceptable at this age as well. I wouldn't jump to the conclusion it means he is fearful, its just a part of how he sleeps. Do you have a favorite pillow you always sleep better ...


5

Dealing with fears or anxieties is all about learning strategies to gain a sense of control over the situation. For your daughter, her fear of crossing the road is a reasonable one, given her past experience; what she needs are strategies to be safer crossing the road. For example, beyond the obvious - look both ways, give yourself more time between cars ...


4

Basically I remember when my daughter would be happily playing. Then I'd try to leave the room and... yeahIthinkNO. The emotions expressed ranged from "No" to "HOW DARE YOU SIR!" Remember that below 2 years, their emotions are very immediate, there's no "It's just 5 minutes", they're unhappy now. Because of this, the gap between "Worst thing ever" and "Oh ...


4

My daughter entered the separation anxiety phase and stranger anxiety phase around 11 months. Now at 18 months she is still in the midst of it. Whenever we take her to the pediatrician's for a check-up she begins screaming whenever the doctor gets close to her. The doctor always smiles and says, "Well this is right where she should be developmentally." I ...


4

I'll write more later, but... Could you, for now, stand her in the shower and use a jug/pitcher to pour water over her? (I see her getting cold as a possible problem, though.) Ask for a hotel room with a tub since you're running out of time? Does she play with dolls? Or do you have a dog? Could she give her dolls/dog a shower at first to get used to the ...


4

Mary Jo Finch and Ana both have it right when they say, "be there for her" (I'm paraphrasing). Letting her sleep with you and recognizing that she will be jumpy for awhile is a natural response to such an event. I'm not sure by what you mean "gun used for practice," but even so, that would be traumatic for almost anyone. Having a window break - one you ...


4

I cannot recommend this method enough, because when our change-averse 3-yr-old switched daycares, it made a HUGE difference in her leave-taking of us: have her PUSH YOU OUT THE DOOR. She might cry anyway, but if you can get her to do it a couple of mornings consistently, maybe she can find the fun in it. And it lets her feel some autonomy; after all, ...


4

My son has fewer qualms about breaking the rules, but a similar misunderstanding of when it's okay or not to make an exception to a rule. There are rules about when it's okay to make an exception to a rule, and some kids just plain have a hard time learning those compared to other children. My son gets upset because he sees someone else getting away with ...


3

I watch with my kids sitting in my lap. When it's too scary, they shiver and get extremely tense. So far, we haven't had any issues if we stop after the first scene with that reaction. After a few times, we pretty much know their limits beforehand. Also, there's something to be said for making them face their fears every once in a while, especially the ...


3

Your child's fears are not rational, so I'm guessing that that is why rational explanations aren't helping as much as you'd like. I watched Hellraiser when I was in my twenties and still feel like a bloody hand might come up through my mattress and pull me down to Hell, even though I know that this can't happen. The fact that your child is scared and ...


3

First, constantly reassure her that she has nothing to fear. Whenever she is scared, be patient and walk her through. Here's the best thing I can think of. You could also try cartoons that have friendly ghosts, so you turn the fear into something she could laugh at. Casper, is one. Casper is a friendly ghost. The show can help her neutralize the fear ...


3

I have dealt with this fear as a babysitter and this always works. Kids never cry when I wash their hair. First get or make some bath puppets. Puppets make a great distraction and kids would rather have the puppets washing a rinsing their hair. Buy a unbreakable mirror. At lunch or anytime way before bathtime show your son the puppets have them talk to him ...



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