Need advice: my 8 YO grandson is having problems going to  bed and is scared we will die.

"My 8 yr old grandson is having problems going to bed. Once we get him to bed he sleeps the night through but its getting him to bed. We  have asked him what scares him or bothers him and he always says he doesn't know. He wraps the blankets so tight around his head [just leaving his face exposed] that when he is checked up on before the parents or myself the grandparent check on him before bed he is absolutely soaked from sweating. We tell him this is not good but it happens every night. When he was 2 he lost a baby sister, she lived for 18 days and died and when he was 5 he lost his great grandmother. We think this may be part of the problem but don't know how to help him. He is always scared that we will die on him. Please give advise if u can. Looking forward to hearing from you."

Asked by Denellda, after reading the article, "Ask the Child Psychologist: Childhood Fears":
In Topics: My child's growth and development, Sleep and rest, Children and stress
> 60 days ago



Wayne Yankus
Sep 14, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Dear Denelida:

You describe your grandson's problem very well.  These are not unusual fears for someone this age with his family experience.  Children at this stage of development are often fearful because they now are old enough to realize their parents don't control the world around them  Ask you doctor if they havea suggestion of someone who deals with young children who might be able to be reassuring such as a therapist.  Also "Freddie the Leaf" by Buscaglia or EB White's Charlotte's Web are great books regarding death and transition.  Limit television news and video games and continue to be upbeat but stick to your bedtime plan.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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