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Child Afraid to Sleep

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Question:

Assalaamu ‘alaikum

Respected ‘Ulama

Kindly advise me.

My son is nine years old. He is a very sensitive boy. He has lately become very scared to sleep at night. He wants me to stay in the room after I have read evening du‘aas and wait for him to sleep. Some nights, he doesn’t sleep, and when I go back to my room, he cries and cries, either to sleep on the floor by me or for me to come and lie with him. Most days, I am very patient and calm. I tell him to read his durood or surahs that he knows, to talk to Allah, not to be afraid of not falling asleep.

My husband, on the other hand, gets very frustrated with him. He believes that I should just leave him and go to sleep, especially since I end up sleeping so late because of this. He shouts at our son and tells him that he is a big boy, he must just sleep. My husband blames me for my son’s behaviour.

I’m not sure what to do. I feel like my son is just like how my sister was when we were growing up. Being a scared child was horrible for her. She had to hold my hand when we were little in order to sleep, and I feel that with my son, being harsh isn’t going to help him cope. Please help. What can I do?

Jazakallah

Answer:

Bismihi Ta‘ala

Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

Respected Sister in Islam

While it is important to build confidence and bravery in the child, especially since he is now nine years old, nevertheless it will be better to err on the side of caution and deal with this situation in a sensitive manner. If his fear is stemming from some psychological issue, adopting a harsh approach may cause further harm. If this issue has been continuing for a long time without any improvement, it may be advisable to take some professional advice.

In any case, teach your child Aayatul Kursi and also teach him the virtue and benefit. “The one who recites Aayatul Kursi before sleeping will be protected by an angel appointed by Allah Ta‘ala till the morning.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #5010)

Write out this benefit and stick it in his room where he will keep seeing it. Then assure him that since the angel has come to look after him, he should now be totally at ease. Remind him about this even during the day. Insha-Allah he will benefit from this.

You may also relate to him the following incidents:

http://uswatulmuslimah.co.za/general/inspirational-incidents/1784-the-simple-solution.html

http://uswatulmuslimah.co.za/general/inspirational-incidents/1695-powerful-protection.html

http://uswatulmuslimah.co.za/mothers-corner/2092-scared-salmaan.html

May Allah Ta'ala allow him to overcome this fear very quickly and make him the coolness of your eyes.

Answered by:

Uswatul Muslimah Panel of ‘Ulama