Scared all of a sudden — The Bump
Pre-School

Scared all of a sudden

My DS is 4.5 years old. Up until about a week ago, he was the bravest kid at the playground - even if something scared him, he's take a moment, but then try doing it. Last week, when he was outside with our nanny, he said that he fell off the bike. There were scratches on him, no bruises.

After that, all of a sudden, he is petrified of riding the bike, going down a big slide and all the other things that he used to love doing just days ago. I'm not pushing him to get back on, and I have a feeling this will go away, but I'm wondering if I can help him in any way to get over it.

Today at the playground, he got up on one of the tall slides, and then it took him about 8 minutes to get enough courage to go down a slide... He finally did, while holding on to one of the side, and I'm really proud of him for overcoming his fears.

How can I help him? :(

 

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Re: Scared all of a sudden

  • Does he have a close friend? My DD and niece are the same age I find they tend to be more fearless together.
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  • He has two cousins (girls) around his age, and he's usually the 'brave' one that pulls them forward. But you are right, maybe putting him in a setting with friends would loosen him up a little bit.
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  • What you describe is how DS1 has been his entire life, though often he can't muster enough courage to do the "scary" thing.  What works with some success is to talk it through with him, though this is difficult sometimes if he is upset/crying.  If I can find out what he's afraid of, I can reassure him that he will be ok.  Since your DS is older, it may be easier to just talk about it over dinner or when you're in the car-- at a time when he's not experiencing the fear.
  • Fear of more things is a phase that most kids go through.,  They hit an age where they start to relize more of what can happen and things are just more real.  I would keep doing what you are doing, don't force but try to encourage.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • I think you are doing great. Him going down the slide, although scared, seems like a good step. I was very cautious as a child and DD is, too. It's a fine line between wanting them to try things, but not wanting them to also know that they should trust their instincts. I just try to remind her that it's okay to be scared, but that sometimes when you get help and try things, then you find out that they really aren't so scary after all. Some things turn out to be really fun. 

    PS when I was about 4, my parents were super frustrated with me b/c I was refusing to slide down a slide into a lake. I wouldn't do it, which wasn't unusual. In that case, they found out later that the slide was rusted out, jagged metal at the bottom. Thank goodness I didn't go down!  

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