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What do you when your child wakes up from a nightmare?

My 9 year old wakes up at least once a week in the middle of the night, complaining of nightmares. When we ask what the nightmare was about she doesn't want to tell, because it's too scary, and other than her mentioning that she saw a scary commercial on Animal Planet we don't know how to avoid it. That being said, it usually takes at least 30-45 minutes to get her back to sleep and by then we are exhausted. What do you do?

 
not-the-momma

Asked by not-the-momma at 4:31 PM on Nov. 16, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (5)
  • My kids come in and lay down with me for a couple minutes until they feel better. They don't always like to talk about it either.
    cheez1e

    Answer by cheez1e at 6:18 PM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • i really dont know if my 15 month old has bad dreams or not but every time he wakes up screaming i hold him and comfort him til he falls back to sleep in my arms
    yankeegirl87

    Answer by yankeegirl87 at 4:32 PM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • If it takes that long help her get her mind off it, turn on a dim light but brighter than a nite light and talk to her, reassure her that you are there and will protect her than turn on some music and gently tell her to lay back and close her eyes and don't leave untill she is asleep. Even if that means you grab a pillow and crash out on the floor, you just need to be there. You don't have to be awake. : ) If it's not a school night turn on a soft cartoon and just veg out with her. Ask her the next morning to talk about it, give her time to relax and hopefully she will open up sooner than later.
    DonnaPinitonya

    Answer by DonnaPinitonya at 4:39 PM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • i keep on telling my teen to pray....
    neng999

    Answer by neng999 at 5:06 PM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • I let mine get a pillow and blanket and sleep in my room when I am really tired. Tell her is its just a dream and not real. Talking about it may help her make it go away. I have taught mine that they can take control of their dreams. That they can be aware of what is going on and change it ...like changing the channel. Squeeze their eyes. We talk about some of the things that they absolutely love and that is what they can change their dreams to. It helps them to think of the things they love rather than what was scary.
    Momforhealth

    Answer by Momforhealth at 11:20 PM on Nov. 16, 2010

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