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Feeling bad about my reaction to ds

(17 Posts)
Nic04 Sun 06-Mar-05 11:16:58

Hi everyone. In short, I have a ds who is 4 1/2 and for a LONG time now, he has been really suspicious/nervous of a number of things. In most ways he is a normal, happy little boy who is developing well and is very social, but sometimes I feel like tearing my hair out with him. For example, in the past he has been frightened of doctors (he's gotten a lot better with this recently), dentists (flatly refuses to go to one), is scared of certain noises, has only just stopped being frightened of hand-dryers in public toilets (the ones that blow hot air), he doesn't like doing certain activities at preschool and will get quite upset if forced, and last week he completely ruined an appointment I'd made for him at a hearing centre by flatly refusing to put the headphones on and NOTHING could convince him. He said he was scared, and carried on as though we were doing something terrible to him. The thing is, there was nothing threatening at all about the environment and the nurse was really lovely, so we were both stunned and didn't know what to do to placate him. In the end, we had to give up trying and I took him home again. I felt so deflated because I didn't understand the intensity of his reaction and we had travelled all the way into town for this appointment. BTW - I'm sure there's nothing wrong with his hearing, it was more a routine check due to the fact that he had several ear infections last year & I just wanted to be sure. Also, I always try to explain to him beforehand where we're going & why, so that he knows what's going on.

Anyway - I was with ds at a shopping centre yesterday, and we were just passing time until the shops opened. I noticed a set of electronic scales nearby which measured both weight and height, so I thought I'd get ds to stand on it since we haven't weighed/measured him for a while. (I didn't think it would be a problem as he used to like standing on my bathroom scales at home). Well - at first I thought he was going to stand on it, but then he flatly refused so I said 'Come on, it will only take a second' - I really didn't think it was a big deal. Then he started crying & shouting saying that he didn't want to and that he was scared, and at this point people started to turn around and look at him. I felt so stunned and annoyed that I just grabbed him by the hand and took him back to the car, berating him all the way for the way for acting like that over a set of scales. I feel SO bad now because I usually try to be patient and understanding if he expresses fear or anxiety over anything, but for some reason I just snapped this time. He's a real enigma because he's bright, outgoing and quite confident, but I cannot understand where this extreme suspicion has come from and I'm even considering taking him to a child psychologist to try and find out. I know it's normal for kids to have fears but surely they shouldn't be quite so intense. I feel incredibly bad for berating him yesterday and am worried that I may've made things worse rather than better. I don't know if anyone can help or shed some light, but he is a much-loved child and it grieves me that I never know what he is going to feel threatened by, and especially what has caused him to be this way. Apparently my brother was very similar as a child, but I don't know if these things can be hereditary. Sorry this is so long.

Nic04 Sun 06-Mar-05 12:21:49


Perhaps I put this in the wrong topic

ladyhawk Sun 06-Mar-05 12:36:48


you sound like a lovely mum and shouldnt feel bad about yesterday,soory i dont have any experience but im sure there will be others who will be able to help you soon.

My instinct would be that this is a phase and he will grow out of it as he is a bright confident little boy ..i really hope you get some advice soon xxxx

vess Sun 06-Mar-05 18:09:53

Maybe he's not always that scared but says it because he knows you'll take him seriously; if he says that he just doesn't want to do something then you are more likely to make him do it anyway.

blueteddy Sun 06-Mar-05 18:43:13

My ds is now 5 & until around 18 months ago was also scared of hand driers in public toilets.
He is also petrified of car washes & used to be scared of hoovers & a poster on the nursery door of a startled looking man (cartoon)
He will not watch smarteenies because he does not like the flashing camera!!!!!
I think children can be scared of the strangest things!

logic Sun 06-Mar-05 18:52:11

Nic04, don't feel bad - it can be very tiring when a child is frightened of normal things. My ds is 2 + 1/2 and is terrified of things like hand driers etc. He is so scared of vacuum cleaners that I cannot vacuum when he is in the house. The last time I tried, he screamed and shook and wet himself! I think that he is very sensitive to high pitched noise. Maybe your son is too? The hearing test seems a really good idea. Maybe you could get a health visitor to come to the house to do a test? It would be a non-threatening environment at least. Sorry, that's all I can think of at the moment...

