More parenting advice, please.

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Spinach, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. Spinach

    Spinach
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    I have a child who is 8 1/2. She is my worry wart/scaredy pants---just like me :smilewinkgrin:

    The problem is, she's not sleeping, which means that we ALL aren't sleeping. She worries about intruders. She worries about war and thinks about fatherless children. She thinks about eternity. She worries about snakes and mice in the house. She thinks/worries about this girl we saw in the city who was huffing and wearing panty hose on her face. This child was literally afraid of her own shadow when she was 2 and would shake/scream with fear. She eventually made friends with it, but she still has so many other fears.

    To help her, I set up a reading area in the corner by her bed where she can sit and read her books before falling asleep. I also bought a good night light. In addition, I turn on soft music to help her fall asleep. If she falls asleep before the other children she does fine. But if she is the last to fall asleep, she lays there in her irrational thoughts and fear grips her.

    She also sleep walks on occasion.

    She really causes a stir in the house if she has to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. She tries to wake one of her sisters to go with her. Sometimes that works. Other times they tell her to leave them alone and go by herself. But she refuses to go by herself, so she will SCREAM until someone wakes up and takes her to the bathroom. This wakes up the whole house and leaves us all feeling...well...grumpy.

    Have any of you been through this with your children? What worked to help them? We need some sleep!

    Thanks.
     
  2. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    What helped you? Obviously you don't wake your husband up to hold your hand while you go to the bathroom. LOL

    I would suggest 1) a flashlight and 2) some stronger consequences for waking up the household. 8 1/2 is old enough to understand that what she is doing is rude.

    Then we would consider ways to make her feel more powerful (the best defense as we know is a good offense). Make her memorize scripture about not being fearful and how God is our strength. Consider getting her some martial arts training if it is available where you are.

    I daresay that when you stop allowing the unwanted and inappropriate reaction to her fear, she will replace it with something more constructive. You will have to help her with this and that is what the flash light is for. She can use it to chase the boogers away. (there is a verse that says something about men not wanting to do evil in the light, so turn that so into the flashlight will chase away the boogers.)

    Sometimes we try to hard to help our children through stuff like this and it ends up that we have reinforced the idea that their reactions to their fear is appropriate. I have both a brooder and a fearful one. I've found that a strong, but loving, refusal to accept their inappropriate reactions on my part often leads them to work harder on dealing with the true issue behind the reaction. They come by this stuff honest too.

    She IS capable of dealing with her fears (if she's not, I'd suggest some sort of counseling/medical intervention). She simply hasn't HAD to deal with them. You may have to force the issue and set up some strong consequences, but I'd start first with some training/roleplaying to be certain she has the tools she needs to deal with her fears.
     
  3. Spinach

    Spinach
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    I'm still afraid of the dark and have a hard time being home alone at night. I'm a super big chicken if I need to go to the outhouse at night or go out and get some wood.

    I agree about stronger consequences for waking up the house like that. But I also want her to know that I understand her fears. Is comforting a child validating fears? I'll have to think on that one.
     
  4. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    My youngest has had similar trouble at night, wanting to stay by me and even sleep on the floor by the bed. One thing that has helped her is we pray together every night before she goes to sleep, and if she's feeling scared, we talk about how Jesus is right there beside her. I've learned not to let her eat late in the evening, and to make sure her bed is not covered with toys, because little things like that seem to make it harder for her to get to sleep.

    Also, could you maybe give her a special toy to sleep with so she isn't so scared? If she has to go the bathroom in the night, maybe she could take a stuffed animal with her for "security?"
     
  5. Spinach

    Spinach
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    We do/did all of that. We're going to limit her evening water for a while and see if that helps.
     
  6. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    Outhouse?? As in she has to leave the house to go to the bathroom? At night????????????????

    Whole different picture!

    In that case I'd instruct her to wake up a "bathroom buddy" that I would specify before bed. *I* wouldn't feel comfortable with any of my children leaving the house during the dark, even to go to the bathroom.

    I'd spread the work of the "bathroom buddy" around between all the kids and myself. Hubby would be exempt (he can take care of himself lol). But they would all go in pairs.
     
  7. abcgrad94

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    What about a chamber pot?

    Shoot, even I wouldn't go to an outhouse in the dark by myself. EEEEEK! If I encountered a cricket or creepy-crawly or 4 legged critter..........the whole neighborhood would wake up fast.
     
  8. Steven2006

    Steven2006
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    Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
    And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    Phil 4:6-7

    There are so many scriptures that address fear and worry. Each night before she goes to sleep I would choose a few and read them to her and pray with her. Also explain to her that you are there ( in the house) and you wont let anything harm her. She needs to trust you and more importantly trust God, and in that she will find some peace.
     
  9. annsni

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    Such great advice so far Spinach. I agree with the others about immersing her in God's Word, giving her "light" of some sort and assigning a buddy for the bathroom (or using a chamber pot sort of thing - you can get a toilet seat for a 5 gallon bucket). Almost 9 years old is big enough to also have some gentle consequences - you don't want to be TOO harsh but she does need to understand about being courteous to others as well as dealing with her fear.

    ((HUGS))
     
  10. Spinach

    Spinach
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    HA! Yeah, the outhouse at night thing is no fun.

    But I failed to specify that we do have an indoor bathroom. We only have to use the outhouse if the water freezes or the bathroom is under repair. As a general rule, we do not use the outhouse.


    Last night was much better. We limited her evening water, made sure she went right before bed, and gave her some scripture to hang on to. We all finally got some sleep. Even she was in better spirits this morning.

    Thanks for the advice!! And thanks for letting me vent my frustrations here. :)
     
  11. Pipedude

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    One of my children developed a fear that the house might catch on fire while he slept. It recurred every night at bedtime, so I gave him this talk: "Close your eyes and picture yourself in the back yard looking at your window and the house is on fire. Now freeze it: the fire is a big cartoon on a piece of cardboard and a little fire truck drives up with a bunch of clowns for firemen. They're running around and falling down and running into each other and squirting the water hose everywhere and the cardboard picture keeps falling over and they set it up and squirt it. And I come out the back door to holler at them and they squirt me, too. Then they load up the cardboard and drive the little truck out the gate and down the street. Now the house can't burn any more."

    I theorized that the thought was like a record that played every night (you kids ask your parents what a record was) and by using his imagination, I would scratch that record up to where it could never play again. It worked.
     
  12. jcjordan

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    This is a heart issue for your child. Speak to the child's heart issue, which is distrust in God to take care of her. Behavior isn't the issue, the heart is the issue.
     

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