I've recently moved in with my girlfriend and I've become an instand dad. Although at first this was somewhat scary, in retrospect I'm not at all sure what I was worried about, it's been a wonderful experience that happenes almost without effort, and now we have a 3rd on the way.
But I am very concerned about our 7 year old, who is extremely scared of everything. Or perhaps nothing, depending on the way you look at it - when asked he can't actually name his fears, he's just scared.
Scared to the point where he won't go to the bathroom on his own and prefers to be in the same room as me or his mom at all time. He won't go to sleep unless someone's with him, and if he wakes up at night (at least 50% of the time he will) he'll panic and run into our room and sleep on a small bed there (formerly used by owr daughter, who is 5).
There's no doubt that he _is_ scared, last night he came into the room with his voice clearly shaky. The problem is that he doesn't seem to be scared of _something_, and I can't help get the feeling that it's now simply habitual, he's scared because he knows that when he feels that way he'll end up sleeping in his mom's room (or bed before I arrived).
His mom is a self-described "jellyfish" that would give Alder the fits, and I've convinced myself (that's not hard!) that this is the root of the problem. However she resists any real effort to do anything about the problem, doing the "well it's just the way he is" or "he saw the X-files at his dad's house" routine whenever the topic comes up.
Well I'm a guy and I want to do something, I feel bad for him. So what to do? Is this sort of paralyzing fear common? If so, is this something we can help? Any suggestions?
Your son likely displays an emotional condition called separation anxiety disorder. In this condition, the youngster is not afraid of particular things, but rather carries a pervasive worry that harm will befall the parent (and, thus, the child will be left alone). Consequently, a child with separation anxiety disorder is reluctant to be away from the parent - the only reassurance that they can achieve is to be in the company of the parent.
It would be wise to seek consultation with a pediatric mental health clinician, who can offer you and your wife guidance about how to manage day-to-day situations to help your son feel more secure in his mother's absence.
I too have a very scared chld. She is ten, and is afraid of storms, of dying in her sleep and recently she has bee scared of someone braking in the house! I know counceling will help, but what are some things we can do as parents to find more about her problem, I am a reader, so any information would be helpfull.
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