Jimjams Sun 06-Mar-05 20:01:16

I think you need to read The Out of Sync Child by ??? aagh forgotten her name- but they have it on Amazon. It sounds as if he has hypersensitiivities.

A sensory programme can help (has helped with ds1) and that book gives some tips. Rather than go to a psychologist you mught want to visit an OT who has experience in this area for one session- she may be able to draw up a home programme to help.

Jimjams Sun 06-Mar-05 20:02:35

ds1 for example would never wear hats (or headphones!) but the after about 6 weeks of the sensory programme (took half an hour daily) he would!

WestCountryLass Sun 06-Mar-05 20:03:35


You are human! My DS sounds a bit like yours, mine is scared about some every day objects too. The thing is, whilst we are used to these objects and know what they do our kids might not and are fearful of them. I know the moment has passed but with the electronic scales you could try saying to him you need to weigh yourself and show him what they do and then ask him after if he wants a go?

Jimjams Sun 06-Mar-05 20:11:11

get the out of synch child- honestly all will become clear


Don't worry about alll the talk of various diagnoses in the review- it's perfectly possible to be hypersensitive without having/needing a diiagnosis of anything (dh for example is crap with noise).

yeye Mon 07-Mar-05 00:56:49

whats a ds? whats a dd?

jabberwocky Mon 07-Mar-05 01:11:19

yeye, see the acronym list and all will be revealed...

I have read about children being like this although ds is too young yet for it. I bow to the wisdom of Jimjams. It does sound like he is a sensitive/hypersensitive little boy. I'm sure it can get exasperating at times and you shouldn't feel bad for losing patience once in a while. One thing I am finding out with ds is that we are all definitely human, and the little ones do forgive and forget when we are having times of less patience.

yeye Mon 07-Mar-05 02:16:07

jabberwocky this conversation is about my ds . I was wondering what ds or dh means now I know thanks. But this topic belongs to Nic04 not mine.. sorry

yeye Mon 07-Mar-05 02:18:22

typo jabberwocky this conversation is not about my ds . I was wondering what ds or dh means now I know thanks. But this topic belongs to Nic04 not mine.. sorry

Earlybird Mon 07-Mar-05 08:06:53

nic04 - I completely understand the frustration you feel when your ds resists something that you know is perfectly fine. DD used to be like this about anything unknown/unfamiliar. She hated trying anything new. It really wound me up as I couldn't understand why everything new was such a big deal, and also why she didn't trust that I would protect her/not put her in unsafe situations.

I found that I had to be incredibly patient with her (not always possible ), or show her that the new thing was OK. As an example, if we had been faced with the scales as you were....dd would have resisted/objected. I would have got on the scales alone first to show her how it worked. I would have then probably got on with her in my arms. And finally, she might have been willing to try standing alone (though with me holding her hand).

It may be that showing your ds new things will help. But, the book JimJams suggests also sounds like a great idea for you. It may be that your ds needs a different approach than simply patience. Good luck.

Nic04 Mon 07-Mar-05 10:31:15

Thanks everyone for your responses, Jimjams I will keep an eye out for that book.

Earlybird, I think the thing that frustrates me the most is that the more you try to convince him that something is safe, the more resistant he becomes. I actually stood on the scales myself the other day and it didn't seem to help at all. If I was to pick him up and stand on the scales with him in my arms, he would be struggling the whole time and getting more worked up at the idea of being 'forced' to do something that he perceives to be frightening. It's really difficult - I've found that it depends on the level of anxiety he feels about something, as to whether I can coax him to try it. If he's only slightly perturbed about something, then it's possible to coax him into doing it, but if he finds something threatening, then there is no way he will do it, and trying to convince him/placate him/coax him into it actually achieves nothing at all. Probably makes it worse in some instances.

I think the de-sensitization thing probably works. He's finally ok with hand-driers now, because he's seen them a number of times and has probably become used to the sound. He's also pretty much ok with doctors too, because he was ill several times last year and had to go to the surgery on a number of occasions. He even had a stay in hospital, you can imagine what that was like!!!! Perhaps if I try slowly to get him accustomed to certain things, it will eventually work - it's just very tedious in the meantime.

jabberwocky Mon 07-Mar-05 15:54:48

I am aware of what this thread is about yeye, as should be apparent from the further comments on my post. I was just trying to answer your question.

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