Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Storytime Fears

Finn, over the last two weeks, has developed a fear of storytime at the library.  I don't understand from where this fear is stemming.  He used to love story time and get very excited whenever I told him it was Monday which meant storytime at the library.  Now, he still seems to get excited about it, but then when we show up to the actual storytime room......he freaks out and immediately asks to leave.  This last time, he started sobbing in outright misery.  What can you do but take him home? 

Of course, I am annoyed at the whole situation, in a very self-centered and completely lacking in compassion sort of way.  I like storytime because it means a scheduled trip outside of the house every week and an hour of time where I don't have to entertain my demanding child.  Leaving early, or not going at all means that I now have to figure out what to do with my child in the meantime.  I mean, I just don't have the sanity to play with my child all day, every day.  Especially as my child has no concept of play that is independent of my extreme involvement.  I.e.: Mom must build the tower so tall, mom must put the puzzle pieces back where they belong, mom must pretend to cook in the toy kitchen.

It is maddening, I say.

I am hoping that it is just a phase.  He is working on his 2-year molars in a big way right now, so perhaps that is what is making him so downright clingy.

Anyone else had to deal with something similar?    

1 comment:

Jaimee said...

I think you are doing the absolute right thing by respecting his fear and not forcing him to do something he is afraid of. Finn is sensitive and forcing a sensitive child into scary situations only tears down their confidence. I think that trying to get to the bottom of his fear and giving him tools to deal with it is the best thing that you can do. Sensitive kids need coping skills. Any idea what caused it? Was it the puppets? Once you determine possible causes you could work with Finn to find ways for him to protect himself when he feels frightened. You can also use a step by step approach like going to the library, but not going to story time (so go on a different day). Or having a story time at a playgroup so he can experience story time in a different environment. Then you can draw on these experiences when trying library story time again by saying things like, "remember story time at home? Wasn't that fun? It will be like that!" or "remember the library the other day when we did _______, wasn't that fun? It will be in the same place!" Also, is there something he could bring from home that he could hold or wear that would lend security in a fearful situation?

While I haven't dealt with much fear of social situation with my kids, I have had to deal with sensitivities- especially in other kids around my kids. I think it is so, so important to teach the coping skills and the sooner, the better or it *can* become crippling.

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