Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Scary Dreams

Photo

It can be very alarming for a young child who is awoken from a bad dream. They usually wake up in fear and come running towards your room. As a parent, how can you best calm them down, reassure them, and help them get back to sleep? Nightmares become common in four-, five-, and six- year olds. 

Here are 7 tips to help a child learn to cope with fears and nightmares:

Comfort your child and take their fears seriously, but don't add your own anxiety to hers.
Look under the bed, in the closet. Let your child understand that this is for her comfort, not because you recognize danger.
Firm limits on bedtime are reassuring.
A comforting loving hug always helps.
Help your child learn ways of comforting herself when she wakes in fear. She can distract herself by singing songs, making up stories, or thinking pleasant thoughts.
Throughout the day, model your own way of handling your aggression.
Read fairy tales together because they encourage young children to face their own fears and angry feelings.

Here is also a list of books that can help your child deal with nightmares and scary things:

There's a Monster in My Closet: Mercer Mayer
Where the Wild Things Are: Maurice Sendak
Much Bigger Than Martin: Steven Kellogg