Convey your attitude that your child is able to succeed and will succeed. Another mother wrote, "My four year old son and his sister, three, have decided they are `scared' to go upstairs or downstairs by themselves. Held a family meeting to discuss the problem: you’ve set the goal, established the rules, chosen a reward, and obtained your child’s agreement to try hard. Start the Goodnight Worry program and follow the rules. If this is happening in your home, perhaps you worry it is because your child has some emotional problem, some deep insecurity. The psychologist can help build your child’s motivation to face the problem. Choose a bedtime hour and stick to it. If your 7-year-old is a night owl and stays up until 10 p.m. or later, you might mistakenly assume that she needs a later bedtime or that she simply does not need much sleep. Here are the 8 tips, but bear in mind the list is not exhaustive. I know this is not normal and that I must have a problem. This is where Language of Listening® is so useful. Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW suggests that you explore what might be troubling your child by talking to her during the daytime when she might be more likely to open up about the source of her nighttime distress. How am I going to be able to live by myself if I haven’t learned to sleep by myself in my own bed by then? Be sure your child has a glass of water by the bedside, has gone to the bathroom, has a favorite stuffed animal. Often parents find their children at this age take longer to get to bed. When New Zealand researchers monitored 7-year-olds to measure activity during the day and sleep at night, they found that for each hour of inactivity, kids took three minutes longer to fall asleep. I’m a 15-year-old girl, and I am too afraid to sleep alone in my room. I’ve tried being reassuring and reasonable and firm but my child is so upset and so persistent. Her 6-year-old daughter absolutely must sleep with a blanket to help combat her fear, and her 4-year-old … We put a light in his room, but he says there are `monsters' under his bed." In 3 years I’m going to be an adult. My child puts up such a fuss! Increase physical activity so that she is tired when her bedtime rolls around. We have a challenge we can't seem to solve. It might help you. For some kids, the major cause for worry is the fear that they won’t be able to sleep. When I return him to his bed he falls back to sleep quickly, but then wakes again and so it goes on. Q. My 7-year-old son will not sleep alone. Keep lights low and encourage your entire family to participate in quiet activities, like reading or putting together puzzles, during the hour before bedtime. Your child must learn to make that transition alone. Your child has other problems besides the sleep problem–a lot of anxiety about going to school or separating from parents, a lot of irritability and temper tantrums, learning disabilities, or a lot of family stress and conflict. I also have a nine year old boy who was afraid of the dark and needed to learn how to sleep alone and the advice I got from a child therapist was really helpful to me. I just end up giving in. ... She’s afraid of the dark and seems to need the body warmth of another person to sleep well. I love my father so much and always slept with him. So, I go sleep with my mom. Address any fears or issues that keep your child from falling asleep. 2. I am talking about teenagers. And what she is afraid of is kidnappers or robbers in the house. I’m simply too afraid to be by myself. Whenever I sleep, I make sure all my doors and windows are closed or locked. If children sense that, they will have a hard time. It is essential that you are not in the room when your child falls asleep. Alot has to do with ones own ambivalence. 6-year-old afraid of kidnappers, robbers, death, aging, etc. Examine your own feelings. 7 year old son terrified to sleep alone samantha715 Eighteen months ago, my husband who is a police officer, was in a severe motorcycle accident resulting in traumatic brain injury. When kids don’t sleep, parents don’t sleep, and your whole household becomes an overtired, cranky mess. You avoid engaging the child in discussion of the rules, the fears, the unfairness of your treatment of the child, or anything else controversial. When … According to one study, 43% of children between ages 6 and 12 had many fears and concerns. Fill a spray bottle with water and a nice scent. We tired night lights in her room and in the hallway. I’m afraid that if I push my child to sleep alone when he’s not ready, it will really hurt him emotionally or psychologically. Make her sheets nice smelling and warm. Make sure all needs are anticipated so your child won’t need to get up again. He started to try to get in our bed which we allowed for a few nights since it was a new problem. Convincing your child to sleep in his own bed can be a challenge once he's gotten into the habit of sleeping in your bed. Can you provide resources on discipline for a seven year old? I'm the same age, a weak girl, and I had the same problem. If not, hopefully some else has better advice.”. Related: 2 Year Old Sleep Regression Explained. 