My eldest boy is having nightmares about dinosaurs who make it dark, go raar and will "get" him after a little girl at nursery started telling him that this is what they do. The net result is him waking up in the early hours, screaming the house down and demanding to either get into our bed or watch telly.
(on a similar note...our lad has a vivid imagination, and often has nightmares, so we ty to encourage his 'good dreams' to defeat teh 'bad dreams'. They know the dreams aren't real, but it doesn't stop it being scary...
Or.show him dinosaurs CAN be nice a friendly?)
The good dreams to defeat the bad dreams is a good one, it worked fairly well with our eldest lad who has a vivid / annoying imagination! Add a comedy twist to his bad dream story line, to give him funny mental images to defeat the bad ones... good luck! Its gets better after a bit anyway IME.
Having similar problems with my 3 year old. Was just dinosaurs until my wife, exhausted and in jest, told him there weren't any as the crocodiles had eaten them all. Not one of her more successful moments. Now have a nightly barrage of dinosaurs, monsters and crocodile to deal with.
Nothing helpful to suggest, just glad it's not just me
Had similar with our 4 year old recently - we found that by discussing witches (in her case) openly, having her describe them to us in detail (what they looked like, what they did in the dreams etc) that she vocalised the thoughts and the dreams subsided quite quickly.
Another tip we were told was to get her to draw witches then have her rip them up and throw them away (thereby getting rid of them). We didn't need to go that far but it sounds a good idea and a step on from what we did.
Advice we were given, which seems to have worked for us, is to never dismiss them by saying things like "There's no such thing as monsters/ghosts/dinosaurs" etc
That doesn't work. Young kids live in fantasy lands where the line between fiction and reality is quite blurred. Especially given a lot of kids fiction has things like toys that come alive for children but not adults, fairies that only children can see etc etc
So instead you need to play along. Tell the monsters that they have to go home now and let little Jack sleep. Or get mum to ban the monsters from the bedroom. That kind of thing.
Ohh, and it doesn't help when teachers tell kids 'there are real dinosaurs in museums'. (The daughter dreaming about witches LOVES dinosaurs and wants to see some). No matter how hard we try to explain they aren't *real* flesh eating lizards, she won't have it. Teacher told her so.
We just said monsters/dinosaurs are only in books and not real.
But then how does the child draw the distinction between fact and fiction? A dinosaur in a book *is* real in so much it is grounded in fact (sorry god) and I would encourage my kids to understand that.
Urgh - got him off to sleep eventually tonight, we had a teddy chasing a toy dino around the room for a while saying "shoo". I fully expect to be woken up at 1am or so though, and spend half an hour getting him back to sleep again.
Those books look good, we shall get onto them!
He still loves dinosaurs, but I think there are a special bad kind that must come out at night.
My daughter has always known that mummy and daddy's job was 'to keep her safe'. when she started being afraid of monsters I quite calmly told her that monsters are afraid of daddy and daddy keeps her safe. Worked.
Really what you should be doing is finding a way for him to get revenge on the girl. Get him to tell her that all her dolls are evil and are going to wake up in the night and bite her toes off. Or something.
We had something similar around that age with or eldest. I think I convinced him the dinosaurs/monsters whatever they were were too scared of the horrible rumbling snorting noise from the resting daddy.
Finally something good had come of my heavy snoring!
My 25-month-old was up at 1.30 this morning, crying. I went in to find him sitting up in bed, when I gave him a cuddle he stopped crying and said "Fishes are getting me," and promptly lay down and went back to sleep. Little bar steward!
mogrim - Member
Give him a plastic sword
This is my plan for if things get worse, or perhaps the idea of a magic (i.e. invisible) monster-killing sword that he can use to fight them off. Maybe with light-sabre type noises to make it more fun, although then I suppose I'll be woken up by him making light-sabre noises instead...
My 4.5yo daughter started fretting about the blob from numberjacks a few months back.
One night while putting her to bed, I had her mix up some 'blob-be-gone' in a tommee tippee beaker. 1 part tap water poured from a measuring jug ('blob-away'), 1 part tap water poured from a different kind of measuring jug ('blob-no-more'), 1 part store bought sports bottle water (store bought so the other components would seem less 'water'). For maybe three weeks she'd sprinkle this around before she went to bed (and sometimes after calling us back in in in the night), us remixing it as necessary. Now the beaker sits on her bed next to her pillow but we haven't refilled it / used it for ages.
Maybe some 'dino-be-gone'?
She also has a Cree XML torch in a bag that hangs by her bed - after the night that I was woken by 8 bazillion lumens burning through my eyelids, I'm less able to recommend this!
lol that is awesome (snorkel, not the book which I am guessing is that one on beatings!)
He actually slept through last night, after a couple of false starts! Whether it was because his teddy was protecting him or something else I have no idea. Still - nursery today so no doubt there will be more tales to deal with tonight!