Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dealing With Fear

Out and About- Emma's Photos (41)

I could use some help.

Emma has been really fearful lately. Not of monsters in the closet, or anything else I would expect a 5 yo to be afraid of.

And I can't seem to alleviate her mind. It doesn't seem to matter what I say, she still seems irrationally afraid.

For example.

Last night, Emma went to bed in my bed. She asked me when I would be going to bed.

Not really unusual. She asks this more nights then not.

The unusual part was when she asked where I would be (in the kitchen). And if the doors where locked (they were). And if the windows were all locked (I checked and they were).

I gave her a kiss and assured her I would check on her in 3 minutes.

I made it to the kitchen (about 50 steps from the bedroom) before she started crying. I went back in and talked to her some more. She wasn't worried that I would leave (I asked, she said no). She was worried that someone would get into the house hurt me.

We talked a bit more and she seemed to settle down. I told her I was going to be sewing in the kitchen. She would be able to hear my sewing machine, so she would know I was ok.

I got to the kitchen and began sewing. When I finished the piece I was sewing, I stopped and started to cut out the next piece. I could hear Emma calling me from the bedroom in a worried voice. She was saying, "I can't hear your sewing machine!" and I could tell she was crying again. I tired to explain that I was just cutting something out.

I ended up going back in. I sat with her until she fell asleep.

Through each of the times I went into the bedroom, we would talk about what was upsetting her. She kept asking what would happen if someone got into the house. She thought our house was unsafe. When I asked her why, she said, "Because we don't have any guns or anything!"

I assured her that just because we don't have any guns, doesn't mean we are not safe. I told her that I could do some serious damage with my hands, feet, head, and teeth. I also reminded her that we have Icky, our dog. He barks when the wind blows so I reminded her that he would bark his fool head off if someone tried to get into the house. And he has big teeth.

Now, my child does not watch t.v other then PBS and DVD's.  All the DVD's she has access to are Disney, or the same type of movies. I have no idea where this fear is coming from.

Tonight, while we were eating dinner, she started to get upset. When I asked her why she was upset, she started crying and said, "I don't want to be an adult!"

And then she started crying even harder! I missed most of what she said, but I think I caught something about her not wanting to be alive as an adult.

I started to get a little more worried. I cuddled her in my lap and we talked about it. She was worried because she didn't know how to be an adult.

When I asked her if she thought adults have rules, she said yes. "Like what?" I asked her. "I don't know how to drive." I reminded her she was only 5, and that she did know some of the rules for driving. I asked her about stop lights, and she knew them. "But I don't know how to stop the car!"  I assured her she would have driving lessons when she was old enough to sit in the front seat.

When I asked her what she was worried about for when she is an adult, another reply was, "I want my kids to have a loft bed, but I don't know how to make one <sob>!"

I told her when she gets older and wants to build her kids a loft bed, all she has to do is pick up the phone and give me a call. I would come over and show her how to make it. I told her Da would probably come over too.

She seemed pretty upset about it all still, but then the moment passed and she was being silly again.

At a different point in the day, she kept asking me when we would be moving. She wanted to move before the house caught on fire. I assured her our house is safe.

When she was getting ready for bed, she started to get upset again. I told her I would be sitting with her until she fell asleep. She kept asking when we would be moving, when I thought the house might burn down, etc. I pointed out the smoke detectors. After explaining to her how they work, she seemed a little more at ease.

She fell asleep a lot quicker then I expected.

But I am at a loss. Do all 5 year olds have these fears?

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