If Your Child Struggles With Nightmares, Here Are A Few Things You Can Do

Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash


Some children have no problems dozing off in their comfy bed and sleeping through the night.

But other children struggle with nightmares and bad dreams which can leave them feeling scared, helpless, and confused.

The good news is, if your little one is having nightmares there are a few things you can do to help soothe and comfort them.


Consider A Nightlight

Some children are truly afraid of the dark, fearing a monster or stranger is lurking in the shadows.

By providing just a little bit of light, this can help your child feel safe as they aren’t emerged in total darkness.

You can also leave the door cracked at night with a nightlight on in the hallway or provide them with their favorite comfort blanket or toy to sleep with.

Remind your child you’re sleeping just down the hall.

Little things like this remind a child they aren’t alone.

Praying with your child before bed and asking God to give them sweet dreams is another mom favorite!


Acknowledge Their Fear

When your child is truly frightened, the worst thing a parent could do is dismiss their fear!

Let your child know it is okay to feel a bit scared after a nightmare, and reassure them you are there and everything is going to be ok.

Use it as a chance to help them understand reality – that “monsters” and the boogeyman are not real and they cannot hurt them.

Provide plenty of assurance they are safe and you are there – often that’s what children need to feel most.

Perhaps even cuddling with them in bed for a few minutes until they fall back asleep will give them an extra dose of comfort.


Be Mindful OF What They Watch

Often times what we watch makes its way into our dreams.

If your child is watching a scary or frightening movie right before bed – this is the last thing they will think about as they try and drift to sleep!

Not that children should be watching violent or horror movies anyway, but be extra mindful about what your child is watching before bedtime.


Possible Anxiety

Many children are sensitive and they pick up the emotions of those around them. If things are stressful at home whether it’s due to finances or spousal fighting, children can internalize this and become frightened.

Just like adults can have bad dreams when they are stressed or anxious, children are the same way.

Likewise, if your child experienced a traumatic event such as the sudden loss of a loved one, it’s common for them to have reoccurring dreams of the experience.

By helping your child to know they aren’t alone and they are safe, they will eventually become more secure.

In addition, by letting them process their fear, you are teaching them it’s okay to feel things and you can help them put words to what they are feeling.

While you can’t control if your child has nightmares, you can do your part to walk alongside them and help ease their fears and worries.

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