Fear of being left alone

Danielle - posted on 05/05/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I'm sitting here right now listening to my 3 yr old scream b/c she had to go to bed alone. She sleeps in our room in her own bed and for the past couple of weeks I've noticed she panicks if I leave a room and she can't find me. I went outside tonight to take the dog out and she wouldn't stay inside but was crying the entire time we were out there b/c "monsters are coming". When I try to tell her there is no such thing it turns into an argument.She use to love to go to my MIL's house on the weekends but now she screams to come home with us. I'm not sure if it's a fase or maybe my older son (age 6) is putting thoughts in her head or if it's something more severe. I just want to know if anyone else has went through this and any suggestions would be helpful. I just hate seeing her like this when she's normally fearless of everything

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Gina - posted on 05/05/2010

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It could be all of the above... but just test the waters.
When my nephews were a little younger they would not go to sleep because of "monsters". My sister thought up a genius trick that worked for them! Use air freshener,something relaxing like lavender,make a lable to cover the one on the container that says MONSTERS BE GONE, tell her that the monsters don't like the smell and let her spray it anywhere and everywhere she thinks "they" might be hideing in the room she sleeps most.(under the bed,in the closet etc...)She will feel more in controll at bedtime and the room will smell nice too
good luck and I hope it is a fase and passes quickly.

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Julie - posted on 05/06/2010

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my kid refuses to sleep alone too, but honey, I gotta tell you if her behavior has changed recently or shes no longer responds to people the way she did, it very well could mean she experianced some kind of abuse you dont know about. You REALLY need to look at this from a serious perspective.

Tracy - posted on 05/06/2010

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I have heard of the "monster spray" before, but keep in mind that if you use this trick it could confirm to her that there really are monsters if somebody makes a spray for them! You could be causing her to fear them longer than she would ordinarily because she's using the spray as a crutch. I remember being 7 or 8 and seeing "scary faces" in the patterns of my draperies in my room. They were really floral draperies, but in the dark, a kid with an active imagination can conger up lots of scary stuff! Sometimes playing peek-a-boo with your child can help teach them that just because the child can't see Mommy it doesn't mean she's far away or fallen off the face of the Earth. Tell your daughter that you would never leave her unless she wanted to spend the night at Grandma's or something. Reassure her that monsters do not exist and like someone else mentioned, monitor what she watches on TV closely. Your daughter probably has a big imagination and those kids are just going to have more fears than others. They also have more creative writing skills, problem solving skills, and critical thinking skills, so it's not all bad to have a child like this!

Louise - posted on 05/06/2010

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Gina this is a brilliant idea! It seems to me that your daughter is suffering with seperation anxiety where you are involved and probably added to this stress is her brother telling her about monsters! Poor kid! The seperation anxiety will stop as it is a phase that they all go through at some point. Just try and reassure her that your not going far and leave a door open. Just try and have a quiet talk with your son telling him his sister is still a baby and he should not frighten her. Monitor what they are watching on the tv as some cartoons can be quite frightening to a three year old. I remember going through this phase myself worrying about monsters coming to get me about the age of 5. My mum bought me a st christopher which I wore every day.

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