4 Moms on irrational fears, bedrooms, and getting projects done with little ones around

4moms35kids 4 Moms Q&A
 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.


Your turn: How would you answer the questions above?

See what questions the other moms are answering today:


  1. I was a very fearful child, and frequently called my mother into my room to comfort me through whatever it was I was afraid of. She would usually try to logically explain that my fears were either unlikely to happen (like a tornado ripping through our house) or could never happen (like a zombie attack). But once, I think in a moment of desperation, she told me the one thing that effectively calmed all my fears and is still with me today. She simply told me, “Look, Sarah, I can’t promise you that (insert that night’s fear) is never going to happen. But I can promise you that Jesus will never leave you or forsake you. Ever.” That was all I needed to hear. I had a hard time believing her when she used cold logic. But the simple promise of my Savior was something I KNEW I could hold fast to.

    • Sarah,
      You’re so right! When I said that the talk doesn’t end there, I should have added that I usually go on to talk about the fact that God is always with us and watching over us. When the kids are afraid of imaginary things, I do ask, “Did God make zombies? No.” When they are afraid of real (but unlikely) things, I remind them that everything is under God’s control and He loves us.

  2. to the question of getting things done with littles under foot, when I just had my older two, I would do things during their nap times, and after daddy got home. I have found with canning, sometimes it is hours of busy work, but sometimes it is some frantic work, with lull’s in between. If it is mostly just staying in the kitchen while tomatoes cook down making sure they don’t burn etc, then set the kids up in the kitchen doing activities like playing in a plastic bowl of water with water toys, or bubbles, a bowl of rice or beans with measuring cups, just a cabinet full of plastic bowls and lids. Maybe move them into high chairs with a snack when you have to move the tomatoes from the stock pot into the jars. It seems like corn can be handled similarly, activities at your feet while you de silk the corn stalks boil and blanch the ears, then in a high chair with a snack when you pull out the knife to take the kernals off.

  3. My littles are almost 5, almost 3 and 10 months. This is the first year I’m canning. It’s been a learning process. My 2 yr old sits on the counter. My infant hangs out in the walker and the 4 year old entertains the baby. My only issue is the walker. He’s kind of good for ramming into me. When I’m moving jars, I put the front of my foot on the walker to keep him in place for a few minutes. The 2 year old swipes my utensils and I have to chase him. Everyone has their own apron-even the baby. I worry but I’ve been at this several times a week now and no problems except for my burns from jam making. The 2 year old who seems to be the most “curious” child is learning to comply.

    I do agree about doing things after bedtime.

  4. I swear some of the other moms answered the first two questions before. I remember reading them word for word somewhere. Maybe that’s why they seem familiar to you. 🙂

    • They probably did answer them recently because I pulled these questions from the 4 Moms page on facebook, and they are several weeks old. But I think we also answered very similar questions a while back. I just can’t find the posts I’m thinking of, and decided it would be faster to write than to search fruitlessly.

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