11 Year old afraid of the dark

(8 Posts)
LastingLight Sat 28-Dec-13 16:34:59

First time poster.

My DD is 11 and a half. Her room is across the passage from our study, where the light is usually on in the evenings as DH and/or myself will be in there doing stuff on our computers. A couple of weeks ago DH wasn't home and I switched off the light as I was going to read in bed. Cue major outcry as she couldn't go to sleep without the light. We then started switching off the study light or closing the door for longer and longer periods each evening when she goes to bed. She tolerates this as long as there are other lights on in the house. Up until recently, if she got up in the night to use the toilet she would go back to sleep in the dark without problems. Now that is also an issue, and she has been waking up several times a night like a toddler and then switching on the study light in order to go back to sleep. (The waking up could be due to excitement over granny coming to visit.) In addition she has now gotten into the habit of switching on the fan in her room (summer in South Africa), even when it's not really hot. Apparently she cannot fall asleep without that either.

How do we handle this? She is much too old for this nonsense and it is affecting everybody as she seems to think if she is awake then we should be awake too. I've tried giving her Melatonin but that doesn't seem to make much difference. There hasn't been any major changes in our lives recently and it's the middle of summer holidays so there isn't any school stress.

ohtobecleo Sat 28-Dec-13 22:11:01

I'm not so sure that she's 'much too old for this nonsense'. I think kids go through phases. My DS (12) doesn't like the dark either and I always leave a night light on for him as waking in complete darkness just distresses him. He's recently also started asking for music to help him get to sleep (this is a new thing). I give him 'sounds of the sea' which is just waves/ocean sounds and very relaxing.

I personally wouldn't worry and certainly wouldn't fight it, if the darkness is distressing her why wouldn't you leave a light on? I'm sure it will pass.

sunbathe Sat 28-Dec-13 22:13:33

How do we handle this?

Leave a light on!

MostWicked Sat 28-Dec-13 22:34:08

Too old for this nonsense? Like a toddler?

Poor girl, just leave a light on or put a night light in her room.

purpleroses Sun 29-Dec-13 12:12:35

My DSS is 11 and just the same. More of a problem as he shares a room with my DS who does not like the light on at night. We bought him a bedside lamp and a wind up torch so he knows he can always get light if he needs it. And have been gradually encouraging him to have the door a bit more closed. He's getting there.

lapetitesiren Sun 29-Dec-13 12:23:59

Where do they need to get? Dimmed lights don' t interfere with melatonin release so nightlights etc ok. Personally I leave the curtains open and then its not dark. Like to see where I am between sleep cycles.
Its an age where they hear lots of scary stuff- imaginations run riot in the dark.

Lucyadams184 Tue 31-Dec-13 11:51:19

I would just buy a dimmer light. I remember being afraid of the dark at this age.

LastingLight Tue 31-Dec-13 11:53:07

Thanks for all your replies. I may be too hard on her.

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