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How do I help her with her fear of the dark?

(7 Posts)
Coffeeessential Fri 30-Nov-12 14:52:13

This is my first post so not sure if I'm doing it right..The issue is my 8 year old daughter and her sudden fear of 'noises' in the night. Although she has been wary of the dark for a few years and sleeps with a nightlight, suddenly she is waking in the night and says she can hear noises and see things out of the corner of her eye...I try to settle her back down but I don't know whether I should be staying with her until she falls asleep or not. She is genuinely frightened.
She has always slept in her own bed with no problem, so the issue isn't wanting to sleep with mummy and daddy. She does worry about things a lot and has been having problems with her best friend of the moment, so could that be causing it? And how is best to handle it?

Wrenner Fri 30-Nov-12 15:30:50

Get her to draw a picture of what she thinks she can see/hear. Then get her to draw a picture of the thing/ weapon that will stop the noises/images and put that above her bed. My son (4) was scared of vampires?! He kept waking up saying he could see things and got genuinely terrified. He was also scared of the big bad wolf but instead of saying " it's not real" repeatedly I gave up on that ( didn't work plus I was denying his feelings) I actually googled a picture of the wolf but showed him nice ones of them with their babies. It helped him learn that they are real but not harmful grin good luck

Coffeeessential Fri 30-Nov-12 15:58:15

Thankyou Wrenner, I'll try that. Maybe if things are down on paper they'll be less scary. I just asked her what she thinks she can hear and all she can tell me is 'monsters.' She insists she can hear them coming up the stairs. We have an old house and it does creak at night, unfortunately. It doesn't help that she has a very active imagination and finds it difficult to 'switch off her brain' at night. She will often lie there for ages before she even gets to sleep.

Beanbagz Fri 30-Nov-12 16:09:54

My DD used to spend 3-4 hours trying to get to sleep some nights. Not because she was scared of the dark or anything but because she just couldn't 'switch her brain off' after a day at school.

We opted for a [ Bedtime Meditations cd]] and it's worked wonders. It gives her something to focus on as she's fall asleep.

Failing that how about quiet music for your DD to fall asleep to? It'll distract her from the noises the house makes.

Beanbagz Fri 30-Nov-12 16:10:34

should have checked the link worked properly!

Coffeeessential Fri 30-Nov-12 16:29:58

That CD looks really good, thankyou Beanbagz...maybe if she is calm going into sleep she'll be less likely to wake up in the first place. I think there is so much whirring around in that head of hers....We bought her a special journal last Christmas to write down her thoughts before going to sleep.. It hasn't helped much although she writes in it faithfully every night.

MissChristmastRee Fri 30-Nov-12 16:35:18

With DS we had "monster spray". It was just a standard spray bottle filled with water but somehow it put his mind at rest that he could spray it to scare them off. Get some markers and get her to help decorate it. Worked for us!

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