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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
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My son has the same issues I had when I was a child; ever since

Resolved Question:

My son has the same issues I had when I was a child; ever since he was born, he has been a very sensitive, light sleeper. He is easily startled by any noises in his sleep, and often is afraid of the dark. How do we overcome this issue with him?

I personally never fully overcame it, and was traumatized at an early age by a nuclear family not at all understanding of my concerns (which actually made things worse for me). We have therefore tried to be very understanding towards it, which I think has helped...but we're looking for answers.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

 

How old is your son?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
9 years old
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Can anyone assist?
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for clarifying.

Your son may have a higher EQ that is affecting how her reacts to other's feedback.

Because of your experiences from childhood, you actually are aware of what he's going through and you're sympathetic and trying to help him.

 

The approach you may try with him is to let him know that you have been in his shoes (you do not have to go into details with him) let him know what had helped you, how you managed, and remind him that you're there for him even if he does not want to talk about it at this time.

 

It would help to focus on his strengths (whatever they are- you know him best) and foster these in him by continuous encouragement and praise for work well done. Even complimenting the desirable traits in his personality are empowering.

 

There may be some activities that you can slowly introduce to him such as- walk in the back yard with you with a flash light and talking about how his day had been at school, then the following week going out to gaze at the starts, perhaps when it is warm ask him if he would like to have a sleep over (either invite a friend of go to someone's house) At all times you remind him that darkness is part of life just like light is (the two have to exist) You can let him know that night time is a time for animals, plants and people to recharge their batteries, growth occurs when rest is present, etc.

 

Look into using some on line educational videos to show him that some creatures are more active at night ex: bats, owls, cats) Try to find out what about darkness is comfortable to him- is it because his imagination is wide fearing something will happen, is it because he's genuinely anxious but no identifiable reason can be pin pointed, is it because it reminds him of an incident where something sad or scary had taken place in the dark, etc.

 

Indigo Dreams: Relaxation and Stress Management Bedtime Stories for Children, Improve Sleep, Manage Stress and Anxiety (Indigo Dreams) by Lori Lite (Audio CD -

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

What is EQ please?

 

Noone knows of this issue except for he, his brother, his mother, and I.

 

Nothing actually worked for me...I have no solutions for him, per se. I do exactly what you suggest...I encourage him, compliment him, discuss with him his fears....I've thought of trying to have time out in the dark, in the yard, together...or in a room somewhere at night.

 

He is usually afraid of something trying to get him...I was the same way...it all boiled down to not being able to see in the dark, and not knowing what was there...worrying that someone was going to get me, etc...I sometimes still wake up in the morning, and find I turned the light on at some point, without realizing it.

 

did you suggest to find out "what about darkness IS comforting to him", or did you mean what about darkness "ISN'T" comfortable to him?

Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 6 years ago.

EQ is emotional intelligence. What about the darkness makes him feel uneasy

If positive feedback had not worked out, at this age he may be able to benefit from counseling or hypnotherapy. Sometime a child can respond well to working with someone who's not a family member.

 

You can get him a small flash light and let him keep it in his room. His behavior will not improve over night and it will take time and practice and your encouragement will be needed all along. You must have at least one example for him of how you deal with similar issues. Without the opportunity to work with your son face to face, I'm afraid only suggestions and speculations can be offered on line.

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