You know how Halloween is. Your kids are so excited for the trick-or-treating. They’ve got their costumes ready – they wore them to school and they’ve already worn them to a number of Halloween parties. You try to convince them to sit down and eat dinner, but on this exciting the night, eating their pasta is the last thing they want to do. Emotionally, they’re pretty much already gone. After you finally let them go, you spend thing handing out candy and going trick-or-treating with the younger ones.
In the midst of all of this, however, you’re realizing that kids get exposed to some pretty scary stuff during the Halloween season. At this time of year, when gory costumes, un-dead house decorations and chilling cinematic effects abound, it’s no surprise that some kids have trouble sleeping. Because a developing child’s mind cannot easily distinguish fact from fiction, these experiences are pretty real, and pretty terrifying for them. With kids’ inability to think rationally, their emotions command at free-reign.
So what can you do to help them sleep well and not be so scared? Here are some ideas.
Validate Their Feelings
Rather than making your child feel embarrassed about being afraid, you’ll find that she responds best when you make her feel understood. Calmly let her know that these fears are normal, and that you also had them when you were younger. If she had a scary dream, avoid the tendency to only half-listen to the story, hear her out and make her feel like what she has to say is important. As you do your best to see her point of view and come to her level, you’ll find that she’s more willing to hear you out on whatever advice or requests you might have to give.
Show Them That The Things That Scare Them Aren’t Real
Kids learn things best by seeing rather than just by being told. And even though their ability to grasp the fact that Halloween monsters aren’t real might vary with age, little things you do can help kids start to realize that there really isn’t anything to be afraid of. This might look like taking your child’s hand and going over to touch the skeleton and see that it’s just plastic. With a video she finds scary, you might consider turning off the sound. She’ll see that the illusion of reality falls away with it and that on mute, what may have been scary before now just looks ridiculous. When she can laugh at what previously frightened her that’s a real victory. The memory of this moment can help her overcome other similar fears and give her courage in the dark when she’s having trouble sleeping.
Help Them Unwind Before Going To Bed
Spend some time with your child before you turn out the lights. Whatever going-to-bed ritual you have with your child, making a point to do it on Halloween night or whenever your child is afraid can help him to relax and emotionally prepare for sleep. Whether you read a book, pray together, sing him a song, or just talk a little bit, these practices can help him to distance himself from the fear or anxiety he may have been feeling. Ideally, these habits might even just help him settle down enough to realize how tired he is. And the faster he falls asleep, the less time he’ll have to be in the dark and be afraid.
Help Them Feel Safe & Comfortable In Their Bedroom
Make your child’s room a happy, safe place where he wants to be. If something from Halloween frightened him, he’ll experience the full effect of this when he’s alone and it’s dark. Keeping this in mind, you can better prepare him for that moment when the lights go out. As many parents can attest, nightlights can work miracles. Similarly, favorite toys can also give courage and warmth to frightened children. If they’re having trouble sleeping, you might consider letting them get their favorite stuffed animal to go to bed with them.
In addition, a soft blanket and a comfortable mattress can help kids sleep well. While kids might not be too picky about the kind of bed they sleep on, in some cases, improving on this can make all the difference. We aim to please everyone in the family with whatever mattress they may be interested in having, and we’re confident that our team can help you. We’ll consult with you and your family to ensure you’ll be happy with your mattress purchase! Visit your nearest Best Mattress store where we will do whatever we can to make sure that you and your kids are sleeping well!