Thursday, November 4, 2010

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?

I've been afraid of the dark most of my life.  I have no idea where it came from, but I slept with a light on for a very long time and a nightlight till I was 16.  I still have nights where I am afraid and will make my husband come lay down with me, if he is still up, so I can go to sleep.  I have an overactive imagination and if I read something upsetting or scary or see something on TV, I tend to take it to bed with me.  Plus I've always been a night owl.  My mom says that since I was very little, she would wake up and find me playing with my toys, quiet as can be.  Part of that was probably fear of the dark and of going to sleep.  I used to have really bad nightmares all the time.  One that I can remember involved rhinoceros that broke into the house...yeah, I don't know why either.

So I shouldn't be surprised that my son has suddenly developed similar fears.  It's common at his age.  I was hoping to avoid it.  I don't want to be like me in this respect.  Recently he's developed a fear of the Big, Bad Wolf.  I have no idea where he knows about the big, bad wolf, probably school.  But it's there.  At first, he seemed calmed by the idea that the dogs were in the living room and would protect him, but it seems to be getting worse.  Now he is afraid of dark rooms in the house and doesn't want his door open if the lights are out.  I'm not sure how to make this better.  Is it something he will outgrow?  Hopefully.  But what can I do for him now?  My mother-in-law used a spray on her children's room.  BT and his brother were afraid of monkeys (freaking jungle animals!) so she had a "monkey spray"  and she used a "sweet dream spray" on my sister-in-law to help alleviate their fears.  Maybe I need a "big bad wolf" spray.  Maybe he needs more nightlights and a flashlight.  I don't know.  But I surely don't want him to be afraid of his own room.

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