Seriously.. .My son is terrified at night...

My 9 year old son is terrified in the middle of the night.. He wakes up every night and races to my room, his heart racing, out of breath, looking behind him and jumps into bed with me... Every night... I've been nice, I've been hard, I've been annoyed, I've yelled, I've held him.. I've reassured him... I've done everything...it's gotta pass right???

He has a fear of aliens coming in and taking us.. That's a frightening thought.. and when I was little.. I feared a boogey man type killing everyone.. and it was horrifying.. so, I totally GET the extent of his fear... and his imagination taking over with it.. and then the sounds of the outside and the fan or the fridge running.. in the middle of the night.. I remember being frozen with fear.. and it passed...

He doesn't watch big kids movies.. yes,.. we saw world war z last summer.. but that didn't bother him.. we don't watch aliens.. but theres tons of kids stuff with aliens in there.. it's just his thing...

Which I understand.. but.. I'm telling you... How do I offer comfort and relief? I tell him that there's no such thing... and then I tried the approach.. okay.. say there were aliens.. why would they come for us? How? And then I go into teh doors locked, windows etc... and the neighbors.. I've even gone as far as telling him that they would take the upstairs kids first anyway and we would escape..

I've tried everything.. but never fails.. 2 am. and that kids BOOKS it to my room... and literally jumps into my bed.. lol... Maybe he's late on night terrors? Maybe it's abigger kid form?

it's been almost a week now.. last night was better. but he still checked in with me.. I walked him back to his bed.. then he came in again an hour later.. I walked him back.. then an hour later.. again.. Like he's keeping watch all night and waiting for morning...I feel terrible for him... He's a tough kid too..

Oh.. and I'm tired... it will pass.. right?????​

03
    Kerri Brimmer
    My kids used to have occasional night terrors. They were irrational, frightened and crying. They were actually in a dream and never remember the episodes the next day. Try looking him in the eye and get him to respond to a question. If you have a problem with this, perhaps it is a night terror. My kids would never make eye contact when in a night terror. If so, wake him up fully to end the night terror, then lull them back to sleep. Family beds help here. (Even if they are not for every night.)
    4
      Hi Kerri! Thank you.. and nope.. not a night terror.. that kids is WIDE awake and alert and making sense.. just terrified.. It's been almost a year since it's happened this bad and now we are back again.. I know it will pass, and you're so right.. I'm pretty good about them being in their own beds, but I also want to make sure that they know they always have a safe spot next to me... I remember as a kid, nothing felt better than being right next to my mom some times.. and I want to make sure he knows and has that... At the same time.. lol.. I want to be sure that he uses that on occasion and not a nightly thing or habit.. Thank you!

      I think its just a phase like so many other things... ugh...
      2
        10/08/13
        Amanda Hurley
        Ok, I am going to share something VERY personal but I think it might help. Jasmine was 2 and a half and I found out that my brother had been assaulting her since she was 18 months old. Now she has night terrors about "wolves" coming to get her. Her therapist said that her brain processed the information in a different way because she was so young. I am NOT saying that he is being assaulted, but maybe there is something else going on in his life that he is relaying in this way. Maybe they talked at school about kidnappers, or he heard it on the news.
        1
          10/09/13
          That's awful Amanda.. I'm sorry for your little girl.. how terrible.. And yes, I've looked at other things.. but aside from going into 4th grade and turning 9 and a growth spurt, there isn't anything that I can tell. WE don't have family nearby and we don't have sitters at any time.. and they are with me 24/7.. unless at school or playdate..
          I think at 9.. he and his buddies talk about a lot of made up stories and some have older siblings that tell them about scary movies and made up stuff.. and with Halloween coming and all the scary stuff out.. it's just heightened right now.. He's at that age,, where he WANTS to be scared and hear scary stories, but isn't able to deal with them later. lol..
          Last night, I put on classical music and he slept like a rock.. so, I'm hoping it passes...until the next time..

