3 Year Old daughter - Afraid of noises!

the4toofsFebruary 11, 2002

Hi Everyone,

Within the past few weeks my 3 yr old daughter is so afraid of all kinds of noises. Inside and out! Whenever she goes to bed, for naps or for the night, she starts to cry and says that something is under her bed or that a "Bad Man" is in her room. She has a nightlight and I leave her door cracked open and she sleeps with a radio. Sometimes there are noises, like the furnace or one of our cats in her room. So, I explain to her what the noises are and then she is okay. But we have to do this everyday. I stay home with her (and her 7 year old brother) so I know what she watches on t.v. and see's on a daily basis. I don't know of any really scary things she has seen. Yesterday, we were visiting her Grandparents who live on 10 acres of woods and my DD and her brother went outside to play. She freaked out and said she could hear noises and wanted to come back inside. This all came on really suddenly and I was just curious if anyone else has dealt with this. Is it maybe just an age thing?? And, do you all think I am handling it properly?? Her brother I don't remember having a real problem with this.

Just curious of what anyone else has done to help ease their child through this scary time.

Have a great day.


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I think it's a normal stage. It all depends on how you handle it. I do like you and explain. DS hears a car outside and come running making this sound and I know he got spooked. We explain and he's figuring out what most sounds are. He'll later tell me it's just this or that. DS isn't afraid of monsters anymore because we shoot them. He either uses something and pretends it's a gun or a toy gun and then we throw them out the door. I guess from that he learned that they can't hurt him. I've seen craft ideds that just involove water in a squirt bottle, too that is supposed to get rid of monsters. Also may help to have her watch something like Monsters, Inc and see that not all monsters are bad. But that only helps with the monster bit.

I think you just have to keep reassuring them and they'll get over it.Don't ever do like my wonderful BIL and SIL~they use the things that scare the kids to get them to listen. They think it's funny and tell them there is a monster or whatever to watch them get scared. They're afraid of the vacuum cleaner and other simple appliances and things because nobody ever told them it wouldn't hurt them, instead they said they would get the vacuum after them if they didn't listen. Nice, huh?

Good luck :-)


    Bookmark   February 11, 2002 at 10:28AM
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Actually, Mosters Inc was what gave DD the idea of monsters in the first place (although, I feel sure she would have picked it up somewhere along the way).

Now, loud noises, she's always hated. The rides at Disney can be very loud to the point that even something innocent, like the Winnie the Pooh ride, would leave her with her eyes shut and ears covered.

She was like this for about a year (seems like her whole 3rd year). But it appears that she's outgrown it now (turned 4 in Dec). We've been to similar noisy activities and rides recently, and she's no longer afraid. She'll joke with her baby doll though, put baby's hands over its ears and say, "Baby doesn't like loud noises."

    Bookmark   February 11, 2002 at 11:19AM
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My dd is about to turn 3. She has a spooked response to noises she doesn't know. Once she gets to know them then she tells me "thats just the cat" etc. Repeating what I told her. Keep explaining and showing what it is. If you can replicate the noise and allow her to make it herself to see it's not scarey that may help. I think it's normal and you are doing the right thing.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2002 at 12:14PM
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Maybe it will help to ask her the question instead of just answering it. My bet is she knows what the noise it, but likes your reassurance. You, though you don't mind reassuring her, would like her to learn to reassure herself. So the next time she panics over a noise, don't just tell her what it is. ASK her if she can tell you what it is. You can just tell her she is right. Get her to say the words to herself that you would say to her, it's just the cat, everything is OK. Soon enough she learn to tell herself that without your prompting.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2002 at 2:02PM
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I think kids are attuned to different sounds than we are. The sound is there, but we don't pick up on it. We live a few blocks from a train crossing. DS (21 months) has just this last week started saying "choo choo" everytime he hears a train. Usually, I don't hear it until I stop what I'm what I'm doing. He's right, there is a train coming. I have blocked that sound out and didn't notice it. I consider it background noise. On the other hand hearing and seeing a train is a highlight for ds.

I don't have any real advice since my child is still quite a bit younger than yours, but I would like to suggest trying the monster spray that I've heard about on the craft forum. You can use a spray bottle filled with water or a can of room freshener or something else sprayable, put a label on it, and call it monster spray (or whatever might fit your situation better.) Tell your dd that the spray should be sprayed under the bed and whenever she hears the noises. Maybe it will help calm her fears. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2002 at 2:14PM
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There's some good advice here...

I like the Monster Spray idea way better than the "gun" idea.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2002 at 6:36PM
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Thanks so much to all of you for all your great ideas!!

Sweet dreams everyone!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2002 at 9:39PM
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Just so others know, DS knows he's only allowed to shoot monsters and animals like bears and deer (his father hunts and do most of our relatives). We had a discussion about it being wrong to shoot people. I told him he'd go to jail and would be without Mommy and Daddy and he said that he would miss his Daddy. We don't believe that children directly learn to kill people because they play with toy guns. When we were growing up it was fine to play with guns and the same with past generations and not every child who had a toy gun has grown up to be a killer. We're teaching him right and wrong with this and I know when he's 12, he'll be out in the woods hunting with his father so we need to teach him while he's little and reinforce it.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2002 at 9:42PM
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Growing up in a large family years ago, I can remember an older brother telling me some frightening things.
Do you think perhaps your daughter hears a sound sometimes while in the yard or house and her brother tell her it's a monster or something unpleasant??? Just wondered. Maybe your older son has not seen anything on tv but it could be he has played with friends at school or at friend's homes and the boys have made noises that were spooky.
He may hear a sound or make a sound and tell your 3year old daughter it is something spooky, jut kidding around not really realizing that he is really scaring her. But then again sometimes Big Brothers enjoy scaring their little sister. I can remember this as a child myself.

It may be also that your daughter is just now questioning all the sounds she is hearing. Before if they weren't loud she may have ignores them more, but now is envisioning something frightening with unknown noises.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2002 at 9:57PM
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No, I don't. My son is 7 and he has been amazing to her all of her life. The two of them have an awesome relationship with each other. Just little things like when we walk him to school he gives his sister a big hug and kiss before he goes into school in front of all his friends. He says "I don't care, I love my sister!" When a friend calls and wants to come over and play my son makes sure his sister is going to play too. I just love how deep their love for each other is. Yes, they bicker and argue with each other from time to time, but generally they are great friends and I really don't think he would scare her or pretend there are monsters just to scare her. I don't know for sure, but really doubt that.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2002 at 10:03PM
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These comments are interesting to me because they mirror something i've noticed (but not thought much about) with my 27-month-old.

About two months ago she started reporting on loud noises, especially trucks on the road. The first few times she said calmly, "That loud. My scared." I would nod or confirm that trucks can make loud noises sometimes. She'd nod knowingly and move on to something else.

Lately she's dropped the part about being scared and goes straight for the explanation. "That truck loud." We look at the truck, we nod at each other, she moves on.

Apparently I need to give her more credit for managing her own fear (and less grief for clinging to my legs when she doesn't). Thanks for the insights!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 11:25PM
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