fear of mirrors

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crowsashes
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fear of mirrors

Post: #196903 crowsashes
Tue May 18, 2010 7:16 pm

ok this might seem like a bit of an odd one but my son is petrified of mirrors, he never used to be he used to laugh at himself and found it most amusing. but when ever he catches a glimpse of his reflection he freaks out, screams flaps his arms about and has brought him to tears.

ive come to the conclusion this is probably why he hates shopping , all those reflective surfaces, shiny mirrors and windows in shops even in the supermarkets theres always all those shiny surfaces on the fridges to make the place look bigger.

now the problem is what on earth can i do about it? its getting to the point where i cant put him in front of a mirror without him freaking out so as you can imagine when there's reflective surfaces everywhere its becoming impossible to do anything in the 'real' world, the only safe place is the woods or at home and im not fortunate enough to be able to leave him with someone to do the shopping. i need to get it sorted but the little ones health visitor is oblivious to it as a problem when ive noticed it is almost certainly causing most of his issues out and about. and i can see it getting worse as he gets older and thats going to make his life awful.

:dontknow: im secretly hoping its just a phase and hell get over it at some point but his reaction today is telling me other wise

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Re: fear of mirrors

Post: #196920 sortanormalish
Tue May 18, 2010 8:46 pm

My best friend's son has Asberger's syndrome, he is fine at home but gets very moody when out. His own image reflected frightens him terribly, even a picture. It seems this is a common thing in children with Asberger's. Hopefully, this is just a phase for your son, but have you reviewed autism/asberger's symptoms?
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Re: fear of mirrors

Post: #196922 Thomzo
Tue May 18, 2010 8:47 pm

I'm sorry but I can't remember how old your LO is. There might have been something that triggered this fear. Could he have been teased or bullied at school and somehow a mirror was used? Or maybe he had a nightmare that has triggered it? I suggest that you talk to him gently about it. Try to introduce it at a time when he isn't stressed or tired or upset. Make sure he knows you understand that this is a real problem and that you don't think it's silly.

If he's young enough, it may help to get teddy or his favourite toy to "look" in the mirror. They should be scared at first but then gradually overcome their fears.

Or maybe you could make a thing about checking your reflection in the mirror regularly. Then pull a face and laugh. Make it a joke. Don't force him to look, just let him see you having a right laugh about it.

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Re: fear of mirrors

Post: #196926 Mr and Mrs luvpie
Tue May 18, 2010 9:00 pm

How old is your little one? I seem to remember mine going through a phase when they hated seeing mum with anyone else, but couldn't work out that it was them, could it be that?
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Re: fear of mirrors

Post: #196927 southeast-isher
Tue May 18, 2010 9:09 pm

I would say expose him to his fear as much as you can or it could if anything get worse rather than taper off. What about showing him lots of photos of himself as much as possible?

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Re: fear of mirrors

Post: #196928 thesunflowergal
Tue May 18, 2010 9:14 pm

I am right in saying that he is a preschooler?
Children seem to get strange ideas in there heads. My eldest daughter would not go near any men, this included her Dad, Grand Fathers etc. My other daughter will not go in the bath, and as I will not let her smell this causes a issue. She screams and crys and gets really distressed so i am trying to make bathtime more fun, we sing songs, play games etc. She is two and half and this has been going on for a couple of months.
I hope its just that hun.
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Re: fear of mirrors

Post: #196931 southeast-isher
Tue May 18, 2010 9:55 pm

southeast-isher wrote:I would say expose him to his fear as much as you can or it could if anything get worse rather than taper off. What about showing him lots of photos of himself as much as possible?


Then again it might just be a silly phase that you'll forget all about in a few years...

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Re: fear of mirrors

Post: #196932 crowsashes
Tue May 18, 2010 9:57 pm

hes nearly 3, but recently theres been loads of things he just hates,

walking to the shops another way from usual, having his hair brushed, well touching his head in general. hes all of a sudden gotten really really awkward.

he had the bath fear stage and that disappeared quite quickly, hopefully this will.

i dont think hes seen anything to make him scared of them ( we dont have tv) and showing him photos of himself and he just says thats a baby, he cant recognise himself. i have brought the mirror from upstairs and stuck it at his level in the living room so im going to see if it just being there helps for the time being. if not ill have to hide it.

its just frustrating as the darn things are everywhere when i go out! tried to get a new hoodie a last week and had to leave the shop because he kept freaking out every time he spotted himself in those huge floor to ceiling mirrors.

maybe i should just put a blanket over his head ? :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: fear of mirrors

Post: #196939 sortanormalish
Tue May 18, 2010 11:36 pm

Does he act out with every break in the routine? Is there something in particular that he loves to look at? Maybe you could take a book or special toy to distract him.
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Re: fear of mirrors

Post: #196960 Susie
Wed May 19, 2010 8:39 am

I know this isn't a helpful thing to say, but mirrors are a bit scary, aren't they, if you think about it? Have you read Wuthering Heights? There's a bit where Cathy's dying and she sees herself in the mirror in the bedroom and doesn't know who she is - ever since I read that I've been funny about having mirrors reflecting me while I'm asleep, and I have to have them at right angles to the bed so I can't see them. Also, if you're showing him photos of himself and he doesn't realise it's him yet, he won't be making the connection that a mirror is just a reflection, in which case they would seem a bit spooky, like being followed by strange shiny people - and who wants that every time they go out?! There he is, minding his own business, oh no Mum's taken me in a shop full of the Strange Shiny People again! Eeek! Get me out!

(I'm no help, am I? I agree with him! :lol: . No seriously I bet it's a phase and he'll grow out of it but :hugish: , it must be very restricting while it lasts. I used to be frightened of windmills and escalators.)
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Re: fear of mirrors

Post: #196964 Masco&Bongo
Wed May 19, 2010 9:24 am

Can you play mirror games with his teddies/favourite toy?

He can sit at the side of the mirror (so he can't see himself) and then put teddy in front of the mirror (peek-a-boo, who's that type stuff etc). It means he is 'controlling' who is in the mirror, rather than seeing people 'appear' in the big shiny things.

You could then wiggle his hands/feet in front of the mirror (without his face etc) so he sees that it's nothing to be worried/scared about?
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