          I talked to one of his friends moms and she said that her son, went through a phase worrying that someone was going to break in.. and it lasted a week and faded.. and he didn't have a bad experience and wasn't being assaulted - just a kid concern I guess.
          2
            10/10/13
            My brother who is now 35 went through the same thing. He has Asperger's which went un-diagnosed for many years. I am unsure of your son's background, but this could be a number of things. Please continue to have patience. Further, it will pass. Ask him what you can put in his room to make him feel protected. Good luck.
            1
              10/14/13
              Thanks Everyone! So far so good... no underlying issues have come up and I've been paying super close attention... I DID however, over hear his friend telling my son and group of others about the horror movie he watched over the weekend with his older sister and brothers.. and that his parents didnt' know.. I think he's just at that age where he's really wanting to know.. but really doesn't want to know..lol...

              I have classical music looped in his room right now... he asked for it, he said the silence when he wakes up in the night freaks him out cause he can hear the humming of the fridge or a neighbor in their bathroom, or a car door slam...

              ANd he's been great..sleeping perfectly... and hey, a little cannon in D can't hurt right??
              1
                10/16/13
                Comment deleted
                10/16/13
                wow, I had no idea that eating sweets can cause that...
                should tell it to my husband. He always wondered why parents forbid kids to eat sweets at night.
                1
                  10/16/13
                  In my opinion we dream so that we can solve problems. I find that after I dream something and remember it in the morning many times I am trying to figure out what to do in situations and sometimes my dreams help me to actually solve some. For a young child a good way to get to the root of the trouble is to have them draw pictures. You might want to have him draw a picture of something that might be bothering him at school or at home. After this ask him to draw a picture of what he is dreaming about. It might be a little scary for him, but it will help him get the bad feelings out. It is really important for him to get his bad feelings out. That way you will be able to help him overcome his bad dreams. I definitely believe that sweets and/or caffeine after dinner can cause sleep problems. I have ADD and if I eat sweets or have caffeine after dinner it really causes me to be restless not only getting to sleep, but staying asleep as well. If your child tends to have ADD any noises or lights may cause him difficulty sleeping too. If things don't improve I would consult a professional. Good job being a caring mom!
                  2
                    10/16/13
                    He has pretty decent allergies... Stuffy nose and a barky cough is pretty standard for him.. it fluctuates and he takes claritan, but he's gotta just sort of deal...I think that wakes him a bit..
                    It's only once a night.. sometimes twice.. BUT we are back in the GOOD phase.. lol..

                    ALSO.. TOTALLY agree with the no sugar, etc.. They are only aloud fruit after dinner.. no juice, no snacks.. just fruit if they're still hungry...

                    But great thinking...
                    1
                      10/17/13
                      I suggest a family project: make a short horror movie together, even post it to YouTube to share with friends, and have your son come up with the props, the fake blood, all the gruesome fake things. Have him direct you in the film, and maybe even costar. The experience of directing a scary scene might empower him to feel more in control of his fears. Maybe his dreams will be enacted. But let him come up with the ideas; you should merely add your input to his original ideas while brainstorming. Adding a humorous spin on the horror, like "Zombieland" did, might add more "healing" potential to this activity. You could also have him rewrite a scary story and make it HIS with a happy ending. In any case, find ways to empower him, because he clearly feels that something in his life is out of control.
                      1
                      10/29/13
                      Susan, it's really interesting idea!! I totally should add it to my to-do list with my nephew)
                      And I adore Zombieland!!!
                      1
                      About Jessica
                      Born: Novato, California
                      Current: Sherman Oaks, California
                      Birth: May 28
                      On Moms.com since: Aug 5, 2013
                      We live in Los Angeles, CA. I'm a writer, comedian, actor and single mom of two. Parenting is hard. I try to keep a sense of humor about it all and find the find the funny... in what is most likely NOT funny (i.e. boogers, meltdowns, homework, etc.).