Nightmares were not an issue with when they were little. Speed would have the occasional night terror, but generally they were not children who were plagued with many fears.
Then, once Speed and Raru turned 3 and 5-years-old respectively, it seemed as if something switched and weekly nightmares would have them running into my bedroom. It was hard to see them so scared and I would be awake long after I helped them fall back asleep, wondering about the sudden increase in my children’s nighttime anxiety.
According to Psychologist and sleep expert Jill Spivack, who did an interview with Momlogic, “When children are around 2 -½ to 3 years old, their imaginations develop quite a bit and having fears becomes more common.” The Cleveland Clinic echoes this and goes on to say that, “It’s estimated that 10 to 50 percent of children at this age have nightmares significant enough to disturb their parents. The developmental stage of life often is reflected in the type of nightmare.”
So it’s no wonder my kids started to have interruptions in their sleep patterns. It seems like they’re not the only kids who have had to deal with the scary dreams.
However, don’t fret. Children tend to grow out of frequent nightmares as the grow in age and confidence with a 1998 study titled, “Dreamcatching: Every Parent’s Guide to Exploring and Understanding Children’s Dreams and Nightmares” which demonstrates that by the time kids turn 11 to 14-years old, nightmares become infrequent. In the meantime, there are some ways that we can help make the night time easier for our kids (and ourselves).
Click through to read 10 ways you can help your child with nightmares:
Photo credit: Andrew Stawarz /Flickr
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