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    #239975 - 10/09/17 05:28 AM Scared of thrill rides/slides
    KJP Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 756
    DS10 is afraid of thrill rides and water slides. Even what Iíd call mid level ones are too scary for him. He will be really excited to do it but change his mind right when we are loading after standing in line forever. It is really frustrating. I try to be kind about it but he can tell that it is not fun/weird to wait in a narrow line forever and then turn around and walk back through everyone.

    If heíd just say at the outset, ďI donít like rides and Iím not going to do themĒ it would be fine and so much easier.

    He wants to go on them but loses courage and I donít know how to help him. He ends up embarrassed and mad at himself.

    We have tried working up from easy rides but he thinks theyíre boring. We could just avoid fairs and parks but DS6 loves them and DS10 will beg to go. We tried taking along a friend who doesnít like scary rides either but that didnít work because his friend was fine with mid level rides. DS10 backed out of four lines before sulking. He perks up after a little while and goes on the enjoy the parts of the park he can enjoy but Iíd like to help him get comfortable because he seems like he wants to do it.

    Any ideas?

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    #239983 - 10/09/17 12:16 PM Re: Scared of thrill rides/slides [Re: KJP]
    Eskes Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/05/17
    Posts: 57
    My DS9 is afraid of thrill rides and big water slides as well. This summer he went on his very first roller coaster and loved it after several failed attempts prior to this. A few things seemed to help him. He has a fear of heights and we discovered this was one barrier. We made a plan for him to close his eyes on the ride and used distraction to get his mind off the fear. We talked about his favorite interests during the wait in line and went on the roller coaster when the line was the shortest. He had less time to think about it and not a big deal if he did not succeed since the line was short. He watched the roller coaster before hand several times and timed how long he would be on it. This helped him to think "I will be in misery for only so many seconds if I don't like it. " We used a reward too as a motivator for conquering his fear. These strategies seemed to work for him and he finally got on the ride 20minutes before the park closed. Fear is so difficult and they have to work through it at their own pace. Not sure if this helps but this is what helped my DS.

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    #239993 - 10/10/17 11:05 AM Re: Scared of thrill rides/slides [Re: KJP]
    Flybear Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 09/23/16
    Posts: 18
    I would work with him on not feeling embarrassed - because why should he be? My son is the same way. His 2 year younger sister loves fast rides and scary slides - he is 10 and doesn't. And he will confidently tell his friends that he doesn't want to go.
    There is no need to experience scary rides - it is an optional experience. What would concern me is the fact that he seems to feel bad about not wanting to go.
    My son has always been more sensitive than other kids ... scary books or movies - no way! We can't watch Disney classic movies because ... they are scary to him ... His reading level is high but Harry Potter too scary. Yes ... it might be a little weird to explain to people why my child reads either scientific articles about Biology or ... 2nd grade books that are not scary ;-). But these quirks are common among gifted kids. I have found that my son develops at his own rate and eventually grows out of fears. He was terrified of the dark until age 9 when he suddenly decided that he had to sleep in the pitch black. He didn't learn to ride his bike until age 7 but then just got on ... Give it time! And maybe try to bolster his self confidence - not everyone likes thrill rides ... made adults are scared of them - every person has their own strengths! Maybe he'll like thrill rises in the future but for now - why make it an issue? My son is much fast in math than his sister so I am actually quite relieved that occasionally little sister gets to be " ahead" and brave ... even if it is just for a roller coaster ride :-) I found that taking the pressure off works best. I point out to my kids every day that ALL people have their unique strengths - they change throughout life even ... At Disneyland we take turns with rides - my husband gets sick on anything rocking back and forth - why feel bad about it?

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    #239994 - 10/10/17 11:32 AM Re: Scared of thrill rides/slides [Re: KJP]
    KJP Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 756
    I thought I posted a response yesterday but it was lost.

    Portia, he isnít overwhelmed by emotions but they seem more intense or bigger. He is also very empathetic and quickly picks up on other peopleís emotions and feelings too.

    Eskes, he did go down a scary slide this summer when the park was almost closed and there were no lines. Thereís definitely something too the pressure of having people waiting.

    Flybear, I donít care if he goes on them or not. He is the one who wants to do it. The embarrassment/being mad at himself is from having to walk back through everyone and knowing he just wasted a bunch of time. If he would just say at the outset, ďI donít like those type of rides/slidesĒ itíd be fine (and easier).

    Instead he just keeps trying to do them. And changing his mind at the last minute.

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    #240001 - 10/11/17 06:10 AM Re: Scared of thrill rides/slides [Re: KJP]
    atticcat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/29/14
    Posts: 58
    Remember when the only lines were to the diving boards,5,10,20'?

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    #240002 - 10/11/17 06:34 AM Re: Scared of thrill rides/slides [Re: KJP]
    Thomas Percy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/18/12
    Posts: 206
    Well, I think he is trying to challenge himself. I think you should turn around and make that a good thing. Just laugh with him when he bail out at the end, make a big joke of it.

    I don't have personal experience for this age. But my son was terrified of the carousals. We put him on one when he was three, and I was right there with him. You would think we were trying to murder him based on the way he screamed. He did not get on one until he was almost 6. He is fine with some fairly scary rides now.

