Nightmares-Help in a Flash

10 Feb

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“Mom…mom…dad…mom…dad!!”

“I had a bad dream.”

We all know how terrifying a nightmare is, imagine how scary it can be for your child.

Nightmares tend to start in the pre-school age and are most disturbing until the elementary school years.  Teenager and adults continue to have bad dreams but they are better able to separate what is real and what is a dream better.

Possible triggers:

  • Change in school or environment (move)
  • Natural disasters
  • Injuries
  • Loss of a family member/pet
  • Scary books
  • Scary movies

Many of these are unavoidable but we should try to avoid scary content for our children.  Remember to think about it through the eyes of your child.  Think about what’s on in the room with your child (CSI, etc).  One of the biggest things we do is pause the commercials while my 4 year old is watching sports with me (avoiding intense movie previews and commercials).

What can you do when you child has a nightmare?

  1. Get to your child ASAP (not time to cry-it-out).
  2. Ask questions about the dream and explain away what you can.
  3. Provide a night-light and eliminate other fears as possible.
  4. Encourage your child to go back to sleep when they seem ready
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