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11yo boy with fear issues at night

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  • 11yo boy with fear issues at night

    My 11yo is having a hard time of it generally.

    Down in NZ we have "Intermediate Schools" which are for 2 years when the kids are in years 7 & 8 (equiv of US years 6 & 7). By virtue of cut off dates and my son's primary school having a diff date from most schools he's the youngest in his class, physically the size of an 8 year old and quite bright. There are a couple of kids who bully him but on the whole he seems to be handling the situation.

    He's a very sensitive child ("its sad we have to kill head lice and we can't just set them free", don't even ask about roadkill, other people's pets dying in the fullness of time are tragedys.)

    A couple of months ago he was home with my husband who was getting dinner ready with a local current affairs program on the TV and it was just after 7. A promo was shown for the late evening news program which would be discussing a Dutch horror movie called the Human Centipede - and the stooopid promo showed graphic scenes from the movie. When I got home just after he was all curled up and almost rocking he was so distressed.

    Since then we've had patches where he's woken up scared in the night & comes to join us but in the last couple of weeks he can't even get to sleep. Normally we'd let him go to sleep in our bed and move him but that's not working. We've taken turns sleeping in his bed with him, or having one of us in our bed with him (he hogs the covers and pushes us around and is generally hard to sleep with). He's set up a wee camp outside our bedroom door so that he can be physically close to us while still being outside.

    He's done a bit of acting so we've talked about what is involved in creating the disturbing scenes and how its not real etc and he gets that.

    My thoughts are to just let him sleep with us, we all get some rest and fighting it only makes it worse. My husband isn't convinced but we're both at a loss for how to really help him get over what he's seen.

    Any ideas?

  • #2
    Can he talk about it with you? Can he tell you why he's so upset? Can he draw pictures to help him get it out of his head? Have you talked to his pediatrician about it?


    • #3

      I've suggested drawing and we've tried talking things through.

      I've just taken him back a few steps and read him a chapter or 2 out of a book before bed and he's had one night sleeping through, one night where he made it to 3am. Success IMO.

      The funny thing is on the first night he had just seen the new Harry Potter movie and and he wasn't affected by that all.

      He is, however, suffering from lots of niggling pains - arm, knee, neck and even headaches. We're hoping they're growing pains and decent sleep and time will sort them out.

      We've had a breakthrough with the school and they are now addressing the classroom issues. So fingers crossed we're on the right track.