When Dan was about four he had night terrors.
I think the ‘terror’ of the title was aimed at describing the parents rather than the child because I found them totally and utterly horrific.
The first time it happened I had absolutely no idea what to do so I did all the wrong things. After that I read up on them, realised I’d done all the wrong things and armed myself with all the knowledge.
The next one happened and I fell apart; they are just the most horrid things for you to witness you child going through.
Fast forward four years and we then hit the Nightmare Years.
Imagination starts to kick in, he discovers Doctor Who and suddenly bedtime is a battleground again.
However I had a powerful weapon in my night time arsenal; I remember reading about Monster Spray and how you should just keep a plain bottle of water in a spray bottle and attach a stick onto it which read ‘Monster Spray’ and you would explain that it kept monsters out of their room if you sprayed it around their doors and windows.
I didn’t need that for Dan. I recall years and years ago reading how you should never tell children that monsters don’t exist because they totally and utterly believe it to be true and you could somehow make them trust you that little bit less if you dismiss their fears.
So I would sit with Dan and say “no monsters will come in this room; even in this house. They are too scared. Because I told them I am your mother and there is nothing I wouldn’t do to protect you and if they dared to enter they would face a mother’s rage”.
Totally and utterly worked with the added bonus he thought I was really rather cool.
Of course it doesn’t work now he’s 12! He still watches Doctor Who and he still gets a little wary but we haven’t had any nightmares to speak of.
As one of the Slumberdown Ambassadors I have been asked to share our experiences of nightmares in the hope it could just help another family.
Night terrors are awful, but you aren’t alone; many many people go through them and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to them.
Nightmares are also normal as your little one’s imagination starts to flourish and they start to see and hear things which will start to play on their mind. It’s just part of growing up.
So when you’re being woken at 3am you have to tell yourself it’s a. a phase and b. you’re the best person to help. Oh and c. you probably did it to your parents too 🙂
But nightmares aren’t just confined to the kids. My husband is terrible for waking in the night with a start or sitting bolt upright in bed, or even waking with an ‘URGH’ while staring at the bedroom door and scaring the bejesus out of me.
Slumberdown carried out a survey recently to determine which TV shows and movies give adults the heebie jeebies. Pretty much all the shows on my husband’s watch list including The Walking Dead, Luther, anything with Hannibal Lecter – the usual suspects.
So, what do you watch before bed that you shouldn’t – and more importantly, how do you ‘manage’ your nightmares (I’m pretty sure Monster Spray isn’t going to cut it).
For me the very worst I’ve watched before bed was the very excellent Luther. Do not go there.
Also some Doctor Who episodes – it’s supposed to be for KIDS!