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Neighbors robbed, daughter anxious

 
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amother




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Post  Tue, Jan 28 2020, 2:12 pm
DD5 is prone to anxiety in general. She will sometimes have a hard tim sleeping at night because she is worrying about different thoughts, doesn’t like to be alone in dark rooms, etc.
Our next door neighbors had a break in, and it’s all the whole neighborhood has been talking about. My daughter overheard some adults taking and has been terrified that this will happen to us. Last night she had a hard time falling and staying asleep. How can we help her process this?

Here are some things we said/did for her so far:
1) Hashem is watching over us
2) Totty and Mommy are home and we are watching to keep you safe
3) the police are here helping (there was increased patrols in our neighborhood)
4) if there is an emergency we call 911 (and made sure she knew how)
5) we gave her a special stuffed animal for night time
6) we checked on her frequently
7) we left on a sound machine because she said when it is quiet she sees and hears scary things in her head Sad
8) explained how we have an alarm system that calls the police if any bad guys come

Any ideas? Are these things even helping or making it worse? How do we help her feel safe again?
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Jan 28 2020, 2:55 pm
I'm sorry you're dealing with that. When I lived in the US my neighborhood had a really bad rash of robberies, and DD was super anxious. She was about 6 or 7 when it happened. She started developing OCD about checking doors and windows. It took some therapy to get her from checking 3 times, to 2 times, to 1 time, to trusting me that I already checked.

It sounds like you are doing great. Just be sure to slowly taper off on the reassuring, so it doesn't inadvertently reinforce her anxiety. You can coddle her for a few more days, but eventually you're going to have to just say "Everything's fine. Good night honey." and then get on with your evening.

Stay safe. Hug
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Rutabaga




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Jan 28 2020, 3:20 pm
If she gets really anxious, then maybe instead of pooh-poohing her fears you can ask her to think of the worst case scenario and discuss it with her.

You: What's the worst that could happen?
DD: Someone could rob our house.
You: So we would lose (name a couple of valuable objects) but we would still have each other and no thief would steal (name sentimental object child is attached to). We can always buy more (jewelry or whatever) but that's not the important thing in life.

Or something like that...
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amother




Silver
 

Post  Tue, Jan 28 2020, 3:24 pm
Can you give her something to DO? Often that helps with feeling in control of the situation and less anxious.

Teach her some Tehillim to say by heart when she is scared.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Jan 28 2020, 4:10 pm
FranticFrummie wrote:
I'm sorry you're dealing with that. When I lived in the US my neighborhood had a really bad rash of robberies, and DD was super anxious. She was about 6 or 7 when it happened. She started developing OCD about checking doors and windows. It took some therapy to get her from checking 3 times, to 2 times, to 1 time, to trusting me that I already checked.

It sounds like you are doing great. Just be sure to slowly taper off on the reassuring, so it doesn't inadvertently reinforce her anxiety. You can coddle her for a few more days, but eventually you're going to have to just say "Everything's fine. Good night honey." and then get on with your evening.

Stay safe. Hug


Thanks! Your second paragraph is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to know if it’s OK to pull back the reassurance at some point.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Jan 28 2020, 4:12 pm
Rutabaga wrote:
If she gets really anxious, then maybe instead of pooh-poohing her fears you can ask her to think of the worst case scenario and discuss it with her.

You: What's the worst that could happen?
DD: Someone could rob our house.
You: So we would lose (name a couple of valuable objects) but we would still have each other and no thief would steal (name sentimental object child is attached to). We can always buy more (jewelry or whatever) but that's not the important thing in life.

Or something like that...


We did similar for the last time this sort of thing happened (she was scared of bumping heads and going to the hospital). We talked about what would happen if someone did bump their head and if we called Hatzalah and went to the hospital… At that point it didn’t seem to help in any way but I can try again...
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Jan 28 2020, 4:15 pm
amother [ Silver ] wrote:
Can you give her something to DO? Often that helps with feeling in control of the situation and less anxious.

Teach her some Tehillim to say by heart when she is scared.


Since it happens at nights we taught her that she can say shema and Hashem will help her not have bad dreams. We also taught her to daven and talk to Hashem, and sing songs to distract herself.
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