My 9 year old son is scared of everything. He is too scared to use the bathroom himself, sleep in his own bed, go into another room alone and scared of the dark, you name it. I can’t take it anymore. I just want to help him but don’t know what to do and where to start. Please help.
This is a common issue with children suffering from anxiety. Please read the question and my response to "Jakesmom706" who posted on June 09, 2009 under the heading "Fear of being alone" on this forum. If you have any questions after reading and googling for additional information, please write. I wish you the best ...
My 7 year old son is afraid of being alone upstairs or downstairs. He won't go to the washroom alone. He won't sleep at night unless I am in the bed with him. I have 3 other young children to atend to. I have been refusing to sleep with him so he has been awake at night until around 11pm, 12am. I am exhausted. I give him choices but he still will not go to the washroom alone or go to sleep. He has become abusive to me n his sisters. I don't know what to do. I have behaviour management specialists who meet with me once a week. I have a child youth worker coming in once a week. I am a single mother of 4 children aged 4-10. Bedtime I am exhausted n sometimes i end up falling asleep before my kids then i have to wake up again becuz my kids have still not gotten to sleep. Now my 4 year old who was scared of nothing says shes scared to go to the washroom herself. I wanted to know if u can tell me how i can get my son out of being so scared? I try talking to him n reassuring him that there is nothing to be scared of. I sing to him. I pray with him. I read to him. I am tired of being tired. Please give me some advice about how I can talk to him or something. It is affecting my family very much. Help would be very much appreciated. thanks
if u can tell me how i can get my son out of being so scared? -- your words
You can't. If your son had diabetes, you would not be able to "get your son out of that". Well, anxiety is the same except instead of this disorder being only physical, it is also mental and emotional. Anxiety is an inherited disorder (your son was born with it) and so needs to be treated properly. Talking won't work - but you already know that. By the way, anxiety is very common and highly treatable, usually with excellent results.
Your son is not refusing to comply; he is so scared that he is unable to comply. There's a big difference. What should you do? The first step is always to seek advice/help from your family physician. If he/she is unable to help you, then ask for a referral to a medical mental health specialist with experience in anxiety disorders as a child neurologist or a child psychiatrist. I know this is not what you want to hear - but this is what works. If a child were severely diabletic, changing the diet might help but it would be the insulin which would "work". The same holds true with anxiety - "talking" might help but it is the multi-modal treatment plan designed by a professional that will "work". This may or may not include medication - depends upon the severity.
I do give you credit in trying with the child behaviourist and the child youth worker but if the "talking" is not working, then you need to see your family physician. As I stated before, anxiety is an inherited disorder with physcial, mental and emotional components - that is why just "talking" doesn't work (unless, of course, the anxiety is very mild and that appears not to be your case). One more point - if anxiety is the issue, your son will not outgrow it nor will it go away; but, he can learn how to manage his fears/anxieties with proper treatment. I know - we've been there. All the best ...
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