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to ask you all for ideas on helping DS2

(23 Posts)
TheLadyEvenstar Sun 14-Aug-11 23:47:29

Since the riots and the gangs gathering at the bottom of our block, bottles being thrown along with other items, them getting into the block and buzzing the intercoms outside, along with local shops being smashed up and some looted he has had nightmares and is fixated everytime there is a siren passing our block he looks panicked.

I need to help him realise that life is not always so scary and that he is safe indoors etc.

I have had to get his toddler bed out of storage and put it in my bedroom as he is frightened to sleep in his own room.

Any ideas on how I can help him? he is 3.11yrs old.

michaelbooblie Mon 15-Aug-11 00:04:03

I don't have any advice but just wanted you to know i have read this and thinking of you.
Just give him loads of reassurance and keep him close (which you're doing anyway)
Little people are very resilient and he will be o.k soon.

Salmotrutta Mon 15-Aug-11 00:08:00

Oh poor little guy sad
I just didn't want your post to go unanswered but all I can suggest is that you just keep reassuring him everytime he seems frightened or upset. Lots of cuddles and telling him your there and looking after him etc.
I'm sure the nightmares will fade with time although that sounds like a cliche.
Does he have a nighlight? Would that help?
Sorry I can't suggest anything else - but I'll bet soemone else will come along with brilliant advice in a minute.

Salmotrutta Mon 15-Aug-11 00:10:52

Also, maybe getting him to articulate what he is frightened about (yes, he is very little, I know) can help you to allay some of his fears?

TheLadyEvenstar Mon 15-Aug-11 00:17:32

I had kept his bedroom light on low (dimmer switch) but every time a siren went past he was up again. He was waking in the night crying for me, even though in the past he would have just got up and come the 8 foot steps to my bedroom.

I shut his window, left the hall light on etc.

He has said he is scared the bad men will come back and get in and get him.

He makes me shut all the windows every night so they can't get in sad

I don't know what else to do tbh, It was awful here when it was all going on and I was scared.

Even taking him out is hard work as for 3 days we couldn't/wouldn't dare to go out to the point I had to leave DS1 and DS2 indoors with my neighbour listening for them while I ran to the shop. Now of course he is scared to go out.

biscuitmad Mon 15-Aug-11 00:22:04

My lo shouts when he hears the sirens going past and asks if everything is okay. I give him a hug and tell him everything is okay. He watches the news with me and watched the riots. I told him the people were being very naughty. And then pointed out the policemen and told him they are going to take the naughty people away to the naughty step.

I have noticed if a siren goes past after his in bed, he comes running into me asking if everything is okay. Does he have a favourite teddy to cuddle at nighttime? My lo has got a seahorse it glowes in the dark and plays music. It has worked wonders for him and helps to settle him when he gets upset. He has suffered with night terrrors for ages his nearly 3.

TheLadyEvenstar Mon 15-Aug-11 00:28:17

I will have to look at getting him a teddy which glows in the dark, may help!! off to fleabay I go grin

Think thats the point not only did we see it on the news it was all around where we live and when we visited my sister at the weekend the aftermath where she lives is just as bad as where we are.

Salmotrutta Mon 15-Aug-11 00:35:33

Ah, it must have been so frightening. All very well for those of us far away watching from the safety of our TV screens. sad
I think it sounds like it will just take time and patience.
Would this google books site help at all?
children's fears

TheLadyEvenstar Mon 15-Aug-11 00:39:56

Salm, ty I will see if i can get it on the kindle grin

ManicPanic Mon 15-Aug-11 01:09:34

My dd sometimes has 'am I safe?' worries near bedtime.

I tell her that every door and window is locked, and even if they weren't, our dog would, as dd puts it 'ruff them away.' I tell her that she is very safe, and if anyone tried to get in, they would never get past dh, the dog, and me.

I think the trick is to reassure them but not to try to tell children that nothing bad ever happens - they look at the world around them and they can see for themselves that bad things can and do happen.

Dd does worry about burglars, I tell her that burglars don't really want to steal from houses while people are in, because they don't want to get caught. I've had to explain to her that burglars want to pinch televisions and dvd players, and they are not, as she seemed to think, some sort of evil gnome that likes to eat children!

