Help! 6 year old having bad dreams every night!(3 Posts)
If any one has any advice I'd be really grateful. My 6 year old son has had the odd bad dream in the past but has now started having them every night. He needs us to settle him back and my husband and I are exhausted. We've tried leaving a night light on, a lavender sleep spray 'to keep the dreams away' and taking him to the toilet. I'm worried this is now becoming a habit. I've also tried to motivate him with a reward chart which I felt a bit bad about doing but I wanted to ascertain if it was really a dream waking him. This hasn't worked.
DS1 is prone to nightmares - it was worse between 3 and 4 years, but he still has them sometimes.
With DS it is usually either because he is worried about something, or having a growth spurt. If he has one, then he worries that he will have another, which worries him, so he often has them for several nights on the trot.
I find it best to:
1. Completely break his routine. Let him sleep somewhere else for a night ( in your bed, camp bed, swap his bed around etc);
2. Try and work out if something has changed or is worrying him. Does he have any changes coming up? Has his diet changed?
Breaking routine is good for my two.
If it's a monster/creature, often parents instinctively try to reassure by saying it's not real/no need to be frightened, but that's no good to a child in the middle of the night when whatever is frightening feels very real, so have taken the opposite tack.
Assuming it's a monster/creature, I tell them well I'm not having that (in an over-played exasperated voice), I am very annoyed with the monster for making a nuisance of itself (or whatever the bad dream is) and it is very scared of big bad mummy (who shows off her mighty muscles) who's the most frightening thing in this house (just ask daddy) and role play telling it off, the sillier the better (in our house that means threatening to kick it up the bottom which means giggles as that's rude!) and role play monster speaking in a babyish voice, saying it didn't mean to upset anyone/so sorry etc. Brook no nonsense and boot is out of the bedroom window, out of the house, out of the town, out of the county and not allowed back again (and they join in the kicking out). And monster says very sorry, won't be back. The more the monster can be diminished and the more they have the power themselves to boot it out the better result ime.
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