|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Nightmares

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: A little while ago, my 7-year-old son and I began to read a book on Egypt. It started to bother him so we changed books. He had a nightmare about mummies that night and we let him sleep in our bed. Same thing happened the next night. He has been up several times every night since. We won't let him sleep with us again and I have been going into his room and soothing him, and teaching him relaxation techniques. I am at my wits' end. He yells for me every time he wakes up and wants me to help him go back to sleep. If I don't respond he continues to yell or comes into our room. No one is well rested. What can I do?

A: You are doing the right things with your son. Keep encouraging him to stay in his room and let him know that you are sure he can handle it. Consistency over time will help him get over this fear.

You may also want to leave a nightlight on in your son's room, or a light on in the hall. If he wakes up during the night, he'll be able to get his bearings and see that he is safe. As his sleeping improves, you can reduce the light gradually until it is the way it was before the bad dreams began.

If the problem worsens, or goes on for a period of weeks, you might consider finding a therapist to work with your son. The school counselor or your pediatrician can refer you to someone in your community.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Top 10 Sweet 16 Birthday Gifts
Your daughter's sweet 16 is a big milestone in her life. Celebrate this special occasion with one of these top gifts for girls turning 16.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, brought to you by Galactic Hot Dogs.

Printable Lists of the Top 100 Baby Names
Need help with baby name ideas? Use our printable list of the top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2015 to help you brainstorm and narrow down your favorites.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks