From Missy: How do you deal with irrational fears? – my 5 year old is extremely afraid of mummies. It kinda goes with the dark…He thinks they are going to get him if a room is dark. he saw one on an episode of duck tales and its now been several months of this fear and we don’t know how to over come it.
I feel sure we 4 Moms tackled this question in the past, but I’m having trouble finding the post. If anyone else stumbles across it and can provide a link, I’ll give you a virtual hug.
In the meantime, I’ll have to search my physical brain since searching my blog brain failed, because I know that we have dealt with this problem many times over the years. Like, now.
Whether my kids are afraid of the dark, the possibility that a troll might emerge from the closet, a scary scene from a movie, or a bug with no piercing/biting/stinging parts, they all get pretty much the same talking points from me. It goes like this:
I know you’re scared, but you know that this isn’t a good thing to be scared of, right? Is it real? Can it really hurt you? (Did God make trolls that can hide in your closet?) We all have foolish fears sometimes, and even though it’s hard we need to make sure we don’t let those fears rule us. I’m scared of _____ and they make me want to scream and run, but I know they can’t really hurt me so I work very hard to control myself. This is good practice for us to learn to control our fear, so that when we face something truly dangerous our fear won’t overpower us.
Of course that’s just the beginning of the conversation, and it may sound a little different depending on the child’s age and the circumstances, but you get the gist of it.
From Hadley: Some of you (I know Smockity) have all girls and one boy. What age does he get his own room?
We have more than one boy now and we have a separate boys’ room for them, so this no longer applies. However, until recently we lived in a far smaller home where it simply wasn’t practical to give the boy his own room, and we didn’t feel that it was a problem.
Part of the reason is because the girls were able to dress in private, either by asking others (or just the boy) to leave, or by dressing in the bathroom, laundry room, or any other private area they could find.
Another reason is because we discourage our kids from using bedrooms for much more than sleeping. They are not private retreats in which to hide. Rather, they are bed rooms: sleeping areas, which may also hold clothes and private possessions.
Having said all this, I would have very much wanted our boys to be segregated by the time they reached puberty…or when natural curiosity became a problem. I’m not sure how or when that would have happened, but we kept an eye out for indications that it was time for change.
another from Hadley: How much time do your kids actually spend in their rooms? Ours spend very little, but it’s aggravating when they need something from their room when their young roommate is sleeping (shoes, coat, purse, etc.).
As I mentioned above, we try generally try to limit bedroom use to sleeping and changing clothes. This is not a hard fast rule, but more of a pattern we have worked to establish. We want to spend our waking time living with each other. Like, in the living areas. We try to keep the living areas orderly and restful, limiting chaos to outdoors and the sunroom, so that we don’t get tired of each other during the course of the day.
When it comes to the kids needing something from their room when someone is sleeping, we don’t generally have a problem sneaking in and out without waking the sleeper – unless the sleeper was already half awake. Then I either tell him/her to go back to sleep (or just stay in bed a little longer) because it’s not time to get up, or let them get up. I know it’s nicer when they sleep longer, but it’s really not a big deal either way.
From Denise: I have a 2.5 year old & a nursing 8 month old….How do you get kitchen things done? I need to can tomatoes & put up corn for the freezer etc but these big projects scare me with tiny people in the house who need attention & to eat (& I know there’s only 2 but still!)
Denise, you might not like this answer but when I had projects that simply couldn’t be done with little ones underfoot, I did them late into the night. We had early bedtimes back then for the little ones, so some of my most productive hours were between 8 PM and midnight.
Yes, I lost some sleep that I probably needed desperately. But since they were all little, I was able to nap when they did or go to bed early the next night. And I was able to do a 4 hour job in 4 quiet, peaceful hours instead of 9 hectic and frustrating hours.