night terrors

Jennifer - posted on 04/07/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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my 6 year old has been having night terrors since she was 1 1/2. they stopped being quite so frequent when she turned 4 but it still happens every so often, usually a couple hours after she has gone to sleep. i have consulted the pediatrician a few times and researched it on the internet but nothing seems to really have much effect on them. she does have them more often if she is taking medicine like benedryl but this is the only link i can come up with and it's not very often she needs any medicine. is there anyone else out there who deals with this? it is heartbreaking to watch my daughter scream and cry and not be able to console her. at least the next day she never remembers that it happened. unfortunately for me it can be quite upsetting and certainly does not help me sleep. anyone have any advice or just want to share a common story????

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Jennifer - posted on 04/07/2011

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thanks for the advise! anxiety and panic disorder do run on my side of the family and she is no doubt an anxious child! that probably does have something to do with it. we do not usually expose her to anything that we know will make her feel scared but even walking in the school door in the mornings makes her nervous sometimes! we are very open about our feelings because i also have the anxiety and i try to teach her the coping strategies i have learned. maybe i should seek some sort of counseling for her.... i suppose i could start with the guidance counselor at school. thanks again momto5, i am a momto4 so you have my utmost respect, lol!!

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When my kids have nightmares it has been directly linked to scary stories they may have heard or a cartoon (that may seem harmless) that has scared them. It is amazing the kind of things that will trigger fear in them. What kind of programs does she watch? even when they like a show that is scaring them they will still like watching it so it is very important to keep an eye on them while they watch to see their reactions. My kids sometimes watch scooby doo and are totally scared and get mad when I turn it off but I know that any nightmares that week will be linked to it. Also, Have you looked into anxiety disorders? something that causes a child extreme anxiety also may cause nightmares related to it. I would check with a counselor too not just the pediatrician, especially if this is going on for years.

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