Do you think you child may be having night terrors? Have you been mistaken them for your child just having a bad dream?
I think it began a little after my son turned three. All of a sudden he would wake up in the middle of the night screaming. I can remember going in to him and he was sitting up crying loud and his eyes were open. I tried talking to him and he wouldn’t respond to me. It was truly as if he didn’t recognize me. After just a few minutes he laid back down and went to sleep. Sometimes it would last 10-15 minutes.
The next morning he wouldn’t recall it at all. Thankfully, I had seen something on TV about night terrors a few months prior. I wasn’t sure if that’s what it was for sure. But then it happened again and this time he was laying down. He was stiffening up, tossing and turning, and actually pushed me away. I just sat there until it was over. It probably was only a few minutes but it seemed like forever. It was scary and frustrating to see my son that way and nothing I did or said made it any better.
Matter of fact, my husband didn’t completely believe that is was a night terror. He thought he was just being difficult. Well, when it started another time my husband went in instead of me. He wouldn’t respond to my husband either. My husband then tried waking him. I could hear him yelling “WAKE UP!” He also turned the light on and off a few times in the middle of all of it. My son just screamed more and seemed more agitated. My husband just walked out because he didn’t know what to do. I then went in and after a little bit he finally settled down and went back to sleep. I think it lasted about a half hour or so. My husband went to work the next day and after discussing it with co-workers, he found someone else who had been through the same thing. And they did, in fact, agreed with me. (SURPRISE, I actually know what I’m talking about!)
From the information I have received the worst thing you can do is try to wake them. It is normal for them not to respond because they aren’t actually awake. They may scream, kick, stiffen up, and thrash themselves around. The only thing you can do is go in and make sure they are okay. Be sure they are safe and that they aren’t going to hurt themselves. My son never recalls waking up and crying. They don’t occur every night or even every week or month for that matter. I have found that they tend to occur on a night when my son has a rough day and is overtired. He is now four and a half and hasn’t had one I quite some time.
Not all kids get them but if they do it’s good to be informed. And to know your child hasn’t turned into a monster.