Hot answers tagged

40

It seems to me that being shouted at is likely to make any child cry, particularly by an older child. Shouting is not nice, and intimidating particularly from an older child. Door knocking i've not seen before, but if door knocking includes fairly loud knocking, it could also be a bit disturbing. More likely to me, he's concerned about some change when ...


37

Smoke detectors are not "harmless", especially if you are three years old and had one going off suddenly. Can you explain to him how they work? Not the technical details, but the purpose: smoke -> alarm -> safety. And that they have to be very loud so that they wake everyone up in case of a fire? They are like the siren on a police car, fire truck or ...


29

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 ...


28

Experiencing failure at something (or even success but not being the best) and finding that it's OK, and even something can help him find ways to improve and be better in the future, would help. Rock climbing, with appropriate safety measures, can teach a lot here (as can some other sports). Reframing not even trying as failure might help too. If he ...


28

I've got a hard time explaining the motives of the terrorists. I don't know whether this is the best article on the subject (it's near the top of this Google search) but for example What Motivates Terrorists? starts with, One of the most frequently asked questions about terrorism is also the most intractable. Why? Why do they do it? Why do people ...


21

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 ...


21

That particular irrational fear is common. Take her fears seriously, because they're real to her. Explaining that they are unfounded doesn't work, nor does smiling at or dismissing her fears. If you're reassuring and comforting, she'll learn one more reason to trust you with her feelings (really important) and that it's okay to feel afraid. Then you can work ...


19

(What is it with toddlers and hot air balloons? Mine can't stand them either -- I think the floating blows his mind... what's holding it up in the air?!?) We frame the holiday in terms of playing pretend: "you get to dress-up and pretend you are something else!" I try to only have mildly scary things around, and also teach him it can be fun to be a little ...


19

Being brave is not the absence of fear, it is doing the right thing even though you are afraid. Fear is good, it is based off of natural preservation instincts and can warn of danger. You need to teach him about the things that are more important than self preservation: Teach him about principles and standing for them, Teach him about chivalry, teach him ...


16

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! ...


16

If you want him to understand, use a simple concept that he should already be familiar with at that age: a mistake. The smoke detector is supposed to detect smoke and warn people about it, but this time it made a mistake, just like he does sometimes. Oops! And just like he gets frustrated when Mommy and Daddy remember a mistake he made forever and ever ...


16

First things first: No, not all mothers are as protective as your wife is and from what you write, her behaviour is far from normal. (But of course we have only your statement to go by.) From what your comment suggests, you have no support from your inlaws, but it seems you need professional help. More than even a benevolent family or stangers on the ...


15

What I have found most effective is to teach them a coping mechanism, something active to do so they don't feel helpless, and give them plenty of time to employ it. For example: Okay, some water is coming. Close your eyes and mouth tightly so it won't get in! Kids often cry because they're scared of water getting in their mouth, which sort of creates ...


14

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 ...


14

This is the line I've taken, for better or worse... Like in school we trust teachers to be telling the truth about things in lessons. The people who attacked France, were told lies by their teachers but they really, really believe them - they think that we're bad people and they're good. So they want us to live their way. The way they were taught tells ...


13

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 ...


12

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

The problem is that it startled, scared, and hurt him, and he worries that it will do so again without warning. Smoke detectors are painful to hear nearby - they are just below the range of hearing damage precisely so they will alert the occupants of a problem. He's worried it will go off again, and, honestly, if you haven't found the cause you should be ...


10

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 ...


10

We cured the same problem in my daughter, INSTANTLY, with a cheap pair of swimming goggles. I showed her what they were, what they are for - she pressed them to her face, and that was it. no going back! The same pair got her used to jumping in a swimming pool, and to learn to swim. Now she's nine years old, and an experienced scuba diver!


10

If he's afraid of not being the best at everything, I'd teach him about specialization. Point out how silly it would be if we had doctors building roads and bridges, or firemen teaching classes at school, or chefs playing baseball on TV! (Wait for him to laugh at the mental image.) People have things that they're good at, and things that they're not good ...


9

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 ...


9

Poor little guy. Try searching for information on "childhood fears" and "night terrors", those are the usual terms used. Here's one set of basic recommendations: General Guidelines for Any Age When your child is afraid -- whether at age 5 or 15 -- remember to approach the fears with respect. Chansky suggests following these basic guidelines: ...


8

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 ...


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 ...


8

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 ...


8

I think this depends on the child. For my older son (also 3, and recently went through a Ghosts stage), who's fairly intelligent and straightforward, I would approach this intellectually. I would certainly not be inconsistent about it, whatever you do. If you're alternating "playing zombie" with "zombies aren't real", you're going to confuse him; while ...


8

in other circumstances, I feel compelled to tell him, "Zombies are not real, your brother is just trying to scare you, it's time to go to bed." Second part first. Yes, you should try to convince him that zombies aren't real, but it probably won't take. It certainly doesn't hurt to try. It doesn't matter what he's afraid of (the monster under my bed ...


8

This could very well be related to the work of Carol Dweck. While her work is fascinating and nuanced, the TL;DR is that children praised for intelligence restrict themselves to endeavors the think are likely to succeed, shying away from any activities they might be less than a stellar success at (citing the same fears as your colleague's son). Children ...


8

From my own experience, it seems that a toddler doesn't have a strong understanding of what a ghost is supposed to be (the spirit of a dead person). Rather, it's a term that can be applied to "something that scares me" -- picked up by hearing adults (or other children) use the word while talking about being scared. If a teacher mentions she is afraid of the ...



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