Owning His Fear: He’s ‘Not Afraid’

Like many Americans, we hit the sidewalk yesterday all dressed up with a bucket in tow to go knock on strangers’ doors and beg for candy. Halloween, what a fun holiday!

It also can be horribly scary, especially through the eyes of a 3 year old. Logan was a fireman and a mighty happy one at that. In the suburban land of the homemade costumes, my kid’s was bought from the store, but hey he was ecstatic over it and so was I. He had an inflatable fire extinguisher on his back and an Elmo pail for hauling candy.

Some of the houses had groaning ghouls, cackling witches and moaning mummies. Whenever we’d walk up to one of these haunts he’d clutch my finger tighter and his steps would get tinier.

“It’s OK, it’s just pretend. There’s no need to be scared. I’m right here. It can’t hurt you. You’re OK.” I’d say over and over again.

Remember how terrifying it was to be a little one? All those strange noises that adults didn’t seem to notice? The nightmares? Scooby Doo? (I remember one of my babysitters always watched Scooby Doo and it scared the crap out of me.)

In our house we’re working with owning our fears. A few months back, Logan started saying how he was afraid of monsters, so we talked about how monsters weren’t real,  they couldn’t hurt us, and we can always tell them just to not scare us.

Somehow that became part of our nighttime routine. We now have a Monster Speech where after we turn out the lights, we stand in the hallway and command the monsters not to scare Logan. He gives the speech, and with much gusto. Over the months it’s morphed into telling the monsters not to scare him, not to break his toys and to leave his family alone.

He’s always so proud of himself when it’s done. And we haven’t had any monster scares since. I’m hoping we help him own his fears.

Back on the Halloween trail after about an hour of trick or treating, we start up the driveway of a house with scary decorations and he begins to sing:

“I’m not aaffffraaaaiiiddd…” a la Eminem. (I’d been listening to that song a lot several weeks back.)

Hubby and I looked at each other, realized what he was singing and jumped in with him with wild excitement: “To take a stand! Everybody! Come take my hand!…”

We were very proud of our firefighter and we certainly rattled the chains of the little old white lady who was waiting with bewilderment at her door at the approaching rapping family.

5 responses to “Owning His Fear: He’s ‘Not Afraid’

  1. Good for him. I have an almost six year old that is terrified of everything. I’ve tried all kinds of things to help her with her fear. It is really hard. Maybe Logan could teach her some lessons.

    • You know Jen, I’m a big scaredy (sp?) cat and always have been. I love scary movies, but some of them I just know I can’t handle. Paranormal State 1 and 2, forget it I’d never see those movies because I have such a wild imagination, I’d have a hard time sleeping. So some of us chickens never grow up, sorry to say, but I find ways to manage it, like in The Grudge, I watched much of the movie with my ears plugged, for some reason the sound is what makes it more intense.

      You guys will figure out how to help her as she continues to grow older, but I can only imagine how trying it is on your patience. I still remember weighing the fears I had as a child who just woke up from a nightmare against whether I should wake my folks because I was so scared I wanted to sleep in their bed. I know they meant well, but they are human and it was clear they weren’t happy about being awakened at crazy hours just because I was scared.

      You’ll figure it out though whether it’s through talks about fears, songs about what’s scary or books that help kids manage things that go bump in the night. 🙂

  2. *sigh* my littlest one was scared all the way through, too. everything remotely halloween-ish was announced, called a “boo-boo,” and discussed whether it was cary or not. this is all supposed to be fun, right?! 🙂

  3. I love that it was called a “boo-boo!” I’m sure with each Halloween they’ll get a little better at handling those “boo boos!”

  4. Pingback: Happy Birthday She’sWrite! | She'sWrite

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