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Need help for our 7 year old daughter!

my first post... don't know if I'm doing this properly or in the right forum but I'm going to try............

We recently went on holidays. My wife slept in a room with our daughter. I slept in a different room with our 4 yr old son. At the end of the holidays our daughter saw a news clip of the earthquake/tsunami in Japan. She asked a few questions about it at the time but seemed fine.

We have been home for a week now and our daughter is a nervous wreck and can not get to sleep at night. The first few nights she was nervous there would be an earthquake here. Since those first few nights she is now nervous about sleeping alone (got used to having her Mom sleeping with her on holidays). To say “nervous” doesn’t do the situation justice, but more on that in a minute… To ease her back into her routine we have agreed for the past week to stay with her in her bed until she falls asleep… but when she wakes up at night now she starts crying hysterically about being alone.

We have taken her to a doctor to have a talk. It did nothing. We tried the ‘firm’ approach but when we do this and get ‘angry’ she cries hysterically to the point where she throws up. We’ve listened to her and tried to rationalize the situation with her but no luck. We have tried the gentle approach and things aren’t improving there either… Pretty much mid-afternoon the past few days she starts complaining of a sore belly and feeling like she needs to throw up (she’s not sick so just nerves) and it just goes on from there until bed time. Compounding this obviously is that she is now desperately over tired.

At this point the entire situation seems to have turned into a habit or routine and we don’t know how to solve the situation. She is usually the happiest little girl and never had an issue going to bed or sleeping. Trying to find a way to help her. Any suggestions much appreciated!!!! Thanks.
12 Responses
1138687 tn?1548647578
Why wouldn't you let her sleep in your room with you?
1504275 tn?1300760036
Dude!!! Don't be too hard on the girl. When I was 7 I was actually very anxious constantly. You can't rationalize with someone who has an irrational fear, no matter how old or ridiculous :) You might want to ask her if anything else has been bothering her, if she's been feeling especially sad lately, etc. Maybe ask her what it is about the earthquake that's bothering her. Maybe it's a problem where she can't stop thinking about it when she's alone trying to sleep and the only way she knows to distract herself is to have the comfort of her mom/dad. Her fear of being alone might stem from something more than just the earthquake, too. For example, I did something pretty similar, but I wasn't ever afraid of being alone so much as I was (and still am) terrified of the dark. Irrationally, I might add.  

I'm no parent, so I'm certainly not trying to tell you how to be one! I was just one anxious kid for a very, very long time.  Good luck!
Avatar universal
1. because none of the three of us would sleep well in the same bed.

2. confirms to her that there is something to whatever it is she fears and mom and dad are protecting her from that.

3. because I've heard from numerous parents who have done this with their children that they wish they never had (child grows accustomed to it and never wants back in their own bed).

4. bandaid solution, doesn't deal with the root of the problem.
Avatar universal
Hi, Im sorry about your problem with your daughter. I have major anxiety issues, but i also have other health problems as well. When i was 7 i started getting panic attacks and i was scared of the dark and would always want to sleep with my mommy and daddy. This is a very bad habit, dont let her become used to yes she gets to sleep with you everynight because then when shes my age shes gonna want to sleep with you still.
Please try some of these tips until things starts to get better:

1. First consult a child psychologist...this is always the first step with any behavioral problem in children. I saw one when i was 7.

2. Keep her busy with some activity or sport so she wont think about the fears or troubles. Keep her happy and content. For example, my parents put me in gymnastics. I was there after school atleast 3 days a week. Keep her always busy and active with some exciting sport or activity she enjoys. If she starts to get anxious reassure her everything is OK in a soothing matter and then distract her with something else so she wont dwell on the subject. (like watch a funny movie or play a funny game.)

3. Establish a good bedtime routine. Make sleeping in her room fun. Tuck her in quietly. Read her a book or tell her stories. Give her a stuffed animal and say this animal is hear to protect you. Your a parent make something up so she will believe you that she is safer in her room and her bed then in your room. Then once she is asleep. Leave the room.

4. Do this everynight. I know it might sound difficult and hard and it might take a couple of weeks for it to work, but it should work...please try it.

5. There also might be natural herbal supplements for kids to help with sleep and anxiety, of course talk to your doctor first before trying any... I knew a friend who tried melantonin in very small amounts with her son to help sleep.

Hope this helps, keep us posted on how this works for u

1348086 tn?1370786785
I do hope your daughter gets better. I sort of went through the same thing. When I was 7 it was the late 1970s and watching the news then and up on into the 1980s I was terrified of nuclear war. Anytime a jet flew over I would get nervous. I watched the movie "Day After" on tv behind my parent's backs. Of course that made things TONS worse. Just be patient. She may need some therapy. Back in those days we didn't have as much access to it as we do now. When the cold war ended, my fears switched to "do I have cancer?", "Is an asteroid going to hit earth?"
It seems it all grew up with me and I would not wish that on anyone. My daughter is 6 and I try to make everything good for her. She's afraid of tornadoes, which I have no idea why because I am such a weather nerd. I was never afraid of storms and I try to teach her to not be afraid of the storms, just be respectful.
Avatar universal
We discovered my daughters anxiety/depression issues at this same exact age. Your daughter's symptoms sound very similiar to what we experienced with our daughter when we had a death in the family. We took her to see a child psychiatrist and a therapist. She is now 9 and vastly improved. We now know what to watch and look for when it starts flaring up again. She was on prozac but we are just now changing to celexa as the prozac effects seem to be wearing off. Don't be too hard on her for her fears of which she has no control over right now. Get her seen as soon as possible.
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