Parents and carers often ask us why their child is suddenly scared of going upstairs by themselves.
This is a really common stage (and with the world being more uncertain at the mo it is likely for us all to feel more anxious) and it’s important to recognise that for your child it is a real fear even if they can see there is nothing to be worried about. (Imagine how you might feel waking along a quiet street at night, even if someone tells you there’s no one there you might still feel scared).
You can show them you are listening by empathising ‘I know you feel scared when you go upstairs by yourself’.
If they are scared of going upstairs by themselves in the daytime you may have to go with them for a while and not make a thing of it so it doesn’t become a bigger thing.
You can explain that you have things to do and so while you are upstairs with them ask them to plan or think about what they might need in one go and then later it’s ok to ask the to wait (apart from if your only toilet is upstairs!).
Do you remember the 4Cs? Which one do you think they need?
Connect-is it for your attention/company when you go up with them?
Capable– they don’t think they can do it? Give them a choice or consequence ‘choose another toy now or wait until I can go with you’ (Don’t force them to go alone).
Count – they need to know they are important ‘I love being with you and when I’ve finished working I’d love to do something with you’ or
Courage – they need to be encouraged (acknowledge small achievements ‘well done for getting your toy from the living room’) etc.
We like the music one and you could try those Walky talky things so they can still hear your voice when you are out of sight (but don’t spend a lot of £ on them as it might not work!
If you would like to talk to one of our team confidentially please contact us.
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