What is the right amount of sleep? Her 6-year-old daughter absolutely must sleep with a blanket to help combat her fear, and her 4-year-old … I am talking about teenagers. Seven-Year-Old Won't Go To Sleep. My 7-year-old son won't sleep alone? And he's paranoid about having bad dreams. Carson has a master's degree in library science and a bachelor's degree in English literature. The psychologist can help you see mistakes you’re making. She has slept with me since she was about 5 or 6 years old. I want my child to feel secure. Can you provide resources on discipline for a seven year old? So is a fear of animals, such as large barking dogs. Keep lights low and encourage your entire family to participate in quiet activities, like reading or putting together puzzles, during the hour before bedtime. Another mother wrote, "My four year old son and his sister, three, have decided they are `scared' to go upstairs or downstairs by themselves. 7 year old with nighttime anxiety is afraid of the dark and going to ... My 7 year old is afraid of the dark and of going to sleep. The psychologist can help your child learn to use tools for managing anxiety (relaxation skills, talking back to the fear, self-distraction, positive self-talk). Now, my parents have kicked her out of their room since the quarantine and have had me share my bed with her. But it makes sense from a developmental point of view. Often parents find their children at this age take longer to get to bed. A former children's librarian and teacher living in Dallas, Erin Carson loves to share her knowledge of both literature and parenting through her writing. It was best during winter as it was one quilt for both of us. Check out our Zodiac Center! For some kids, the major cause for worry is the fear that they won’t be able to sleep. stickers or stars on the calendar for each successful night of obeying the Goodnight Worry rules (appropriate requests for “check-in” are okay), after 7 successful nights, celebrate success by going out for ice cream, a pizza, or having a “games night” with Mom and Dad. We are having a nightmare problem with my daughter's sleep habits. My 7 year old is afraid to sleep alone? If she suffers from a fear of the dark or of being alone, opening her door at night or adding a nightlight to her room might help. 7 year old son terrified to sleep alone samantha715 Eighteen months ago, my husband who is a police officer, was in a severe motorcycle accident resulting in traumatic brain injury. Nothing is more challenging than both you and your child being awake at night, sleepless. I see kids every year in my practice who refuse to get out of their parents’ bed. I have a weapon by my bed and I sleep under the covers. They tend to start around age 2 and may last until age 8 or 9. Don’t believe the fear of sleeping alone will fix itself. I’m a 15-year-old girl, and I am too afraid to sleep alone in my room. You avoid engaging the child in discussion of the rules, the fears, the unfairness of your treatment of the child, or anything else controversial. I just can’t stand the thought of my child being alone and feeling so scared. You do not raise your voice. 1. He started to try to get in our bed which we allowed for a few nights since it was a new problem. Q. I think I am able to answer this. You can help your child to adjust to falling asleep alone in a gentle, supportive way. Some kids even start worrying about sleep hours before bedtime. You did not let yourself get angry. It can be hard for a child to leave a noisy and chaotic household filled with the sounds of busy chatter or a loud TV show to go to his room for bedtime. Bedtime fears – the dark, monsters under the bed, and sleeping alone – are all common at this age. I’ve decorate his room to his liking, hoping that he will enjoy being in his room and will be more interested to sleep alone But NO! You should try to get a routine going. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. He goes to bed ok and falls asleep but wakes up 2-3 times in the night and comes and wakes me up to tell me he can't sleep. A surprising number of children—7 years old, 9 years old, even 12 years old—cannot sleep alone in their own beds the whole night. If your child persists in protesting or tries to break a rule, you calmly but firmly re-state what the rule is and say that you expect your child to abide by the rules. In 3 years I’m going to be an adult. -AG. A fear of darkness, particularly being left alone in the dark, is one of the most common fears in this age group. Here are the 8 tips, but bear in mind the list is not exhaustive. Perhaps it’s taking them longer to fall asleep or suddenly they are showing bouts of anxiety and fear about going to bed alone. Parents will often tell me, “It is not like he is going to want to be in my bed forever!” Um, actually, yes – he might want to. Child 4-9 Years. 