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My Son Claims That He Has Nightmares - What To Do

by Claire

This began 2 years ago, after we transitioned him to a toddler bed. At first, he would walk to our room and wake me up to ask for juice or water. I then began leaving him a juice/water bottle next to his bed. Then he said that he woke up because of a nightmare. We have consistently returned him to his bed without a reward (no hugs or kisses) and told him gently to go back to sleep. This happened every night and after a few months, it ceased.

After we transitioned him to a twin bed, the "nightmares" returned. He demanded that we leave a lamp on all night. So we did. For awhile, he stopped waking us up. now I am not sure if it is because he wasn't having the nightmares or whether he would get himself back to sleep.

I believe that he never stopped waking up with nightmares. and now he has returned to the old pattern of waking us up. And now has begged us to leave all of the lights on in his room (which we had to haggle him down to a brighter bulb in the lamp). I know for a fact that he wakes up every night to go to his bathroom to pee and has done so since he was 3. He is now almost 6 years old. Now he wakes up, comes to our bedroom and wakes us up claiming he had had a nightmare. He does not appear upset or scared. He wants to come join us in bed and cuddle, which we never allow.

We used to tell him to wait until 6am before waking us up. We even put a digital clock in his room so that he could tell when 6am came around. then I regretted that because it seemed like he was awake in his room half the night waiting for 6am. Our pediatrician is at a loss to help. we have tried threats (no toys or TV if he wakes us up), but that doesn't stop him. so we tried bribery (e.g. you can have a nutella sandwich for breakfast if you don't wake us), which works some time. Lately, I have tried suggesting that, when he does wake up from a nightmare, to think about something happy like a candy and chocolate playground with twizzler see-saws, hershey bar slides and so on. This has seemed to work on occasion. But I worry that I need a more permanent answer or solution.

Comments for My Son Claims That He Has Nightmares - What To Do

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Oct 07, 2012
by: Anonymous

You should try cuddle and let him come in bed with you. After all,is your child and he needs you .That`s why we are Mum`s ,to be there when the child need us.Children don`t do things to annoy us,they do it because they need us,our attention and love.

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