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Scared of the dark ... any tips to help me and my 4 year old?

(10 Posts)
Ghosty Sun 02-May-04 22:48:34

Hello everyone ...
Another problem with DS that is spiralling out of control!
His behaviour has settled down during the day but night times are awful.
He has developed a fear of the dark ... and I am sure it is quite normal - in fact I remember being scared of the dark when I was a child and I will admit to sleeping with the light on when DH goes away for a night ... <blush>
But things have got out of hand ...
Last night he was up for 2 hours! He has a night light .... we went from a gentle glow one to a lighter one but the lighter one is too bright (he says) and the gentle one is too dark ... it then went to needing a drink (or 3) and a cuddle (or 6) ... and eventually he came into bed with us but then none of us slept ... too hot ... daddy taking up too much space etc
In the end DH took DS back to bed and he conked out until this morning ...
What can I do?

butterflymum Sun 02-May-04 23:16:45

Have you considered trying a music/story cassette on a low setting? You can get some very good one's for his age that are quite short (15-20 mins). When he goes to bed, let him choose one and this will give him something to concentrate on other than the dark, hopefully, if already tired, this will help ease him over to sleep. Mind you, be careful with your choice of tapes, nothing noisey/too exciting, as it may have the opposite effect.

Also, a bit obvious, but a favourite character toy to keep him company. I know he may be past the teddy stage (or not) but does he have another favourite soft toy character or doll that could lie in bed with him?

A torch for him to keep by his bed?

Just some thoughts.

Ghosty Sun 02-May-04 23:22:18

Thanks BM ...
Story tapes a good idea ... but should I use them at 1am?
He sleeps with a special teddy AND a muzzy ...
The torch idea a very good one ... thanks for that ...

eddm Sun 02-May-04 23:25:08

God, I remember how awful being scared of the dark is. Nothing in life is as frightening as that long trip from your bed to your parents'. My mother confessed recently that she only got over her own fear of the dark once we were old enough to be scared ourselves and she had to deal with us!
Butterflymum's tips sound good. Have you asked him what it is about the dark that's so scary? Is it monsters under the bed, for instance? You could do a check for him before he goes to sleep. Do you leave the landing light on? Hope someone with more experience of this can help, but you and your ds have bags of sympathy from me.

butterflymum Sun 02-May-04 23:29:46

Here is a list of some books you may find helpful to use with your son too:


Ghosty Mon 03-May-04 00:57:09

Lol eddm ... at what your mum said ... I know exactly what she means!
He says that there are ghosts ... We put the light on to check that his room looks the same in the light ... to no avail.
We tried the landing light ... but it is too bright he says and he can't go to sleep that way ...
I feel like I am caught between a rock and a hard place - Can't go to sleep with lights on (thanks to Bloody Gina Ford) but wakes up scared 'cos it is too dark.
It is only now that I am beginning to hate GF with a passion ... she doesn't say anywhere in her books about older children being scared of the pitch black she says they should sleep in does she??

nightowl Mon 03-May-04 01:13:47

ive got this aromatherapy thing, its like a crystal ball on a base and it makes noises (like running water etc) it lights up the ceiling (different coloured twinkling lights) but not the room and it can be set to switch off after 15, 30 mins etc. It can be used without the aromatherapy or the noise. I know its for relaxation and not children but my ds loves to have it on (he's 6), would something like that help maybe, or would it keep him more awake?

Ghosty Mon 03-May-04 04:37:07

That sounds like a great idea nightowl ... where would I get one from??

nightowl Mon 03-May-04 05:01:14

im going to ask you a few stupid questions, are you abroad? cus i got mine from boots which could be a problem?! it was their own make and was £20

bloss Mon 03-May-04 05:48:54

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