Thing 3



Wes has always had a bit of an issue with vertigo. He doesn’t like being able to see down from wherever he is. Most playgrounds have see-through flooring up above on the slide platforms, and he’s fine until he realizes that. Then he panics. Luckily, often he is having too much fun to notice, so it’s not entirely limiting.

ACCEPT EXCEPT (I swear I know the difference between these two words, this is one of the many errors I blame on blogging pre-bootcamp at 4am. My brain doesn’t work 100% that early)…recently things have gotten worse. I’m not sure what caused it, but what used to be only mildly annoying, is now debilitating. He used to refuse to come down one set of stairs in our house because you can see over the rail, now he won’t go down either. Even the “good” one. I used to be able to coax him down that one set of stairs, but now he just sits at the top and cries. He wants to be carried down down every set of stairs. He’ll walk once he gets to the bottom, but he freezes and cries at the top until someone carries him.


I’m certain this is just a phase, and I don’t mind humoring him because my Dad humored me with my bizarre anxieties and I feel like I owe him. I’m just hoping it is just a phase. Surely it’s not some sort of prep for a lifetime full of airplane avoidance and bridge fears. RIGHT? Because I already have a mild fear of heights that causes me anxieties in those situations, THERE CAN’T BE TWO OF US.

This is where you reassure me of stories of your own child’s vertigo and how they eventually learned to climb stairs by themselves. I’m thinking carrying him down once he’s past the age of 7 or so will start to get very difficult.

7 thoughts on “Vertigo”

  1. My daughter was the same way. No climbing on the climbing structures at playgrounds or at fast food places. I can’t tell you how many times I had to climb up in those things to “rescue” my daughter because she finally did climb up and then realized where she was. She didn’t like to be lifted up over somebody’s head either. No piggy back rides, no riding on her father’s shoulders. She would flip out like a cat seeing a bathtub full of water, claws and all.

    But she did eventually grow out of it. She still doesn’t like people to lift her up, but she’s nine now and it’s much harder to lift five feet of nine year old.

  2. Hold on, is he dizzy or just afraid of heights? I know plenty of adults who are afraid of heights, but I don’t know if their anxieties were worse as children. Is there a school/child psychologist you could consult? If it were my child, I’d want to do what I could to help him cope because I might not always be there when he finds himself in a distressing situation. Certainly picking him up and rescuing him is appropriate at his age, but there might be a way to gradually build his confidence in various situations where he does something a little out of his comfort zone. Why wait/hope for him to outgrow it, if there are things you could do now to improve the situation?

    If it’s really vertigo (i.e, dizziness and not a fear of heights, see, you should probably talk to the doctor. Not to belittle a fear of heights; just that they’re two different things, afaik (aren’t they?).

  3. Will he scoot down on his bottom?

    My fear of heights (really a fear of falling) got worse as I got older, but it can be really traumatic.

  4. If he’s feeling actual virtgo (dizzy, off balance), you might want to have his ears checked. Middle ear infections can really hide out with no real symptoms. My sister has chronic ear infections and can get vertigo with them.

  5. I dislike going down stairs that are open on the risers. I am really careful to not get my foot stuck in the open part – not that I can see how that would happen but I still gives me an uncomfortable feeling.

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