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Forum -> Parenting our children -> School age children
5 year old thinks of scary things at night

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Post Tue, May 16 2023, 11:25 pm
This has been going on for probably over half a year now that when it gets dark, especially time to go to sleep, my daughter complains that she's bothered with thoughts of scary things. Doesn't happen in the day. She sleeps in my room already.

I have been careful not to expose her to what I'd consider scary things (talk about war, earthquakes, etc), but she's scared of spiders and dinosaurs, etc. Me telling her there aren't spiders in the house and that dinosaurs don't exist anymore doesn't help, she says she knows but is still scared. I tell her to think of good things, but that doesn't help much either.

Any advice?

P.s., I'm 100% sure it's real and not a ploy to stay awake later.
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Post Tue, May 16 2023, 11:26 pm
Also, it is not even completely dark in the room, we've been keeping a small lamp on.
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Post Tue, May 16 2023, 11:43 pm
Try playing music or a kiddie podcast until she falls asleep.
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Post Wed, May 17 2023, 1:31 am
Maybe help her find ideas of how to deal with the scary things in her mind.
ex: Put the spider on a leaf onto a river,
Dinosaurs being nice and giving her a ride to school, or being used to demolish houses instead of bulldosers

But where does she have these ideas from? is she watching shows or movies/reading scary books?
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Post Wed, May 17 2023, 3:29 am
Sounds like legit anxiety. Some CBT techniques might be helpful for her. Also as she's falling asleep, a kids bedtime meditation (there are tons on YouTube, all parve) to help focus her mind and relax her breathing.
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Post Wed, May 17 2023, 4:31 am
My daughter is almost 5 and has been a terrible sleeper her whole life shes always having nightmares and waking in the middle of the night. During the day she talks about her fears and anxieties often. I try to talk her through it and reassure her that she is safe etc but it's very challenging for both of us.
Hugs, op
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Post Wed, May 17 2023, 5:26 am
Cbt therapist would tell you not to reassure her because it’s like whackamole- even if she’s reassured by this one fear, another will pop up. So instead of giving her crutches like light, and your room, and reassurance, etc. you need to give her the tools to empower herself to face her fears.
It’s exposure therapy, tiny incremental steps so as not to overwhelm her and shut down. Each week, you add another step and during the e week you do homework to conquer it and once you do, you increase the exposure.
It’s not telling her that there are no spiders in the house because that’s not actually true- there may be spiders in the house, but with cbt she will be able to manage that fear and know that even though it’s unlikely, if it does happen, she will have the tools to deal with it and still be ok.
It’s so normal at that age, to have all these fears. If you give her the tools now, it will help her throughout her life.
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Post Wed, May 17 2023, 6:08 am
Check for strep and pinworms

There are supplements that can help reduce anxiety and help with sleep

L theanine
Lemon balm

Bioray has a great line of products, I would recommend ndf happy, calm and sleepy for such a child.
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