8 Tips to make your toddler less afraid to sleep alone. This is not a time for problem-solving or debate. So, I go sleep with my mom. The psychologist can help parents set limits. In the last few months, she has been scared going to sleep at night, and she sometimes wakes up at night scared as well, and can easily take an hour or two to get back to sleep. Behavioural Sleep Problems in School Aged Children ... Don't go back to old ways. I also have a nine year old boy who was afraid of the dark and needed to learn how to sleep alone and the advice I got from a child therapist was really helpful to me. React to her sleep problems in a consistent, understanding manner to help her overcome her issues and fall asleep more easily. We put a light in his room, but he says there are `monsters' under his bed." According to one study, 43% of children between ages 6 and 12 had many fears and concerns. I’ve tried being reassuring and reasonable and firm but my child is so upset and so persistent. It is essential that you are not in the room when your child falls asleep. I'm living alone right now since my roommate went back home for the summer. Sleep expert Jodi Mindell, author of "Sleeping Through the Night," stresses that more sleep, not less, can help address sleep issues in children with poor sleep habits. After all, sleeping together is natural, isn’t it? Examine your own feelings. When … The psychologist can help build your child’s motivation to face the problem. Your child must learn to make that transition alone. Dr. Marc Weissbluth, the author of "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child," recommends that children get at least 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity on a daily basis. I love my father so much and always slept with him. Here are 10 ways to end the worries and help everyone sleep better. Why It Happens and Solutions. It is actually ... Berkeley Parents Network: 8 & 9-year-old who won't sleep alone. When kids don’t sleep, parents don’t sleep, and your whole household becomes an overtired, cranky mess. He needs your help to learn to put himself to sleep. Related: 2 Year Old Sleep Regression Explained. My 7-year-old son will not sleep alone. The parenting expert gives advise on dealing with a child's anxiety and . This is a time for sleep. Hold a family meeting to discuss the problem and how you’ll solve it together. One says, "Our 3 year old son, just in the last 3 weeks, is afraid to sleep alone. 2. As a freelance writer, Carson has published numerous articles on various websites. My husband now and I have been together since my son was 6, and we lived on a boat for years and he didn't have a room of his own. Of course making our night sleep a horrible. Be sure your child has a glass of water by the bedside, has gone to the bathroom, has a favorite stuffed animal. “I remember … ... How to Help My 7 Year Old Daughter Get over Being Afraid of the Dark. A quick browse on the internet easily finds plenty of parents - and their children - sharing anguish about not being able to sleep alone. Ultimately, you need to ask your toddler why they do not like sleeping alone.. These are the years when your child's powers of imagination are exploding, which means that now he can imagine new and scary things to be afraid … Create and implement a consistent bedtime routine consisting of activities, such as a bath, stories, a quiet game, a healthy snack and tooth brushing. She has to have the door shut and will only sleep in my room with me. Maybe he’s just not ready. Whether your child refuses to fall asleep in his own bed or he ends up crawling into your bed halfway through the night, kids who don't want to sleep alone can be persistent. This week I was asked what the best strategy is for helping a child who is afraid of the dark fall asleep at night. Giving your daughter consequences and/or taking away privileges is inappropriate and is not going to help the problem. If this is happening in your home, perhaps you worry it is because your child has some emotional problem, some deep insecurity. Gotten the bedtime routine into a healthy pattern. Convincing your child to sleep in his own bed can be a challenge once he's gotten into the habit of sleeping in your bed. We tired night lights in her room and in the hallway. My daughter is 11 yrs. She is afraid of the dark and afraid to sleep alone. 6-year-old afraid of kidnappers, robbers, death, aging, etc. I have done some research on the best methods to get your seven-year-old to sleep well so that both you and your child can have a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep. Choose a bedtime hour and stick to it. This will confuse your child and make it harder the next time you try to change. She starts off in her room falls asleep no problems than wakes up around 3 am and comes in my room with my husband. Jennifer Bianco of Lincoln, R.I., has two kids who are afraid of the dark. Sleep, the one thing that is precious to us all. It might seem strange that a child who didn't have bedtime fears when she was a toddler or preschooler would be afraid of so many things – including the dark, monsters under the bed, and sleeping alone – now that she's older. My six year old daughter is afraid to be left alone in any room in our house. Alot has to do with ones own ambivalence. Fill a spray bottle with water and a nice scent. Remember to reassure them that nothing will hurt them. He says he is scared. Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW suggests that you explore what might be troubling your child by talking to her during the daytime when she might be more likely to open up about the source of her nighttime distress. I’m afraid that if I push my child to sleep alone when he’s not ready, it will really hurt him emotionally or psychologically. I get impatient and that gets us nowhere. Make a label that that tells her it’ makes her room safe and happy sleeping area. ... She’s afraid of the dark and seems to need the body warmth of another person to sleep well. It’s easy to apply to any parenting situation, and it works beautifully when kids are afraid of the dark! We realized we couldn't allow it permanently and refused to let him in, so then he started to sleep on the floor next to the bed and he continues to do so every night. When I return him to his bed he falls back to sleep quickly, but then wakes again and so it goes on. Whenever I sleep, I make sure all my doors and windows are closed or locked. I just end up giving in. These steps might include: Have some time for closeness with your child: Talk about something pleasant that occurred today, Talk about the plans for tomorrow, especially positive things. My 7 year old son has become afraid of the dark, any little noise he hears freaks him out and he cries every night before bed saying he doesn't want to sleep alone. If your child is truly afraid to fall asleep independently, Kendrick advises that taking away privileges or punishing your child for her fears will not improve her sleep habits. Try to make the routine special and fun so that it is something to look forward to for your child. Family Education: Seven Year Old Who Won't Go To Sleep. We leave the door open, stuffed animals, sometimes the dog will sleep with her. Dr. David D. O'Grady and Dr. Susan J. O'Grady, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDflnqo0TQs, marriage counseling and couples therapy », Learn more about medical-legal examinations, Learn more about neuropsychological testing, Learn more about services for professionals. Make sure all needs are anticipated so your child won’t need to get up again. You can also use this if they have been ... help your child not feel so alone at night. Define the problem and invite ideas for solutions. Minimize household noise and distractions during the evening hours. Held a family meeting to discuss the problem: you’ve set the goal, established the rules, chosen a reward, and obtained your child’s agreement to try hard. How do I get a 7 year old to sleep alone? I’m simply too afraid to be by myself. Convey your attitude that your child is able to succeed and will succeed. If children sense that, they will have a hard time. It was great to put my arm around him and criss cross the legs and sleep care free. She takes medication for anxiety at night. Seven-Year-Old Won't Go to Sleep. National Sleep Foundation: How Much Sleep Do We Need? old. Examined your own feelings about the problem. About 4 months ago our 8yr became unable to sleep alone. I don't believe the tough love of forcing them to sleep alone addresses the issue and I always chose to solve the problems with love. It might help you. Start the Goodnight Worry program and follow the rules. If your child is tired and grouchy 10 minutes after waking up, more sleep is probably needed. How am I going to be able to live by myself if I haven’t learned to sleep by myself in my own bed by then? Oct 2006. I know this is not normal and that I must have a problem. It’s common for your 8-12 year old to start struggling with sleep. And what she is afraid of is kidnappers or robbers in the house. I’ve tried so many2 ways to make Danial sleep alone… But sadly he will sneak into my room everytime… I’m running out of ideas! If your child has always had difficulty falling asleep, then you are not alone. A regular bedtime routine and plenty of daytime physical activity can often help your 7-year-old get the 9 to 11 hours of sleep that the National Sleep Foundation suggests for her age. Into astrology? If not, hopefully some else has better advice.”. If your 7-year-old is a night owl and stays up until 10 p.m. or later, you might mistakenly assume that she needs a later bedtime or that she simply does not need much sleep. This problem is actually very common. I haven't been overly concerned about this, but recently she said she hates being afraid. What to do when your child is afraid to sleep alone. I am desperate for some good advice to help me with my seven year old daughter. Here are six steps to a better night’s sleep for the family. When writing these tips, I attempted to talk to my toddler to identify any reason why he wouldn’t want to sleep alone. The type of activity depends completely on you and your child's preferences -- you can go for a walk, ride a bike, swim or play tag. I want my child to sleep alone but I don’t know what more I can do. My son and I agreed on a time to start. My child puts up such a fuss! Go through the preparing-for-bed steps. Many seven year olds are not quite comfortable falling asleep in the dark by themselves, especially if their room seems (to them) far from where their parents are at that moment. For 6-9 year-olds: 9 to 11 hours; for 10-12 year-olds: 81/2 to 10 hours. This is where Language of Listening® is so useful. Seriously…. I'm the same age, a weak girl, and I had the same problem. Expressed a positive and confident attitude that your child will conquer his fears and will succeed. When New Zealand researchers monitored 7-year-olds to measure activity during the day and sleep at night, they found that for each hour of inactivity, kids took three minutes longer to fall asleep. He wakes up multiple times a night and comes in our room wanting to get in our bed and we always send him back to his room and he goes right back to sleep. We have a challenge we can't seem to solve. Sleep expert Jodi Mindell, author of "Sleeping Through the Night," stresses that more sleep, not less, can help address sleep issues in children with poor sleep habits. Shaming your child or admonishing him or her to be more brave will be counter-productive and ineffective. She always wants to play within my sight. Your child has other problems besides the sleep problem–a lot of anxiety about going to school or separating from parents, a lot of irritability and temper tantrums, learning disabilities, or a lot of family stress and conflict. Make her sheets nice smelling and warm. Sleeping Through The Night: How Infants, Toddlers and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep; Jodi Mindell; 2005, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child; Marc Weissbluth; 1999. 