My five year old step son is afraid of everything

Melissa - posted on 08/17/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )




Hi, I'm new to this website. I've been with my boyfriend for just over 3 years and he has a son who is now 5, going on 6 in October, and I consider his son to be my step son because we're close and he's been in my life for awhile. He used to be fearless, but we moved in am apartment together, the three of us, and due to old living conditions he's sleeping in his own room for the first time in his life. He's had a delayed reaction of being scared to sleep in there alone and is suddenly terrified of the dark, and thunderstorms. He cries a lot saying he misses people he had just seen. I understand he's adjusting to a new life, but I don't know how to help him. He also got stung by a bee and we found out he's allergic, and now he won't go outside at all. I offered to take him to the park today and he said no, then I suggested we set up a kiddy pool and he said he didn't want to go outside today. I don't know how to help him get over his fears and help him adjust. Any suggestions?


Raye - posted on 08/17/2015




Does he have an EpiPen or something for the allergic reactions? If so, then reassure him that the pen is going to make everything ok if he is stung. Let him know you or his father will be right there looking out for him so nothing goes wrong.

As far as sleeping in his bed, it seems like he has separation anxiety. It will take time, but you have to be consistent. Use a nightlight so it's not so dark. Keep the door propped open to his room (not yours). If he's really terrified, then maybe you could let him sleep with you sometimes. But for the most part, he should be sleeping in his own bed. If he's upset, then you or the father should cuddle with him in his own bed for a while, then leave him to go back to your own bed. During storms, let him know the thunder and lightening won't hurt him. Tell him some cute story about storms, like it's cloud giants bowling using water-filled barrels; the bowling ball knocks over the barrels and creates rain.

Again, it will take time, and encouragement. Praise him when he does well and he will gain more confidence.

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