7 year old with nighttime anxiety is afraid of the dark and going to ... My 7 year old is afraid of the dark and of going to sleep. A surprising number of children—7 years old, 9 years old, even 12 years old—cannot sleep alone in their own beds the whole night. Some kids even start worrying about sleep hours before bedtime. Sleep, the one thing that is precious to us all. It is actually ... Berkeley Parents Network: 8 & 9-year-old who won't sleep alone. If your child has always had difficulty falling asleep, then you are not alone. This week I was asked what the best strategy is for helping a child who is afraid of the dark fall asleep at night. I see kids every year in my practice who refuse to get out of their parents’ bed. When writing these tips, I attempted to talk to my toddler to identify any reason why he wouldn’t want to sleep alone. These steps might include: Have some time for closeness with your child: Talk about something pleasant that occurred today, Talk about the plans for tomorrow, especially positive things. Jennifer Bianco of Lincoln, R.I., has two kids who are afraid of the dark. stickers or stars on the calendar for each successful night of obeying the Goodnight Worry rules (appropriate requests for “check-in” are okay), after 7 successful nights, celebrate success by going out for ice cream, a pizza, or having a “games night” with Mom and Dad. Create and implement a consistent bedtime routine consisting of activities, such as a bath, stories, a quiet game, a healthy snack and tooth brushing. Behavioural Sleep Problems in School Aged Children ... Don't go back to old ways. They tend to start around age 2 and may last until age 8 or 9. These are the years when your child's powers of imagination are exploding, which means that now he can imagine new and scary things to be afraid … Check out our Zodiac Center! My 7-year-old son won't sleep alone? Dr. Marc Weissbluth, the author of "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child," recommends that children get at least 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity on a daily basis. Hold a family meeting to discuss the problem and how you’ll solve it together. You did not let yourself get angry. Parents will often tell me, “It is not like he is going to want to be in my bed forever!” Um, actually, yes – he might want to. 1. old. My daughter is 11 yrs. I am desperate for some good advice to help me with my seven year old daughter. “I remember … It might seem strange that a child who didn't have bedtime fears when she was a toddler or preschooler would be afraid of so many things – including the dark, monsters under the bed, and sleeping alone – now that she's older. A regular bedtime routine and plenty of daytime physical activity can often help your 7-year-old get the 9 to 11 hours of sleep that the National Sleep Foundation suggests for her age. Many seven year olds are not quite comfortable falling asleep in the dark by themselves, especially if their room seems (to them) far from where their parents are at that moment. He says he is scared. You do not raise your voice. About 4 months ago our 8yr became unable to sleep alone. If your child is tired and grouchy 10 minutes after waking up, more sleep is probably needed. A former children's librarian and teacher living in Dallas, Erin Carson loves to share her knowledge of both literature and parenting through her writing. You should try to get a routine going. What is the right amount of sleep? I’ve decorate his room to his liking, hoping that he will enjoy being in his room and will be more interested to sleep alone But NO! The psychologist can help parents set limits. Some children are afraid of fires, high places or thunderstorms. A fear of darkness, particularly being left alone in the dark, is one of the most common fears in this age group. He needs your help to learn to put himself to sleep. Seven-Year-Old Won't Go To Sleep. Here are six steps to a better night’s sleep for the family. I have done some research on the best methods to get your seven-year-old to sleep well so that both you and your child can have a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep. I haven't been overly concerned about this, but recently she said she hates being afraid. My 7 year old son has become afraid of the dark, any little noise he hears freaks him out and he cries every night before bed saying he doesn't want to sleep alone. Examined your own feelings about the problem. He wakes up multiple times a night and comes in our room wanting to get in our bed and we always send him back to his room and he goes right back to sleep. This will confuse your child and make it harder the next time you try to change. In the last few months, she has been scared going to sleep at night, and she sometimes wakes up at night scared as well, and can easily take an hour or two to get back to sleep. You can help your child to adjust to falling asleep alone in a gentle, supportive way. It was great to put my arm around him and criss cross the legs and sleep care free. She starts off in her room falls asleep no problems than wakes up around 3 am and comes in my room with my husband. Child 4-9 Years. Dr. David D. O'Grady and Dr. Susan J. O'Grady, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDflnqo0TQs, marriage counseling and couples therapy », Learn more about medical-legal examinations, Learn more about neuropsychological testing, Learn more about services for professionals. Of course making our night sleep a horrible. This is a time for sleep. One says, "Our 3 year old son, just in the last 3 weeks, is afraid to sleep alone. Here are 10 ways to end the worries and help everyone sleep better. The psychologist can help you see mistakes you’re making. As a freelance writer, Carson has published numerous articles on various websites. If your child is truly afraid to fall asleep independently, Kendrick advises that taking away privileges or punishing your child for her fears will not improve her sleep habits. National Sleep Foundation: How Much Sleep Do We Need? Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. 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