My child is terrified to be "alone".

Amanda - posted on 06/13/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )




I may need to start with a back story for some clarity. A couple of months ago a opossum got in our house. I was bathing one night when I saw it walk through our walk in closet. My daughter (4) was in our bedroom on my bed enjoying some TV before bedtime. I freaked out and immediately screamed for my husband. I was startled and not sure how to react. My daughter at this point is startled too because of my initial reaction. My husband comes in and begins searching for the opossum. He moved one of the boxes in our closet and the opossum takes off and runs under our bed (right toward my daughter). I toweled off, dressed and quickly took her into another room while my husband "took care of" the opossum.

A couple of weeks later my daughter began having issues with being alone in any room in the house by herself. We felt like we were being stalked by a 4 year old. She wanted to be in the same room as myself, my husband or my son at all times. She would even wake up at night and lay in bed crying. When we talked to her she would tell us that she was just afraid to be alone and the only reason she would ever give for suddenly being afraid was that she was scared of seeing another opossum. We have tried everything we can think of to ease her mind and to reassure her that there are no more opossums in the house. We even made her a special "opossum go away spray", which is really just a tiny bit of fabric softener and water, for her to keep with her and spray if she gets scared. She does fine until bed time. We read a story, tuck her in, and tell her goodnight. As soon as we leave the room she jumps out of bed and runs after us. She has a bed in her room and a bed in our room for those nights when has bad dreams, but she won't fall asleep in either one unless someone is in the room with her. My husband and I have argued several times about how to best handle the situation. We have tried being patient and being tough, but neither really seems to work. She will fall asleep quickly as long as someone else in the room. I'm not sure how to handle this and I'm not sure if this new phase is really about a opossum or if it is more about control. I don't want to her feel afraid and alone, but I also don't want to give her complete control at bedtime either. Please help!


Jennifer - posted on 06/13/2013




You could try finding some cute pictures, stuffed animals, ect... of opossums and maybe then she would realize that she doesn't have to be afraid.

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