Irrational Fears in Children?

I need some help/advice/suggestions, anything! I knew moving into the new house the kids may have some problems adjusting, I was prepared for it. We visited the house often before we actually lived here so they could get used to it. It started with Jaylin and the shower in their bathroom, she didn’t like the shower head…so until I bought a curtain I had to go in there and hold a blanket up so she couldn’t see it…curtain solved that, sorta. She would still want someone to stand at the door with her. We got to the point where we would go with her until she was on the potty, then walk away. She did fine with that. UNTIL, one day the light over the shower flickered on and off…she SCREAMED and come running out! Since then we haven’t been able to get her to go back in there! She holds it for as long as she can and then she pees on the floor when she can’t hold it anymore. I had a talk with her yesterday about it, and put her in her room for a short time-out (she knows to go potty, there was no reason to pee on the floor) After time-out I told her again that she needs to use the potty from now on and that the light won’t flicker anymore because Daddy fixed it. She said ok and went on about her business. When Daddy got home last night I had him take the bulb out from there (until the guys can come fix the short in the wire) and we showed her, the light won’t come on anymore so it won’t flicker. She seemed to understand. Fast-forward to this morning and she peed on the floor AGAIN! She will NOT go potty anywhere in this house (I don’t know why, but she don’t like our bathroom either) We’re at a loss…we can’t have her peeing all over the floors…she knows better!

Santa is another fear...she knows he brings gifts but she won't go near him. Except the one that come on the fire truck.

The bathroom isn’t her only fear…she also hates the doctor’s office. I tell her over and over, it’s just a checkup, no one is going to hurt you, if she listens she’ll get stickers. As soon as they call her name and want her to stand on the scale, or do her height she shuts down and REFUSES to do anything. I put her on the scale and she flips out. This happens every single time I take her. Each time no one hurts her, the nurses and doctors are nice as could be and play with her, talk to her and all…but she won’t let them touch her, take her temp, or look in her ears or mouth without a fit. One nurse will let me take her temp and even then sometimes she freaks out. We’ve tried that they do me first so she can see…don’t work. We’ve tried showing her how it works…nope. We’ve even backed off and not force her because we don’t want to make things worse.

I think I will end up making an appointment with her doctor to get her seen over at Kluge (same place Jeffery goes for his behavior and Jaxon goes for his development) But getting into Kluge is going to take months (they are always BOOKED) so I am looking for suggestions, or anything that might help her (us).

About Jackie

Jackie is a stay at home mom to five wonderful children, 4 boys and a girl ages from infant to 10 years old. Her life is anything but calm, most days it's pure mayhem. You can follow her on twitter @monkey_mayhem
Jackie Staples


  1. There is no such thing as an irrational fear to the child who has the fear. Punishing your child for a behavior that is caused by fear just instills more fear in them. Find out what is causing the fear and deal with it.

  2. Poor thing. My little guy has lots of little fears. He is very shy and afraid of large groups of people. He has to hold my hand as he says “careful mommy” when he climbs up on things. And the biggest fear is whenever the wind is blowing he thinks its bees about to get him so on windy nights he has to sleep with me. I hope you can get to the root of her fears and help her..

  3. For the bathroom, try to have something she REALLY likes and only can get when she is in the bathroom– a certain toy, a certain snack, etc. Maybe start out letting her have it when she is near the bathroom, then standing in the bathroom, then only when she is on the potty. Until then I would have her wear pull ups or something.