TheLadyEvenstar Mon 15-Aug-11 11:16:09

Manic, that made me giggle about evil gnomes.

DS2 slept all night last night in my bedroom until 5.35am when a police car was downstairs and seemed so loud it woke me up too. So I have been up with him since then. sad we did doze back off about 7am for an hour or so.

VelveteenRabbit Mon 15-Aug-11 12:28:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheLadyEvenstar Mon 15-Aug-11 12:40:00

Velveteen, I didn't think of that - thankyou!

Mitmoo Mon 15-Aug-11 12:51:53

Loads of good advice has been given, my son has bad anxiety at the best of time. This one might be a bit off the wall and only YOU will know if it would be right for your son, but it is an idea only so I'll throw it in to the mix.

If you could find a friendly policeman or woman to have a chat with him to reassure him they are there to keep his family safe. Obviously you'd need to call them first to make sure you were comfortable with the way the police officer would talk to him.

They could tell him the police have found all of the naughty people and they are in jail. That they are there to keep him and his mummy safe.

My son was older but I've had some lovely CPO's in my home after a shed burglary to help reassure my son who was too terrified to back into the back garden. They chatted to him and generally just made him feel more secure. Showed him the cuffs they put on the bad guys. I've always made a big thing of the police being our friends here to help protect us.

Just an off the wall one there to add to the very sensible suggestions made so far.

(PS keep any coverage about the riots off the television when your son is around)

Mitmoo Mon 15-Aug-11 12:54:00

Velveteen Not sure about that one, if he needs the spray then there must be a bogeyman in his home in the first place to spray. Again it's one for the mum to know the child best, mine is extremely literal, he'd poop bricks but again it may well work for the OPs child.

TheLadyEvenstar Mon 15-Aug-11 12:56:36

Mit, he used to love the police now he seems so scared. I think its just the fact that we saw so much trouble so local to us and he saw police running after people that has scared him. I live local to the police station so might pop down there when I can escape for a few minutes. But that is a very good idea. Thanks

Mitmoo Mon 15-Aug-11 12:58:59

As he is scared to go out, you probably need to take this in small steps. Take him out just to the end of the road for no reason and back, then a little further and back, a little further and back with a reward for each time he has done it.

I wouldn't try for the whole trip to the shops and back if he really is that scared and I can see why he would be.

Just loads of love, loads of patience and loads of reassurance and small steps.

Mitmoo Mon 15-Aug-11 13:01:17

It's just one that worked for my son. They showed my son handcuffs and were totally brilliant on the reassurance side of things. Perhaps if he could talk to a strong tough policeman/woman to tell him they are there for him and his family but they to chase the naughty ones, perhaps it will help. You'll know what your son can cope with.

TheLadyEvenstar Mon 15-Aug-11 13:02:21

Mit, have managed to get him to the park downstairs because the puppy has to go out. Further than that has proved difficult although I got him to the bus stop downstairs and on a bus the other day - you could see the worry on his face bless him and I had to get a cab back as he refused to walk down the road where my sister lives which still carries the scars of the riots.

Mitmoo Mon 15-Aug-11 13:09:09

Probably best not to take him places right now that still show the damage. You are doing really well and so is the little fella to have got onto buses and into the park. I spent months just trying to get my son into supermarkets due to food phobias with OCD. Your son has rightly justified anxiety but the small steps thing is the right way forward.

Mitmoo Mon 15-Aug-11 13:11:39

The puppy might be a key to helping him too. When my son would get distressed and I couldn't reach him I'd tell him his cat was crying because cat was so sad to see him upset. Then he'd cuddle the cat focus on making the cat feel better rather than his own anxiety.

Another whacky one from the Mit grin

TheLadyEvenstar Mon 15-Aug-11 13:12:53

Mit, its hard work isn't it sad

The park is a stones throw from our front door so he is fine with that and he can play close to me while pup has a run. Plus she is protective of him and also follows him around to keep him safe.

The bus freaked him out tbh and I have to admit I wasn't particularly comfortable on it either seeing the damage done.

VelveteenRabbit Mon 15-Aug-11 16:24:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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