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Started by Agaliarept on Jun 21, 2021 1:47:57 PM
Squeamishness in children…is it a problem?

See post #1

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Agaliarept - 21 Jun 2021 13:48:12 (#1 of 53)

I found out a year or so ago that Youngest Boy is squeamish. I found out when Older Boy cut the underside of his arm on a nail. I had him hold his arm up while I went to fetch my first aid kit, when Youngest Boy came over to see what was going on. He caught sight of the blood and instantly projectile vomited.

This was quite a shock for my wife and I as we’re pretty much the polar opposite of squeamish.

We decided it was best to just accept this as part of who he is and not make a fuss or give him any stick for it. It later developed into him asking us to replace certain words that remind him of things that make him feel ill. You can’t say “blood” you have to say “flonkerton” and you can’t say “sick” you have to say “chunder”.

None of this was a big ask and I even didn’t mind him getting out of feeding the cat because let’s face it, cat food stinks. I have a strong stomach and it makes me gag so I sympathise there.

On the weekend though we went to our local (outdoor socially distanced) pub. He needed the loo and when it came to wiping himself, he had the most disappointed look on his face and he could barely bring himself to check his loo roll to ensure he was clean.

Mrs Rept confirmed that he’s now not happy about having any interaction with that particular bodily function.

While I can happily change words I use and pick up the really stinky chores for him, I can’t do anything about this.

Have I made a rod for my own back by not mercilessly hounding him about being squeamish and failing to force his head into a bucket of pig’s blood to force him to get over it?

Is it even an issue? Or could it become one later?

solomongursky - 21 Jun 2021 13:49:41 (#2 of 53)

Flonkertonny hell.

Agaliarept - 21 Jun 2021 13:51:20 (#3 of 53)

....as I now say thirteen times an hour.

bossab2 - 21 Jun 2021 13:51:24 (#4 of 53)

I'd say it could become a phobia.

My child when small was very anti being injected with anything.

Thankfully he grew out of it.

Agaliarept - 21 Jun 2021 13:51:52 (#5 of 53)

My child when small

How small? Youngest Boy is 6.

darkhorse - 21 Jun 2021 13:52:31 (#6 of 53)

On a practical sense, if he doesn't want to check the loo roll in case it's poo-ey, perhaps an alternative system is four/five wipes, then we'll assume you're clean? I assume that will work for most days.

If it doesn't it's his own sticky-arse problem.

Agaliarept - 21 Jun 2021 13:53:59 (#7 of 53)

Not a bad idea dh.

I suppose that's keep his reg grundies clean about 65% of the time :)

bossab2 - 21 Jun 2021 13:54:00 (#8 of 53)

5-6 ish.

Trying to give him flu jabs was like wresting a bear.

And normally failed.

Agaliarept - 21 Jun 2021 13:54:26 (#9 of 53)

5-6 ish.

Interesting. Here's to hoping it's a phase then.

darkhorse - 21 Jun 2021 13:55:59 (#10 of 53)

I mean, if he's squeamish he has to offset the "not looking at poo" with the "yuk, at these skidmarks" dilemma.

Impedimenta - 21 Jun 2021 13:58:48 (#11 of 53)

Agalia this is not specifically familiar to me, but I do have experience of other issues which boil down to sensory matters. Eldest child, from the age of 5ish, developed a solid phobia of noise eg extractor fans, hand dryers. She also became v sensitive to touch, physical contact, hugging and could not comfortably make eye contact. Some years later (later than I can feel entirely at ease with, as a parent) she was diagnosed as being on the ASD spectrum and since then it has become much easier for all involved to negotiate a way forward. She is, however, the opposite of squeamish and deals with everything from eviscerated pigeons to live rats to spiders with cheerful equanimity.

Lagopus - 21 Jun 2021 14:05:17 (#12 of 53)

It's worth bearing in mind also that children do change. My darling daughter used to be terrified of me, probably rightly, but has grown out of it now. I used to be afraid of flying because it made it more interesting if there was an emotion involved. I have an ex boyfriend who was allegedly frightened of spiders, but I never believed him because to me they're just spiders.

Agaliarept - 21 Jun 2021 14:17:36 (#13 of 53)

Imp It's definitely something we've considered..he does have sensory issue with loud noises and when he's upset he can become very sensitive to contact. He'll often throw himself on the floor at the slightest touch which I've recently learned can be a sign.

It's worth bearing in mind also that children do change.

Ofc this is my first thought. I know from experience how many different phases kids go through which is what makes me hopeful that all I have to do is wait.

