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4 year old sudden irrational fear of clothes

(7 Posts)
Jacwac2203 Wed 01-Mar-17 19:29:32

Hi there, I am just hoping someone out there might have some advice or who may have had a similar experience. My daughter is just 4 and doing brilliant. She is clever, sociable, popular and hitting all her developmental targets. However...over the last week she has developed a phoboa of putting anything over her head...clothes to be specific. I think this all may have stemmed from an incident a few weeks ago when she tried to take off a dress that was still buttoned up, she panicked and hurt herself...I thought it was forgotten but at the weekend I tried to put on a similar dress but she refused to put on saying no no I can't... Stupidly I didn't understand her genuine fear thinking she was just being stubborn and a battle of wills ensued, I had to give in and put a more stretchy one on and she was happy, but then the next day she refused even a stretchy and over the course of the last few days anything over her head at all :-( not even a vest. I am beside myself now as everyday is getting worse and I am worried this will develop into a real anxiety issue. I have not handled it well at all and am trying hard to be calm now. Sorry for such a long post and hoping someone can give me some advice. Thanks x

Jacwac2203 Thu 02-Mar-17 18:55:38

No replies and feeling a little desperate, has no one had a similar experience at all?

viagrafalls Thu 02-Mar-17 19:30:37

Hello. I dont have a similar issue with clothes but my DD was trapped behind a locked door last year and that developed into a fear of being locked in/trapped anywhere. I couldn't lock or close loo doors in public loos, if we went to a restaurant and sat outside she got very upset if the door closed etc etc. Be patient and it will go away I promise. It may take weeks or even months (9 months later and my (now 5 ) DD has finally let go of all the remnants of her fears. I will tell you how we got through it and how you could maybe adapt my method (I used a CBT book to help a little).
I started by simply letting her tell me why she was frightened and I'd say that I knew what had happened had frightened her but it wasn't going to happen again. Then after a little while I would lock and unlock the door to show her the door wasn't going to get stuck. I did this so many times it was very boring indeed. As many times as was possible I made sure she was aware that the door would open and close easily. Eventually it started to die down and eventually stopped. Anyway I digress, maybe you could for now, have button up dresses or zips to just let her cool down a bit, can you also 'get stuck' inside one of your own tops and turn it into something silly to make her laugh? I also have handled things badly in the past due to my own anger/anxiety so dont beat yourself up about it. What a rambling answer! hope it makes sense. confused

Jacwac2203 Thu 02-Mar-17 21:22:28

Thanks so much....I have to say this does give me hope...I feel a little neurotic as it's only been a week, but knowing how wilful and determined my DD is makes me feel like it will never end....yes luckily she is in a pre school that is classroom with a luckily we have got away with the clothes...however pj's and clothes for the weekend are in short supply that can go on from her feet....shirts, cardies and all in one suits it is and off to the shops this weekend to stock up on bedtime onesies! I have been trying to coax her with a I will keep trying and I like the idea of making a joke of me being stuck! That would appeal to my DD she has a wicked sense of humour! Thanks so much....just sharing it helps...And knowing someone has been through something similar and understand that anxiety it causes confused

Hannahjessica Fri 03-Mar-17 02:31:22

I have just read both of these posts? My dd hates getting dressed every day! she will say clothes hurt her, there to tight! play games between me and my husband try to play one off against the other! Basically everything is a battle! But I think both of you are at fault, the minute you made an excuse for dd because you her dress got stuck on her head now she has developed this clothes problem!! Take a look at how you delt with the situation you panicked and clever 4 year has ran with it! Realise this is a great game now of getting your undervided attention and the more you stress it's playing into there hands!! Look even at 4 years old they know how to manipulate and play the game! Next time they refuse to wear certain clothes whatever age it's all a game! Don't get dragged in x

hotchocnbiscuit Fri 03-Mar-17 05:17:26

Could you let her pick from her wardrobe what she wants to wear?

CazzyM1 Sat 14-Oct-17 13:13:51

Hi, I have a 4 year old who's afraid of the grates at the bottom of swimming pools sad to the extent that she doesn't leave the steps into the pool as the can see the grates.... Aaarrgh!
Does anyone else have experience with this at all or have any ideas on how to tackle such an irrational fear? Any help is gratefully recieved (excuse the pun!)

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