More threads by Scaredmom


I need your help please. I am a mom of an 8 year old daughter, who is afraid from night., from going to basement alone, and who has nightmares every night.
Since we moved to Canada 4 years ago, and she experienced her first Halloween ( I have to admit. I may get scared from certain decorations in the streets), she became afraid from darkness. She believes in monsters and ghosts and recently zombies. She would run at the middle of the night from her room to my room to sleep with us, but we were often successful in returning her to sleep in her bed. Since last year ( she became 7 years old), she often tells of nightmares every night. She would not go to sleep if I am not sleeping with her. Even worse, since this last Halloween ( where they had to go to a haunted house in school), she often wakes up at night so afraid, that she cannot talk. If I ask her anything, she looks at me as if I am not there. I am currently sleeping with her all night. She is becoming more irritated during the day and she has dark circles under her eyes.

none of her teachers were able to help

I am seriously considering consulting a psychiatrist.

Help me. What to do.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I would recommend consulting a child psychologist rather than a psychiatrist, to help your daughter acquire some self-soothing skills when she has fears or nightmares. If you have a family doctor or pediatrician, s/he can probably recommend someone.

Night terrors and fears are not unusual in young children. Often they change or disappear on their own but in the case of your daughter they seem to be more persistent - thence my recommendation to seek the help of a child psychologist.
I agree with Dr. Baxter a child psychologist will be able to help you child more deal with her fears

With therapy your daughter will be able to talk in length about what is making her so frightened and a child psychologist is trained to help her more so then a psychiatrist would who deal mostly with giving medication.
Hope you can get a referral soon let us know how things progress ok


I was afraid of the dark at that age. She will grow out of it. I can remember when I was 8 years old I would turn the lights on on my way to the bathroom and turn them off on my way back to bed. I used to have bad nightmares. I can still get them if I watch scary movies, so I don't watch scary movies or read books that are that way. When I was 7 I used to look under my bed, and then sometimes I would be afraid that if I climbed out of bed something would grab me. I used to climb in bed with my parents. Sometimes having a light on in a room will help. I was having nightmares even when I was 29, and I learned to just keep a light on in my room. Ghosts can't come when it is light out. :)
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