Considering Imp's post though, it's another potential sign that there may be a reason behind the behaviour.

GyratingTrampoline - 21 Jun 2021 14:29:23 (#14 of 53)

My take on it, Agalia, is that many adults have facets of their personality that could be regarded as undesirable but not inevitable. I'm talking about things like anxiety, low self-esteem, negative patterns of thought and so on. Obviously its all subjective and we are all who we are for whatever reason but in general there are traits that don't do us any favours. And we often start to develop these traits in childhood. Therefore as parents we ought to at least try to spot developments that we are concerned about, and try to steer our children into adopting more positive patterns of thought. But I'm absolutely buggered if I know how to go about actually doing this...

Specifically related to poo, my daughter's friend went through a phase - probably at a similar age to your situation - where she suddenly lost confidence in her ability to wipe her own bum and wanted an adult to do it. I was like "I don't care what your mum does there's no way I'm wiping your bum" and she grew out of it luckily

Catspyjamas17 - 21 Jun 2021 14:29:36 (#15 of 53)

Plenty of adults are squeamish though, aren't they, especially about blood, needles, vomit etc? I shouldn't worry about it too much and deal with it in a "cross that bridge when we come to it" way.

I did my 15th, I think, blood donation this year, never had any problems before. Then post donation my arm suddenly started spurting blood while I was tucking into my TUC crackers. The nurse started to say "Are you ok...?" then, you know that saying "May the ground rise up to meet you..." well it did, far too quickly. The nurse stopped me going right over and and other two helped me into a chair. I was fine shortly after and it hasn't put me off, but I'd never fainted in my life before and it gave me a greater understanding of these kind of reflexive actions.

GyratingTrampoline - 21 Jun 2021 14:36:47 (#16 of 53)

It might've been the fact that you were short of blood, rather than squeamishness at more coming out? Or a combination of both

FleurDuMal - 21 Jun 2021 14:53:42 (#17 of 53)

Son #2 regularly fainted at the sight of blood when he was a small child. As an adult, he'd prefer to avoid anything gory, but he's far better than he used to be.

Catspyjamas17 - 21 Jun 2021 14:54:49 (#18 of 53)

Yes, it might have been to be fair, GT. Or a sudden drop in blood pressure. But I think it's called a vasovagal reaction and is the same idea as someone vomiting or passing out from being "squeamish".

Impedimenta - 21 Jun 2021 15:07:13 (#19 of 53)

It's a fair point about squeamishness being a thing that can happen and can change. A few years ago I noticed that I started having a physical response, a bit like my stomach contracting, in the face of potential gore or trauma, both real and imagined. I didn't have that response before. I can see how something like that could trigger nausea.

Poor lad, anyway. He must be feeling pretty miserable. And poor you and Mrs A. Dealing with anxieties, panic, general unhappiness and then POO on top of everything...

By the way when you say throw himself on the floor does he literally do that or is it more passing out? I ask because I also have experience of what is known as breath-holding, but which is actually not conscious holding of breath, more a particularly dramatic type of fainting.

Agaliarept - 21 Jun 2021 15:23:21 (#20 of 53)

Thanks for the last few posts gang..

My take on it, Agalia

I hear that GT. It's a complete fear of turning any of these behaviour phases into issues that persist that just makes it difficult to decide how to act. The last thing I want it to be party to him developing an issue that affects him. I mean, I'm his parent, I'm obviously going to fill him with issues about things he carries through life, that's how it works but I'l like to limit it where I can.

Specifically related to poo, my daughter's friend went through a phase

Thankfully he hasn't regressed as of yet.

Plenty of adults are squeamish though, aren't they, especially about blood, needles, vomit etc? I shouldn't worry

This is true cats my BiL will faint at the sight of blood. As an adult he just avoids looking at it.

Poor lad, anyway. He must be feeling pretty miserable. And poor you and Mrs A. Dealing with anxieties, panic, general unhappiness and then POO on top of everything...

Yeah it can't be nice. I was never into the whole bugs, mud and poo scene as a kid but it wasn't squeamishness I just didn't want to get dirty. It can't be fun when a lot of the world makes you nauseous.

By the way when you say throw himself on the floor does he literally do that or is it more passing out?

No it's like a premier league footballer when they don't get kicked. I only recently learned that a disproportionate response to physical contact could suggest ASD.

Ofc all of these things could be normal phases to his development. We're finding on discussing these things with each other that for some reason our memories haven't retained a lot of the small behavioural quirks his older brother went through.

I'm guessing like the pain of childbirth, your brain does its best to forget these things to prevent you swearing off of child rearing after the first.

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