This past week or so, my son has been having “night terrors”. Not nightmares, but the night terrors where he never really wakes up. He’s frightened and crying. He comes downstairs and sits in his recliner. He doesn’t even come to me, like he does if he has had a nightmare. He doesn’t come to my room. He goes straight into the living room, whether I’m in there or not. He will talk, not always making sense, but never remembers it in the morning. (One night he told us that he knew how to win Halo and had to play. He didn’t remember it the next day).
Everything I read says that it is normal (usually kids outgrow them at age 5-6 though), and it’s hasn’t really gone on for too long, but it still scares me. LOL I know he is fine and it hasn’t seemed to affect him. In fact, it probably bothers me worse since he doesn’t even remember it. I guide him back to bed and read a couple stories and he goes back to sleep.
Tonight it was weird. He was talking to me about little people and then he got a look of fear on his face and pointed at the wall. There was nothing there. I asked him what he saw and he just shook his head. He said some things that I could not understand. He might not have said them loudly enough for me to grasp what he’d said, but.. it was also weird… He would cry out and I’d ask him what’s wrong and he would smack his head and say nothing.. as if it was out of his control. And then he would talk or listen to me read the story and start crying. I’d ask what’s wrong and he would immediately stop and say “nothing” as if he didn’t realize he was crying. I asked if he was feeling okay and he said he was feeling fine. He would interact with me, but he sometimes looked “through” me. He was somewhat aware that I was there but not totally. It’s pretty freaky from my perspective. Tonight it was almost like he was battling for control of who he was. It was almost like 2 people. One who knew who I was and that I was there with him and one who was terrified and in a totally different world, not recognizing me at all.
He did not have school today, parent-teacher conferences. (He’s doing well, I was going to email about that too.. he’s doing better. He still has his moments of being distracted and not staying on task, but she says the way he can relate to stories with real life inferences is amazing at his age. The other students really enjoy listening to these things. She also said that he wrote a story about “Halo” but since she feels that game is too violent and too old for him and the rest of the 2nd graders, she didn’t let him share it with the other students.. *sigh*)
I hope they go away soon… I need to do more research….
2 thoughts on “My son is having night terrors… I need to learn more!”
Very scary for a parent, especially the feeling of helplessness. If you ask, “what’s wrong?” and your kid says ‘Nothing’ or clams up, they are afraid that they might be told what they are seeing or feeling isn’t ‘real’ or ‘rational’, but they DO know they are experiencing it, and that’s real enough for them!
When my kid (now 17, gawd I feel old…) had this some, she would do similar things. Rather than explain to the unconscious person what’s rational (see the futility there?), we had her explain what she’s seeing, what she’s experiencing. Instead of a parental “What’s Wrong?”, we asked “What do you see? tell us about it..” As she started guiding us through her dream/vision, her mind started exerting some control over what it was revealing to her so she could explain it to us. She didn’t remember any of this the next day, still, but as these episodes occurred, they were less intense for her, so less scary for us. Love your kid and share the experience with them. that helps a lot!
I dunno about Halo. I havent met your boy, so i don’t know what might be age appropriate for him or not…
Weird… they stopped after Aphrodite moved out…
We’ll see what happens now!