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My 6 year old is too scared to sleep

(9 Posts)
Quorthorn Sun 13-Sep-09 20:32:50


My six year old boy is happy and contented. He's always been an excellent sleeper but in the last few weeks he has complained more and more that he is 'too scared' to be left alone in his room to sleep. We leave the light on and we stay in a room just across the hall but he complains of being scared unless we are actually in the room.
This got much worse in the last week when his Mum had to go into hospital to have surgery, but she has been out for a week now and is halfway recovered.
I know there may be all sorts of developmental reasons why this is happening. However what I would really appreciate is any practical tips from other parents.
Many thanks

TheDMshouldbeRivened Sun 13-Sep-09 20:37:46

has he seen anything scary on TV? dd got like this about 6 and it turned out she'd seen an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and had developed a fear of vampires. For a fair few years after I had to make her a vampire sheild every night and she had a nightlight. She mighthave also moved in with her brothers at the same time. I cant recall if that came later or not.

cory Sun 13-Sep-09 20:38:32

Afraid I am no help at all as I'm an old softie who lets dcs come into my bed if they are scared. Ds at 9 still avails himself of this: I know what is troubling him atm is that his joint condition is worsening and he is frightened of becoming permanently disabled. I really don't think I can train him out of being frightened. But I can offer a comforting cuddle.

choosyfloosy Sun 13-Sep-09 20:41:34

No help at all as ds at five and a half has us sitting in his room until he falls asleep! I do hate it - well, I make dh do a lot of it - but I don't really see a way out. Could try story CDs? But they will need to be quite gentle ones - go for tapes of stories you already know - i've been caught out by scary stories before now.

Quorthorn Sun 13-Sep-09 20:43:12

He was reading Beat Quest books at night but we stopped that a few nights ago. I really don't know whether he is actually scared or is just taking the piss as he wants to stay uo. Or maybe he isn't tried enough.

meemarsgotabrandnewbump Sun 13-Sep-09 20:44:13

Have you got him to talk through his fears? Sometimes getting him to verbalise the fear then reassuring him can be enough.

Alternatively some hippy suggestions:

We have a set of Tibeten cymbals or 'tingers' which we ring in the boys' room before bedtime if they feel scared. We tell them it keeps scary thoughts away because scary thoughts don't like to pretty noise and it seems to work!

A drop of lavender essential oil on the pillow is also very relaxing.

Hope your little boy feels better soon smile

meemarsgotabrandnewbump Sun 13-Sep-09 20:47:53

It does seem to coincide with his mums illness and admission to hospital. I would give him the benefit of the doubt. Has he talked to you about how he felt about her going to hospital?

My eldest is 6 too, and I'm currently pregnant. He is terrified about me going to hospital, the baby hurting me, bleeding, having injections etc - it can really play on their minds.

Quorthorn Sun 13-Sep-09 20:49:55

Yes we have thoroughly talked about his fears and he says he feels better about them. He is insistent that he is only scared on monsters.
In any case his fears started long before his Mum's illness although the illness certainly made things worse

LovelyDear Sun 13-Sep-09 20:53:33

try talking him through that relaxing thing where you think your way up from your toes, clenching and relaxing each set of muscles, ending with scrunching your face up, then relaxing. It can help promote that meditative state where you can't be bothered to be scared any more. and tell him his fears are just like a film being played in his head, if he doesn't like it, he can change the film. give him the power! (who can tell i've been for hypnotherapy recently.....)

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