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October 19, 2004

Comments

Robin P

Rich has always told Lillianna stories about his black lab, Midnight, that he had growing up. She always protected the family. When Lillianna gets scared she says she calls Midnight down from heaven to guard her room. Hey, don't laugh. It works!! thank you Midnight!

Susan

Thank you everyone for great ideas! It's just nice to know that others are working through this or have in the past. I'm going to try the guided imagery CD first. She listens to lullaby CDs now at bedtime so I think she'd respond well to the guided imagery.

If that doesn't work I'll try the 'Monster Spray.' That was also a great idea to use non-toxic spray. I don't want to try this yet because I know it will get sprayed all over the place. :)

Jenny

Maybe some guided imagery would help her. It sounds kind of hokey, but we've had really great luck with playing Jim Weiss CDs at bedtime, where he's telling very soothing stories about unicorns and cabins in the snow and hot chocolate and sunny meadows. It seems to give them something to focus on, and helps color their dreams happy.

I got them at Chinaberry.com

andrea

I've heard of the "Monster B Gone" spray idea too. I filed it in my brain as well, but if anyone is going to go ahead and try this, please don't use air freshener or any other chemical. Buy an empty spray bottle and fill it with water/food colouring or something non toxic. You don't want you child spraying herself by accident.

kikimarcus

I remeber reading somewhere about a Monster-B-Gone spray that helped children fight their fear of the boogey-man under their bed. A mother took a can of air freshner and made a special wrap for it so it looked like a can of Monster-B-Gone. Then she'd spray under the bed, in the closets, wherever the child was afraid a monster would hide every night at bedtime. Told them it would keep monsters away at night just like the way bug-spray works.

I always thought that was a nifty idea and have kept it in my memory banks just in case...

Margaret

The exact same thing happened to me when I was about eight. I was terrified that my loved ones were conspiring to abandon me. It was horrible. The backs of my knees would lock up and I would feel a tingling panic in the back of my neck every time a door closed and I was alone to go to bed or whatever.

Since I became a mom, I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I wished my family would have done to help me. And this is what I came up with.

Acknowledge that you know she is terrified. And that it's a very serious feeling. I remember adults in my life gently laughing at my fears and it made it worse. To them it was absurd that I'd be abandoned, but to me it seemed like a completely logical action for them to take. Spend a lot of time with her. Maybe sit by her bed until she falls asleep for a few nights. Tell her she is the most important person in the world and that you or somebody equally "safe" for her will always be in the house with her.

I think the biggest problem for me was that people got really impatient with me. If she's anything like I was, this was not a problem that resoved quickly. The things that helped me resolve it were time, and doing activities that I loved. When I was around horses/animals it nagged at me, but I was functional. So maybe try to make time to do her favorite things to distract her.

Also, there may be something going on at school that you might want to look in to. At that age, a lot of kids are embarrased to tell their parents about teasing that may be occurring. And we all know how mean little girls can be.

All kids are different and I hope this addresses your daughter's problems a little. And I hope this helps.

Betsy

When my son was about that age, he was deeply afraid to sleep at night in his own room, which was on a different floor from my bedroom at the time.

Our baby monitor was long since gone, but we did have two-way battery operated walkie-talkies - just having that next to his bed at night seemed to calm him down, and I don't think he ever used it to call me.

Of course, we went through tons of batteries during this phase, as I recall...

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