When does anxiety become an actual issue?(4 Posts)
My four year old is a bright, inquisitive boy with a very active imagination.
Recently he has started worrying a lot about things - the smoke alarm/house fires, the burglar alarm/someone breaking into the house, doing something 'naughty' (I never tell him he's naughty, he isn't, don't know where he's got it from) and someone calling the police.
It was fine for a while and we would discuss everything and I'd explain things while reassuring him there was nothing to worry about. Recently however (maybe in the last couple of weeks) it has amplified into something that is actually affecting his life, and mine.
He won't eat an ice cream in the street because he's worried it's 'not allowed', he insists on leaving the museum after half an hour as 'they might close and he'll be shut in', he won't go to the zoo santa breakfast thing tomorrow morning as we have to 'sneak in early' and he's frantic that someone might call the police.
It's driving me mad. I've tried everything. We've written down everything he's worried about, to show we're taking it seriously. I've explained to him that I am here to keep him safe and I wouldn't lie to him or put him at risk. I've got cross with him and told him to snap out of it. Nothing works.
Is this normal, or do we have a problem here? There is nothing in his life that should make him anxious. Nothing. The only thing that is affecting his happiness is all from inside him and it's breaking my heart
You poor thing! It's so hard being a mom! When my son was 4, he went through a "worrying" stage. He was worried the earth would be swallowed by a black hole and for at least a month he asked me about this at least 4 times a day. He worried about a house fire. He worried about our dog running away. Probably several other things as well. Then overnight, this stage just seemed to vanish. Chances are, this is exactly what will happen with your son as well.
My advice is to do everything you can to remain calm. He may be worried, but he needs to see from you that you're not. I think you're doing everything exactly as you should. If this does happen to continue, say for maybe 2 or 3 more months, then you might want to talk to his doctor and get some advice.
Thank you so much for getting back to me aquamarine, I really appreciate it! You sound like you went through a really similar thing... amazing to hear that it disappeared overnight, I can't quite believe that for us at the moment, but I have absolutely everything crossed.
Today he wouldn't let me unlock his sister's bike which was locked to a lamppost on the high street as he was worried someone would think we were stealing it. I had to go back and get it later. I can't handle this for much longer! Will take your advice and stay calm and keep smiling and hope it's all over soon
Hi op, i too think its quite usual at this developmental stage, my 7yr old dd goes through anxious phases too. Has your ds started sch? Might be the imposition of rules there about everything that he is adjusting to and trying to make sense of. I would suggest not avoiding doing things that make him anxious as that could reinforce that its something to be anxious about. With empathy and understanding as you are doing. Its tough and wearing i know. It too will pass
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