Police officer responds to call and helps little boy overcome extreme anxiety of monsters in his house
We all know how our minds can play tricks on us, and this is especially true for young kids. But even some adults can get scared of movies or shows and need someone to help calm them down.
A 6-year-old boy with severe anxiety was given peace of mind after an Eldridge police officer visited his new home to confirm no “monsters” or “bad guys” were living there.
The child’s mother Amanda Williams and her family moved into a new home in eastern Iowa. Her son, Hayden, had always shared a room with his older sister, but the new house was big enough for Hayden to have his own. Normally this would be a dream come true for most kids, but not Hayden, he was anxious about the move altogether.
Hayden told his mom he was having ‘scary’ thoughts and was feeling uneasy.
“He believes in superheroes,” Williams said. “He believes in bad guys and all other things that appear real to him.”
That made it difficult for Hayden to drop the images from his head after accidentally seeing “Annabelle” and “IT” movie trailers. And we all know how our minds can play tricks on us after watching scary things, even for adults.
Despite being very strict about internet and TV time, Williams believed Hayden had seen a commercial for the horror movies and was frightened.
Since Amanda is a makeup artist, she was aware of how Hollywood makes the faces so scary and tried to show Hayden YouTube videos of the horror movies’ behind-the-scenes clips. The videos showed artists dressing up and putting on the makeup of the characters. She hoped they would prove to Hayden the monsters weren’t real.
“He has a super vivid imagination,” Williams said.
After trying weighted blankets, night lights, monster spray and allowing the dog to sleep with him, nothing was helping Hayden’s nighttime anxiety. But Hayden knew where to turn to for help.
“I’ve raised my kids to know that police and doctors are there to help,” Williams said.
She was out of options and decided to take Hayden to the Eldridge Police Department. They were both nervous about how people would perceive their problem.
“I don’t want them to laugh at me,” Hayden told his mom.
That’s when Officer Bruce Schwartz walked in. Williams knew him from his work at the high school her daughter went to. He was more than willing to chat with the family in a private room and heard out Hayden’s concerns.
“Officer Schwartz had so much empathy and compassion,” Williams said.
Hayden then asked Schwartz to check out the house for himself. Schwartz agreed, and the trio returned to the home, where Hayden showed Schwartz all the scary places in his room. Schwartz explained to Hayden what all the spaces were made for and that they didn’t host any threats.
Schwartz then told Hayden that he, as an adult, comes home some days with scary thoughts in his head from things he experiences at his job but he lies down and thinks of something joyful.
“What do you think of?” Hayden asked.
Schwartz described thinking of riding a horse and being a cowboy, which makes him happy. Hayden said he would think of the vacations he had gone on with his family.
The following day was the first day of school for Hayden, and while taking pictures in front of the house, Schwartz rolled up in his car to check how Hayden was doing.
“I thought of being a cowboy, just like you,” Hayden told Schwartz.
Schwartz told Hayden he can always call if he ever needs anything.
Williams posted the story to Facebook, causing hundreds of comments and thousands of shares.
“Officer Schwartz, if you’re reading this, thank you from the bottom of my mama heart,” Williams said. “The kindness you’ve shown Hayden certainly doesn’t go unnoticed and I know he will remember this forever.”