traumatised 4 yo - how do I help him?

(9 Posts)
goddessofplenty Wed 03-Feb-16 16:44:47

hello a couple of weeks ago my ds was at a friend's house and was shown a few minutes of some zombie killer playstation game or other - now he's more withdrawn than usual and his sleep is all over the place. We only found out what the problem was when, after his second morning of screaming wake ups he said "[evil playmate] showed me a song and now I can't get it out of my head". Now he won't sleep unless me or DH are there and wakes within half an hour if we leave the bed. He's exhausted, we're exhausted and his terror isn't getting any less. He's also much more fearful of things that wouldn't normally bother him. We're not bringing it up because we don't want to make it more of an issue, but it ain't getting any better - anyone had similar upsets? How do we deal??

hedgehogsdontbite Wed 03-Feb-16 16:48:59

Gosh, no idea but didn't want to read and run. Poor little guy sad

Do the other parents know?

SqueegyBeckinheim Wed 03-Feb-16 16:56:56

Your poor little DS, that must have been horrible for him to see. flowers.

I remember when my sister was little she suddenly developed an overwhelming fear that spiders were going to attack her while she was asleep , and she was waking up screaming about spiders. I'm not sure if this stemmed from anything in particular that happened like in your son's case, but my dad and step mum bought her a cuddly toy dog and told her it was a special spider eating dog and it would keep her safe at night. The cuddly dog really helped her break the pattern of fear and night mares. Perhaps a special new cuddly might help.

LongDivision Wed 03-Feb-16 22:31:10

No advice, but 4 seems to be quite a normal age to have fears of monsters etc. at night. DS is 4 and many of his peers are going through this. I imagine if it hadn't been the zombie game, it would've been something else!

Rosenwyn1985 Thu 04-Feb-16 11:00:28

I know this might sound weird advice but it might be worth a try. Last year my 3 year old (then two) got scared of monsters. We told him daddy ate them and it helped. However, he's been obsessed with Scooby doo and now isn't scared of any sort of ghoul. He tells me he knows it's just a man in a mask so nothing to worry about. Maybe a few episodes of that with supervision? Not zombie island though.... They're real in that!

elQuintoConyo Thu 04-Feb-16 11:08:03

A friend's son of similar age had a fear of witches, he wouldn't sleep, wouldn't go into certain rooms etc. She took it very seriously and used to banish the witches very loudly, they'd shout "go away silly witches" together. She also got her son to draw what he sees and then she'd crumple up the paper and put it in the bin, thus throwing the witches away. After a couple of months the fear abated and he was fine. He still doesnt like a ton of Disney films grin

Best of luck with your LO and a ((hug))

BugPlaster Thu 04-Feb-16 14:32:24

I've read it's good to be seen 'dealing' with the fear - ie let him see you spraying anti zombie spray around the room but it's actually water (I'm sure you realised it wouldn't actually be anti zombie spray). I'd call it something more friendly though.
My 4.5yo DD gets nightmares. We recently bought a dreamcatcher which seems to have helped.

BottleOfGinger Fri 05-Feb-16 18:13:57

When I was wee I became really scared that a character called The Butcher from my DF's computer game would come into the real world and get me. When I explained this to DF he told me that he could only come out by printing himself out on our dot-matrix printer and he'd be so wee the cat would eat him. Even though I knew this was nonsense whenever I thought of The Butcher I started giggling and it lost all it's power. Maybe go for something funny?

goddessofplenty Sat 06-Feb-16 10:37:54

Thank you all you good kind people - this is really useful. We've dealt with other fears (rats) by addressing them in a sort of diminishing way, we should look at what we can identify here and give it a go again. A dreamcatcher is a great idea too. This may have begun with zombies, but generally it's more of a kind of an un-nameable general fear. Noises set him off. The dark. Being alone. He won't skip off to his kung fu classes any more. It's like he's regressed about 2 years. sad

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