Friday, March 18, 2011

Night Time Fears Resolved

For as long as he could express it to me, my seven year old has been having issues with fear at bedtime.  He gets so scared that he can't settle down and get to sleep.  For a long time, he was sleeping with his younger brother (the two are 12.5 months apart), but lately, the 6 year old has been complaining that he can't sleep because his older brother bothers him.  Using his younger brother as a teddy bear won't work anymore.

We've tried lots of different things.  I pray with him.  He recites "Perfect Love casts out fear" over and over again.  I let him read with a book light (which just keeps him up until midnight!).  We leave lights on, doors open, and constantly reassure him that nothing bad will happen while he's sleeping.  He occasionally sleeps with me.  Nothing has helped him!

The other day I was reading a Facebook post by The Gypsy Mama where she was asking for advice on how to deal with sudden night terrors in her five year old son.  One very wise lady recommended having him list several things that make him happy.  So last night, I tried this with Jay.  I had him list five.  Here's what they were:

1. Hugs from Mom and Dad
2. Having friends over.
3. Playing with his brothers and sister.
4. Rainbows and unicorns
5. Going to Cedar Point

When I tucked him in, he was all giggles and said "I might DIE from laughing so much!" with a big grin on his face.  When he woke up this morning he told me that he wasn't scared at all last night and he and his younger brother even came up with a few more for his list while they were lying in separate beds. :)  I think we may be on to something here!

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