5 year old anxiety - kind of long

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-16-2003
5 year old anxiety - kind of long
1
Thu, 08-02-2007 - 11:36am

Hope someone can help me. My 5 year old son has started to show signs of anxiety this summer that I haven't seen before in him.

First he was afraid to go to camp, I think because a couple of kids there weren't being nice to him on different occasions, particularly a little girl who was being mean. He wanted to stay home rather than go for about a week, until I spoke with his counselor, who said he had lots of friends, and she has been keeping an eye on the little girl to make sure she is being nice.

The bigger problem is that he doesn't want to go to our summer house, about 3 hours away on a lake. He went several times 2 years ago, and had a nice time, but the first time we went this summer was different. He was fine on the way up, but when it was time to go to bed (in a different room than last time, but still with me), he cried for an hour and wanted to go home in the middle of the night. When we went home the next day, he said he didn't want to go up again. Ever.

The next time we tried, two weekends ago, he had such a severe anxiety attack in the driveway, that he had diarrhea and vomiting. He said he would stay alone in the house for the weekend, and we could go up. When I asked him why, he said that it would take a long time to get back home again. When we finally got on the road an hour later, the car broke down a few blocks from the house (the engine actually blew out....I swear he willed it to happen) and we never made it up. When we got back to the house, he was happy as a clam and went happily to bed.

Two weeks later, we have a new car (yes, he wanted to stay home so bad that the car was declared TOTALED!) and want to go back up tomorrow, because his 7-year old sister wants to really go, and their grandparents want to spend time with them. He is already crying and begging me not to go. He won't tell me why...I don't know if it's because he is just going through a thing where he wants to sleep in his own bed (although we did a mini-vacation in CT this spring and he was ok,) or because he hates the country in general, or because my other family members tend to cater to the 7-year old.

Can anyone give me any advice on how to get my son through this without completely traumatizing him (and me?)

Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-04-2004
Mon, 08-06-2007 - 10:43am
I am so sorry you are having this difficulty right now. I am unsure what to tell you. Have you tried contacting your pediatrician for advice? I know that the vomiting thing is awful. My DD use to do that at night. She would wake up and get so upset that she vomited. It would happen no matter how much I consoled her. One night I put my foot down and told DD if she threw up again she was going to clean it up. She has never done it again. It seemed harsh at first but then I realized she was manipulating me. Now I am not saying that that is what is happening here but that is how I handled it.
Keep trying to talk with your DS and find out what the problem is. I know sleeping by himself in a scary place may be the problem. Have you tried to find a lovey to sleep with or do you have a dog or cat that can sleep with him. I do not usually condone sleeping with a parent but when we go on vacation I sleep in the same room as my kids. They first go to bed knowing that Mom will be up later. I do not know if I helped but keep your head up.
Joan