Wednesday, 28 October 2015


It's problem page time again on DREAMCATCHER… and reader Caro has Halloween themed problem. Can Skye Tanberry offer a solution?

Caro says:
I'm in Year Seven and have made some brilliant new friends at secondary school.I've been invited to a Halloween sleepover by one of them, and because I've already wriggled out of a few invites I have said yes… but I'm dreading it. There are two problems. One is that I am very anxious about staying away from home… the only times I have ever done it have been at my Gran's, and even then I get quite worried and can't always sleep very well. I am worried that I will get upset or anxious and that my friends will laugh, or worse, feel sorry for me. Or even that I will have to go home halfway through the night. The second thing is that we will be watching scary movies and that will freak me out, I know. I don't know how to say any of this to my friends and I'm scared that if I keep making excuses they will get fed up of me and dump me. Please help!

Skye says:
I could tell you to be brave, to pull yourself together and face your fears, but I'm not sure that's the right thing in this situation. The more anxious you are about the sleepover beforehand, the more likely it is that you'll feel upset and panicky on the night. One option is to pull out… if you know you won't enjoy the night, it makes sense, and I honestly don't think your friends will drop you for not joining in, especially if you explain the problem. However, this it won't help you to conquer your fears, and you will miss out on the fun. Try a compromise… explain that you're not able to stay over, but can stay until, say, eleven. Bring a DVD to watch, something you know you like, and enjoy the fun bits of the evening with your friends - they can watch the scary movies once you've gone. Next time around, invite your friends over for a sleepover at your place… all the fun and none of the stress about being away from home. From there, try staying over with just one of your friends - less pressure - and build things up from there. Work out what will help you to feel more secure - a call home, a favourite soft toy, some gentle music on in the background - and use these things. Practice staying at your grans again until the fears gradually lessen. Anxieties can be conquered, but go gently and be kind to yourself… just as you would if it were one of your friends struggling. Good luck… and Happy Halloween!

Cathy says:
Great advice from Skye… I'd also suggest Caro asks her mum to have a word with the mum of her sleepover friend, to make sure she feels safe and supported. Fears like this CAN be defeated! Do YOU agree with Skye's advice? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!


  1. Skye's idea to stay until eleven is great; easing into staying the night away from home is probably the best. Neither horror movies nor sleepovers are for everyone, and there will almost certainly be other people there who aren't big fans of one or the other, so I'm sure that your friends are likely to be supportive. I haven't been to a sleepover since year seven, when I invited some girls I probably shouldn't have, and now I'm considering going to another- three years later! But now I'm with supportive friends, and instead of watching horror films we're watching kid's anime and B movies, like the old Universal Monster ones with vampires in white powder and awful makeup! If you're looking for some less scary alternatives, I'd recommend comedic ones, like Beetlejuice or Nightmare Before Christmas that take the edge off while still keeping the Halloween spirit!

  2. Really helpful comment, thanks Caitlin! xxx



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