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Question
Posted by: Mother | 2004/11/17

Nightmares

My daughter is always complaining about nightmares. I stopped her from watching any movies that might aggravate her situation but she would watch the animated movies and still say some parts of it is scary, like the shark in finding Nemo and parts of peter pan etc. My husband and I is separated for the last 4 years and we in a processes of divorce. I went through period of depression but had counseling and dealing with very well at the moment. My daughter had counseling and the phycologist said the nightmares will get better. she is generally a very sensitive child and can be over protective about me and her little brother, she is 7 years and brother is two (same father long story) She's always worried about her brother and me getting heard or dying.What should I do she sometimes wakes up crying, sit on her bed and when she get realy scared she waikes me up. They share my room with me but I would like to move her into her own room, seems impossible at the momment

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Yes, it's remarkable how much scary stuff there is within films and materials aimed at kids. The old fairy-tales are actually horrifically full of murders and mayhem and abuse. And it seems that enduring children's classics are not all fluffy but include real themes of love and loss, which echo within kids. They can be useful, as a basis for parents and kids to discuss such themes together. Most normal kids, though, go through a phase or two of having nightmares, which seem to arrive for no reason that's ever clear, and then go away again, just as mysteriously.
Sometimes when they hear of tragedies in other families ( the news is full of them ) or they hear of such things from other kids at school ( so you can't protect them from bad news ) they can grow excessively worried about their own loved ones, and over-protective of them. Discuss with your daughter what she's thinking of when the dreams frighten her, and this can be useful. Moving to her own room shouldn't be impossible. Emphasize her role in caring for her little brother then, and in comforting and not scaring him ; use a night-light for aded feelings of security. And check out the Archives of this Forum, as we've discussed Nightmares, and the issue of a child moving into her own room, quite often, with a range of good advice from a number of readers.

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