8 year old is scared to sleep by self since our home was broken into and vandalized 7 months ago.

Dawn - posted on 12/09/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My son is scared to sleep in his room in the basement ever since our home was broken into and vandalized 7 months ago. Our bedroom is upstairs and he wants to be with us. Any advice??

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Sabra - posted on 12/09/2010

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I would suggest getting him some help but in the meantime just give him what he needs in order to feel comfortable and safe. Maybe try running through a drill if it were to happen again (god forbid) what would you do (like a fire drill that they teach in school) or get him to lock the doors before he goes to bed.

Just some ideas i have never been in this situation and I do recommend that you go see a professional if things don't get better soon.

[deleted account]

Let him for now. Maybe get some counseling to talk about what happened. Is there any other room upstairs that could be his for a while?

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Laura - posted on 12/10/2010

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I'm so sorry that you and your family have to experience this! Counseling certainly won't hurt your son (or anyone in the family for that matter). He is feeling very insecure right now (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, perhaps) and professional help can get him to express his feelings in a safe and secure way. Kids' lives often seem out of their control anyway and then to have the sanctity of the home destroyed by a robbery just makes life seem even more out of their control. Counseling can help teach him ways to gain some of that control back.

In the meantime, consider moving him upstairs for a while. Set up a cot or small mattress in your room, if space allows, and create a new bedtime routine that involves checking security. You can walk around making sure doors are locked as an example. Ultimately your goal will be to move him back down to his room, but for now provide him with the security of sleeping upstairs near you. Renea has a good idea--give him a flashlight to keep with him in bed. Set rules for it's use; it's for emergencies only as you don't want him turning it on and off all the time. We use whistles when we go camping that are for emergencies like getting lost: Stay where you are and blow the whistle--help will come to you! These suggestions can help create a sense of control and security. Hope this helps and good luck to you and your family!

Renae - posted on 12/10/2010

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Put a mattress on your floor and let him sleep on it until he decides on his own that he can go back to his room. Also install new security to help him feel safe, give him a night light or torch and a bell or whistle he can sound if he needs you. In the mean time think about having him talk to a counsellor. He needs to debrief and release any trauma he is carrying.

Kate CP - posted on 12/09/2010

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He needs to see a therapist. Having your home invaded is traumatic (as you well know). I think your whole family could benefit from some counseling. When my home was burglarized I couldn't sleep either. Seeing a therapist really helped.

Dawn - posted on 12/09/2010

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He either sleeps in bed with my husband or he and I sleep in the living room together. I can't get him to fall asleep before 10:00. I think it's because he's scared to go to sleep. His teacher is telling him he has got to get to bed earlier because he drags in school. I thought with time it would get better, but maybe we need to get some help!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/09/2010

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Obviously Teresa and I agree...must have been typing at same time..lol

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/09/2010

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Oh man..that is tough and scary. Sorry for your invasion of privacy. Maybe some counseling? That is a hard thing to deal with as an adult. As a child it must be worse. Mom and Dad are protectors of the universe...then they see this happen. I might be inclined to let my son sleep with us occassionally...atleast until I got him some help. Is there anyway for you all to be on the same floor? Even if siblings have to share a room?

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