6yo with separation anxiety at night(2 Posts)
My DD who is 6 is really struggling with bedtimes at the moment. I think it stems back to late last summer when we went on a camping trip with a large group of people. We were sharing a private field and had a camp fire at one end, and our tent was about 100 yards away, towards the other end of the field, in a row with the other tents. I put DD to bed one night and then went and sat round the camp fire. Unfortunately DD woke up and needed the toilet but couldn't find the torch so got stuck inside the tent in the dark. By the time she found me she was hysterical, and I took her back to the tent and went to sleep in the same sleeping bag as her to comfort her. It must have been a horrible experience as it was cold and dark, and I feel really guilty about not leaving a night light on for her and staying up late so I wasn't there when she woke up.
Anyway, in the last 2-3 months she has been getting very anxious at bedtimes, saying that I can't leave her, wanting me to hold her hand until she goes to sleep, asking me to 'make lots of noise' when I go downstairs so she can hear me, and generally being quite clingy. I think she sometimes cries herself to sleep. I offer her lots of reassurance and generally do what she asks, but I'm wondering if I need to just continue doing that or if there is anything else I could do to help reassure her. I've discussed it with her and she seems to think that when I leave her to go to sleep that I'm going to leave the house. Obviously this is not the case!! I may open the back door to put he bin out but would never go further than the garden gate, and I've explained this to her, and that I would NEVER EVER leave her alone in the house.
I think this issue is made a bit worse by her anxiety about my health as well - I had an health scare about a year ago and ended up in hospital. She was at her dad's so thankfully didn't see me being carted off in an ambulance, but still gets upset whenever I have a slight cold that I'm properly ill and going to be taken away etc.
Sorry this is a bit long, but any thoughts/advice would be most appreciated.
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