Houston, we have a problem…

I have come to realize just recently, that my child is hyper-sensitive. I don’t know when it happened or if I just chose to ignore it but it’s becoming a bigger problem. It’s bad enough, that I sometimes have issues relating to my daughter with her being the ultimate girly-girl but now she is an uber drama queen.

Lauren is at the age right now where she questions everything, how is a car made? Why does it rain? What makes green green? A day doesn’t go by without 20 questions on what is going on around her. I am happy she is so curious and I do my best to tell her as truthfully as I can about what she is asking. Sometimes I don’t know and tell her so and say, let’s go to the computer and find out. Thank you, Google and Wikipedia. Other times I just avoid the questions outright: Mommy, how do babies getting in mommy’s tummy? Mommy, what happens when someone dies? Two deep questions that I just don’t think she or I are ready to handle right now.

But sometimes my truthfulness bites me in the ass. Last night started out a typical night. Lauren came home from preschool and I asked her about her day. She told me how at school they did a fire and earthquake drill. So I asked her what she learned. She told me about what she needs to do if there is a fire and then how she has to get under a table and protect her head if there is an earthquake. I praised her for learning that and then the dreaded question came, “Mommy, what is an earthquake?” I explained in my basic science about how earthquakes happen and we feel the ground shaking, kinda like when a big truck drives by. I watched my curious child turn from curious to frightened. She ran from the room crying. I chased after and found her under our coffee table protecting her head. She was crying away saying over and over. “I don’t want the earthquake to get me.” It was heart breaking to watch. She was scared out of her mind. I tried to re-assure her that earthquakes are rare and only last a few seconds. Nope, that caused more crying.

I had to break out the big guns. I called my husband. I knew it was the wimpy thing to do but I also know that my daughter thinks the world of her daddy. So poor Daddy at work trying to fix a server that went down , had to calm his hysterical child down. It took over 20 minutes and even then; I don’t think it convinced her that everything was going to be ok.

I could tell it was going to be a long night. She calmed down but I knew as soon as bedtime came around, the earthquake phobia was going to rear its ugly head again. That is exactly what happened. Two hours of her screaming from her room about wanting to sleep with us so we could protect her from the earthquake. I felt bad for her but also frustrated. Why does she have to be so damn sensitive? My husband and I finally calmed her down and she did get to sleep at 11pm. Ugh!

I have always wanted to be somewhat truthful with my child when she asks about the world but now I am learning I will just have to tone it down or outright lie to my child so that she can cope with reality. I hope she grows out of this. It’s becoming increasingly hard to explain to her about stranger danger without her wanting to stay indoors and never go out. I don’t want her afraid of the world but want her to understand what is out there so she is prepared. What is a mother to do?

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  • Cheryl  On March 2, 2011 at 6:39 pm


    Here’s the thing…you would not be lying or untruthful to her by explaining things to her in a way she can understand in her world. She’s 4 and does not have the life experience to understand big picture. It’s not lying, it’s just “dumbing it down” to a 4 year old level.

    Erik went through this at daycare a few years ago. One of the kids told him the sun would burn out one day. He lost his mind…cried the rest of the day and didn’t want to hear any explaination no matter how I tried. It doesn’t matter that someday in the future when we aren’t around anymore that the sun will eventually burn out. He has no concept of that idea of time.

    I’m pretty sure I had to tell him it would never happen because really, it will NEVER happen in his lifetime, so why let him worry about it.

    I don’t think she’s necessarily sensitive, it’s just that she is learning new things about the world that NEVER EVER occurred to her before.



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