Posted by: Dinky | 2012-12-06

advice please - child nightmares

My son of 6 has nightmares, screaming during the night. I asked and he says the monsters are chasing him? How do I help or find out what causes his nightmares? I am so worried, please any advice....

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Our expert says:
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Causes are so often not useful to pursue in contrast to management. A phase of nightmares seems to arise commonly during childhood. As for causes one would check out - has he been watching scary movies or DVD, especially at night ? And has he run into frightening problems at school ( eg bullies ) or elsewhere ? If so, then its clear what one needs to do ; if not, the phase will probably pass before long, ad you can provide loads of re-assurance, a night-light, and encouragement.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Sara | 2012-12-10

Hi Dinky,

My son was having what we thought were nightmares and it was actually epilepsy. He was yelling and screaming and tossing about in his bed. Any of this ring true?

Reply to Sara
Posted by: dinky | 2012-12-06

Thanks all for your advice. He has been sleeping with a light since he was 3 months old. We go through this every few months for the past year or so, at one stage he claimed there was a man standing at his door....we are parents who believe in avoiding violence, dont watch horrors or scientific movies. He spends most of his time watching " boomerang"

Maybe he is just stressed with " big school"  just felt kind off helpless...thanxs again all

Reply to dinky
Posted by: Maria | 2012-12-06

As Lou says, try to find out if something is bothering him and don''t let him watch scary movies. Has he seen Monsters Inc? That might help.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Lou | 2012-12-06

Hi Dinky,

Most children go through the " nightmares"  stage. Make sure he is not watching violent or scary movies at night, and maybe give him a night light till this phase passes (which it will).
You need to eliminite the possibility that he is dealing with upsetting things at pre-school (if he goes), as maybe there is bullying issues that are troubling him (or something like that) - if there is nothing like that, then put it down to a normal childhood phase. Some children have it at age 4, some at age 6 - it all depends on the child.

Good luck

Reply to Lou

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