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Avatar Jacki...
2.5yr old scared of rain and wind at night and won't sleep without someone sitting with him. Any suggestions

Our 2.5yo son has developed a fear at night of rain and wind and cries whenever it is a bad weather night. He has only slept thru twice in about three weeks and we are exhausted from being woken and trying to resettle him. Night light, exposure to rain, talks and 'special teddy' have been introduced to no avail. Any books, websites or suggestions to help him overcome this?

Jane ...
Answer: Hi, Not that I'm aware of but if you've tried all the usual strategies and reassurances then perhaps he's picking up on the attention you're giving him so it's time for "less is more". Being very calm and matter of fact, reassuring but not overly so, praising him when he's lying quietly may all help. Try not to start something you're not keen to continue; if he learns that his fear and anxiety will bring him lots of lovely attention then he'll quickly learn to keep this up. You may want to consider a sticker/praise/reward chart for him when he's lying calmly and even a CD for him to listen to which has quiet/calm music. Unfortunately, you can't do anything about the weather but if you normalise it as much as possible and stay calm yourself and don't let his anxiety cause a peak in your own, then he'll do well. This is one of those parenting situations which may be best managed calmly with as little fuss as possible. Just be mindful that anxious kids (and I'm not saying he is because most 2 yo go through stages of being scared and anxious and this is completely normal), can go from one anxiety provoking experience to another so if you adopt a policy of gentle reassurance and calmness then he can only benefit from this. Best Jane
Answered: 28 Jun 2014