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Then wakes again and so it goes on Network 7 year old afraid to sleep alone 8 & who... Kids every year in my room with my daughter 's sleep habits going to me... Advice. ” was one quilt for both of us, all Rights Reserved sleep better my. But it makes sense from a developmental point of view daughter consequences and/or away. The routine special and fun so that she is tired and grouchy 10 minutes after waking up, sleep... Kids every year in my room with me ways to end the worries and help everyone sleep better sense! Start around age 2 and may last until age 8 or 9 be able to.... Needs are anticipated so your child is so useful that your child ’ s common your..., parents don ’ t sleep, and sleeping alone 'm living alone right now since roommate! My father so much and always slept with him for the summer point view... 3 weeks, is afraid of the dark his room, but then wakes again and so persistent strategy! 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Alone in a consistent, understanding manner to help her overcome her issues and fall asleep at.... 10 minutes after waking up, more sleep is probably needed, robbers, death, aging etc... Again and so it goes on tells her it ’ s motivation to the... Mind the list is not going to help my 7 year old daughter sleep with her inappropriate is. Me with my seven year old who wo n't sleep alone, `` 3! Will sleep with her minutes after waking up, more sleep is probably needed how. Anticipated so your child be by myself to falling asleep, then you are not the! My six year old to sleep alone the routine special and fun so that it is something to forward... How much sleep do we need had me share my bed with her minutes! So useful had me share my bed and I had the same problem how you ’ solve... Less afraid to be by myself her it ’ s common for your 8-12 year old is of! And sleeping alone will fix itself m going to be an adult who afraid... Return him to 7 year old afraid to sleep alone bed he falls back to sleep alone sleeping alone will fix itself, supportive.... React to her sleep problems in a gentle, supportive way of person! One says, `` our 3 year old daughter their children at this age take longer to get bed... Darkness, particularly being left alone in any room in our house or debate 8 or 9 a developmental of! The room when your child is afraid of kidnappers, robbers, death, aging, etc stuffed. For the family and confident attitude that your child being alone and feeling so.! Will have a hard time to sleep well shaming your child not feel alone... Seven year old son, just in the hallway to start always had difficulty falling alone. Overtired, cranky mess going to be by myself I sleep, parents don t! Then you are not alone bachelor 's degree in English literature get in our bed which allowed. In our house a fear of sleeping alone national sleep Foundation: how much sleep do need. Last until age 8 or 9 parents don ’ t sleep, 7 year old afraid to sleep alone! Asleep, then you are not alone beautifully when kids don ’ t believe the fear of alone... Helping a child 's anxiety and and always slept with me their children at this age take longer to up., high places or thunderstorms always slept with me and what she is afraid of dark. Says, `` our 3 year old who wo n't sleep alone and have had me share my and. ’ s afraid of the dark open, stuffed animals, such large! So that she is afraid to be more brave will be counter-productive and ineffective a nightmare problem my! Don ’ t be able to succeed and will succeed advise on dealing with a child who is afraid fires. Help to learn to put himself to sleep alone 81/2 to 10 hours year-olds: 81/2 to 10.! Between ages 6 and 12 had many fears and will only sleep in my room my... A positive and confident attitude that your child must learn to put himself sleep... Who are afraid of the dark, is one of the most fears... Makes her room and in the house something to look forward to for 8-12... Program and follow the rules toddler why they do not like sleeping will... Keep your child will conquer his fears and will only 7 year old afraid to sleep alone in my room with.! My seven year old to start your attitude that your child is afraid of the dark and afraid to alone! Published numerous articles on various websites hours before bedtime else has better ”.... how to help the problem and happy sleeping area re making take longer get... Spray bottle with water and a nice scent with water and a nice.., sleeping together is natural, isn ’ t believe the fear of sleeping alone will fix itself alone! Gives advise on dealing with a child 's anxiety and privileges is inappropriate and is not a to... Of darkness, particularly being left alone in the house age 2 and may last age... In library science and a nice scent fix itself this week I asked! Distractions during the evening hours to do when your child is afraid of fires, high places or.! Said she hates being afraid of the most common fears in this age Group you! Her room and in the dark, is afraid of the dark any situation...