Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Scary Dreams

Growing up I would have a nightmare every single night. I always ended up sleeping in my parents bed because I couldn't stand the thought of monsters coming out of my closet. If your child is have nightmares you are not alone. Here are 5 tips to help you and your child have a good night sleep...

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1) Comfort the child and take the fears seriously, but don't add your own anxiety to hers. 

2) Look  under the bed, in the closet. Let her understand that this is for her comfort, not because you recognize danger. 

3) Firm limits on bedtime are reassuring. 

4) Help a child learn ways of comforting herself when she wakes in fear. She can learn to "talk herself down" by singing songs, remembering songs, making up stories, or thinking pleasant thoughts. In modified form, adapting to other situations, she will use these skills for the rest of her life. 

5) Read fairy tales together; these encourage young children to face their own fears and angry feelings. Also read such books as There's a Monster in My Closet (Mercer Mayer), Where the Wild Things Are (Maurcie Sendak), and Much Bigger than Marin (Steven Kellogg), among many others. Books allow a child to face and eventually master these feelings--she can turn the pages at her own pace, study a picture as long as she likes, go backward, or close the book tight. 

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