    It sounds like your DS never was on these harder rides, he was just imagining how scary they are? Or do you think he can project how he will feel based on the easy ones. If it is the first, just keep doing what you are doing and try not to feel upset when he bails out. He may overcome his fear one day and get on it. If you think he is just pressureing himself to do something he doesn't/will not like, then maybe a different approach.


    Edited by Thomas Percy (10/11/17 06:35 AM)

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    #240012 - 10/12/17 05:19 AM Re: Scared of thrill rides/slides [Re: KJP]
    Flybear Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 09/23/16
    Posts: 18
    I agree with Percy... Humor might work best ... have him make a plan before he gets in line ... what happens if he needs to bail and that it is ok to bail out. Trying half of the way is better than not trying ... Standing in line and dealing with anxiety IS part of the experience and he is getting closer to actually " go". Even standing in line with his friends/family to keep them " company" is good. One day he'll go on the ride - when he is ready. It is hard at this age ... being a pre teen is hard enough without anxieties. I always remind my son that " a little trying" is better than not trying at all. Overcoming fears is hard! It helps to point out all the adults that are not even trying to get on the ride ;-) - kudos to your son for pushing himself!

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    #240013 - 10/12/17 06:20 AM Re: Scared of thrill rides/slides [Re: KJP]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    No experience with this with my own daughter, as she was the one howling at the injustice of the minimum heights at roller coasters many adults wouldn't touch.

    However, I did get to experience this once with my niece one afternoon, and she was also around 10 at that time. She asked me to go on the (rather tame) roller coaster with her but told me how scared she was. We waited through the line for a while before she was ready to abandon, so we did. We went on to enjoying the park for a little while, and she brought it up again. We got back in line again, and this time she made it through.

    I did encourage her to face her fear and told her there was nothing to worry about, and the ride was a lot of fun (and to a kid who never rode a real roller coaster, it probably would be). I stayed in line with her until she hit her breaking point, and then I left with her without putting any pressure on her. We went on other things without me ever bringing it up again. She broached it when she was ready, but started making bargains with me - could she hold onto me the whole ride? I was agreeable to whatever terms she wanted.

    The big things that worked here:

    - Child led
    - No pressure
    - Comforting

    And this is probably a factor, though my niece didn't explicitly say so - my fearless daughter five years younger than her had already ridden this thing several times that day. Is your 6yo riding the rides that DS10 is abandoning?

    The major source of frustration in dealing with this sort of thing is the length of the lines, so I'd do whatever I could to mitigate that as a factor to help him work through this. That might be some combination of smaller parks/fairs, off-peak hours, or paying extra for passes that help you avoid waiting in line. The episode for my niece happened at a smaller park.

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    #240374 - 11/07/17 03:30 PM Re: Scared of thrill rides/slides [Re: KJP]
    Ametrine Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/27/11
    Posts: 741
    Originally Posted By: KJP
    ...he isnít overwhelmed by emotions but they seem more intense or bigger. He is also very empathetic and quickly picks up on other peopleís emotions and feelings too.



    Maybe he's a Highly Sensitive Child. Have you read up on that trait? Your description sounds very familiar to that personality. Elaine Aron's book has been a real eye-opener for me on that. Something she said about kids like that is they don't like scary or violent movies and tend to hold back when faced with new situations, often wanting to observe over and over before going for it.

    That he stands in line and tries to be like all the other kids is part of some HSC's need to please. If they sense you really want something of them, they will deny their own feelings on it to some extent until they back out or have a meltdown.

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    #240388 - 11/08/17 11:40 AM Re: Scared of thrill rides/slides [Re: KJP]
    ashley Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/26/12
    Posts: 639
    Originally Posted By: KJP
    DS10 is afraid of thrill rides and water slides. Even what Iíd call mid level ones are too scary for him. He will be really excited to do it but change his mind right when we are loading after standing in line forever. It is really frustrating. I try to be kind about it but he can tell that it is not fun/weird to wait in a narrow line forever and then turn around and walk back through everyone.

    If heíd just say at the outset, ďI donít like rides and Iím not going to do themĒ it would be fine and so much easier.

    He wants to go on them but loses courage and I donít know how to help him. He ends up embarrassed and mad at himself.

    We have tried working up from easy rides but he thinks theyíre boring. We could just avoid fairs and parks but DS6 loves them and DS10 will beg to go. We tried taking along a friend who doesnít like scary rides either but that didnít work because his friend was fine with mid level rides. DS10 backed out of four lines before sulking. He perks up after a little while and goes on the enjoy the parts of the park he can enjoy but Iíd like to help him get comfortable because he seems like he wants to do it.

    Any ideas?

    I have always been scared of thrill rides - even the ones the 7 year olds seem to have a blast with. they give me a yucky feeling and make me regret that I ever got on one in the first place. I always volunteer to hold my group's jackets, hats, cameras, phones, glasses and purses when they go on such rides. My sympathies to your son - those things are really unpleasant for some people.
    So, the best solution is for you to explain to him that since he finds them unpleasant, it is OK to not be on them. It is OK to not go on the rides just because others are doing it. He does not have to put himself through so much anxiety and disappointment because his family wants to do some of those activities. Have someone to stay with him while the others in the party go on the thrilling rides and it is not as if he missed on something he finds enjoyable. Perhaps, one of you can go with him to another part of the park and enjoy an activity he likes during the family thrill ride times.

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