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DD3 has turned into really wuss!

(6 Posts)
Daffodilly Mon 21-Sep-09 21:51:31

DH's words - not mine. He has insisted I ask the question.

DD is almost 3 and quite suddenly seems genuinely terrified of loads of things - animals, insects, loads noises, risk of falling over, cars......

I reckon it is a phase and she'll get over it. Anyone else have other opinions/reassurance/advice for us (well DH mainly)?

bananabrain Mon 21-Sep-09 23:01:13

I believe this is common around her age. My ds certainly developed lots of fears around age 3 which continued until after he was 4 then one by one reduced and virtually disappeared. Loud noises especially hand dryers and coffee machines etc, flies/wasps/bees, hair washing and for a very short while baths too, were some which caused huge distress. I read somewhere that it helps to take the child seriously even if the fears seem ridiculuous to us. I found that if I got annoyed with ds (e.g. if he refused to go in any public toilet even when there WASN'T a dryer in there!) it made the situation far worse, and a softly softly approach helped (letting him do things when ready / avoiding them if possible and being sympathetic if they were really necessary.)
Good luck, take a deep breath and be patient!

thisisyesterday Mon 21-Sep-09 23:04:58

ds1 is a bit like that! used to be fine, now scared of stuff, getting better rtohugh

def a phase

bananabrain Mon 21-Sep-09 23:07:44

ridiculous even....

Just remembered something I read about the fear response which explained why it was better to keep calm and comfort the child to reduce the fear - because getting wound up and creating even more stress made it harder for the child to learn to calm themselves down.... The thing I read explained it much better than that though hmm

Daffodilly Tue 22-Sep-09 09:37:05

Thanks for that. I like you explanation bananabrain - makes sense not to add more stress. DH tends to get impatient and tell her off for being silly, while I will give her a cuddle and reassure her...most of the time. Mind you hand dryer are another fear and cause untold problems. I have learnt not to use them if DD is with me - but I can hardly ask total strangers in public toilets not to!

bananabrain Tue 22-Sep-09 20:31:53

With the hand dryer thing, we used to use the disabled toilet if we could so there was no risk of anyone coming in and turning it on. Sometimes we'd switch it off at the wall to show him that it couldn't go off by accident. Or we'd go to loos we knew had no dryer even if it meant walking further. Or of course use bushes if possible, though that's easier for a boy. Eventually it did pass and now we can go anywhere and he'll even use a dryer himself!!

Other tips I found on MN at the time, but didn't ever use, were getting ear muffs so the child felt that they'd be ok if someone switched the dryer on, or putting an out of order notice on it so no one else would use it! I liked that one but don't know if I'd have the nerve! It seems ridiculous lengths to go to but when you're stuck with a child you know needs a wee and is refusing to go in the loos you'll do anything grin

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