7 yo Nighttime Fears


Fears and Whining/Crying
My 7 year old daughter has a runaway imagination, a very typical one imagining creepy things are going to get her at night. We generally watch her media intake and what she reads very carefully because she is very easily negatively influenced (and heaven help us- she and her brother watched something scary on the sly a few months ago about dolls coming alive and we've never stopped hearing about the fears that has provoked). She's fine about being alone during the day, but nighttime is when the difficulties begin. She very typically wakes up around 10 pm and works herself into a crying-hyperventilating fit. She wants someone to sleep in her room with her and we've admittedly given in sometimes to keep her from waking up all her siblings and because we are so exhausted and not very good at holding our ground when this occurs at 1 am. "The doctor" has been to visit and for months she's been going to bed at 7:30 pm and not having any screen time. These things have been really good for her, but we're still having nighttime hysteria. I like the "doctor" because then it's not as if she is being punished for her fear, but it seems like imposing any other penalties would be like punishment. Plus, this kind of hysteria also applies to pain of any kind, no matter how minor, which is a big concern to us that we could potentially miss something serious since she cries so much about everything. Oh- and regarding the screen time- she did have several days of watching nature documentaries and a few other shows this last week to distract from the pain when she was really, really sick, but she goes from perfectly calm while watching to starting to cry and whine about the pain the minute it turns off. We don't know if she is exaggerating, but our compassion goes down and our annoyance goes up really fast. We know we need to put the control in her hands to solve this problem, but how? Thanks!

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