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Thread: Lashing out when scared

  1. #1

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    Default Lashing out when scared

    As I've mentioned before, K is fairly reserved and has major stranger anxiety issues atm. In the last couple of months though I've noticed that when he feels threatened he has a tendency to lash out. When we go out he is happy to play away from DH & I and enjoys watching other people but if someone he's not familiar with gets too close to him he shuts down - he'll just stay very still, doesn't make a sound and stares at the ground. I don't push him or try to force him to do anything he doesn't want to but I do keep chatting to him and try to make him feel safe & comfortable so that he can join in if he wants.

    A while ago we were at the markets and K was happily playing with some gravel on the grassy area about 3m away from where I was standing. 2 old ladies came and stood between us and were smiling at him. I started to walk around them so K could still see me and as I was doing so K held up a piece of gravel to show to the ladies. He does this with a lot of things when he wants you to tell him what it is but it looks like he's offering it to you, which is what one of the ladies must have thought as she walked up close to him and tried to take the little stone from him. When K saw how close she was getting he panicked, threw the gravel at the lady and then started screaming in fear. I apologised to the lady and told her he gets a bit shy when people get too close and then I calmed K down and told him that I understood that he got scared but it's still not very nice to throw things at people and the lady just wanted to say hello to him. I didn't make a big deal out of it because I didn't want K to think he was in trouble as I know he was just scared and didn't do it to be nasty or anything.

    More recently, again at the markets, K was standing near two 2 year olds and was watching them play (he's been introduced to them before) and he was fine, happy just to watch, until they ran up to him. Obviously they were just curious about him and wanted to play with him too but, as kids do, they got right up close to him. K did his staring at the ground thing until one of them got within a couple of centimetres of him and he panicked and he pushed the other little boy in the chest. Straight away, without even thinking, I said 'uh uh darling, be gentle, we don't push people. X just wants to be friends and play with you.'



    I'm not sure what to do. I don't know if I'm handling these situations in the best way or if I might be making things worse for him... I don't want him to think it's okay to lash out like that but at the same time I don't want K to think he's getting into trouble for being scared.
    Last edited by Angel; August 7th, 2007 at 02:27 PM.

  2. #2

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    angel it is a difficult social age (or unsociable i should say), i was wondering if you try to get kynan to look at people, i guess the first thing that comes to mind is he might be targeted by kids if he looks at the ground IYKWIM. so i would suggest that you be with him and try to encourage him to look into the person's eyes, by saying things like, where is X's eyes etc... tell me to suck eggs if you don't think this appropriate. i guess he needs you close by when around strangers so you can give a running commentary on what is happening, so he feels safe and there will be no sudden movements. like 'oh look there is a little boy like you, he is coming over to say hello to you, look here is the boy now, look at the boys eyes, he has a red shirt on, he wants to look at what you are doing, you know how you watch other kids play' boy sorry i went on then i guess he knows you know he is scared so he maybe he's looking for boundaries which you can help him with. oscar is a very outgoing, gregarious kid but my middle son was similar in some ways. HTH's and i haven't overstepped the line with my suggestions.
    beckles

  3. #3

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    Thanks, Beckles. It's definitely worth a try! Hopefully it will help make him feel a little more at ease in these situations. Sometimes I find it hard to find a balance between sheltering him too much and pushing him to do something before he's ready. Everyone around me, including DH, has a tendency to tell K that he just needs to get over it but I feel really bad for K when I see him standing there trembling with fear.
    Last edited by Angel; August 7th, 2007 at 02:25 PM.

  4. #4

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    angel i understand, although i see our boys as in yours and mine as still babys. not even 2 yet, i really don't think they need to be pushed yet. maybe when they are 3 it is appropriate for us to be encouraging them to get out a bit more on their own. i know with josh i pushed him more but after having the next 2 i realised he was still so little and i expected so much. oh well the first is always an experiment lol
    good luck
    beckles

  5. #5

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    I think the most important thing is to not give off the impression he has something to fear. And by that I mean its ok to console him, but sometimes when we over do it it is like telling them they had a reason to be afraid. Definitely don't push him or you'll end up with a more anxious little boy the next time he's in that situation. But try not to make a big deal of it iykwim?

    I hope that makes sense

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  6. #6

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    Thanks Beckles & Cailin. Love these forums - very reassuring

    Cai, totally KWYM & agree about not giving them the impression that they do have something to fear.

    This parenting thing gets easier with the 2nd bub, right? LOL

  7. #7

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    Angel is there a play group or something where you can slowly introduce Kynana to other kids? Do they have like story tiume at a local Library or something? Maybe a craft day in a Community house??? I dont know just trying to think of a way to get him to see others & slowly get used to it without being pushed.....

    It does get easier with #2, but Mine have total opposite personalities, so it''s interesting & can be so confusing when 1 was like this & 2 is so different & stubborn.,..... LOL

  8. #8

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    Tracey, the story time at the library is a good idea, K loves books & reading. I'll have to see if they do it here. We used to go to playgroup but the one we were going to stopped running and I've been trying to find another one but they're all right in the middle of K's nap time. He's a bit of a terror these days if he doesn't get his nap and it's more than I can handle atm! I heard there's a playgroup starting up at our local school so I'll have to suss out times once school starts again. At least that'll only be a 10 min drive compared to a 30-45 min drive to other playgroups. He gets to see other kids when we go out and we take him to swimming classes whenever they're on so he gets to interact with other bubs then. I guess he will find things easier with time.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Angel; August 7th, 2007 at 02:24 PM.

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