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Sleep issue

Ramya in Lansing, MI
Aug. 1, 2018

I have a almost 5yr old. From the age of 3 to till now he started with his night terrors and nightmares. Few months he slept well and some weeks in a month he gets these night terrors. From last Monday he had a night terror which was over by this Monday and he slept Tuesday nights really well and good. Again last night till 2am he slept and then woke up and told me “ mommy there is a Dino over your head “.. and I then assured him of nothing and made him sleep. But he didn’t sleep till 3.15am and I gave him some milk to make him sleep. He vomited Milk as well the dinner and then tried to sleep till 4.38am. I dozed off without my knowledge and guess he too slept. Morning he slept till 8.10am and then I woke him. Am still exhausted and in half sleep mode. Please give me suggestions to clear this. My pediatrician recommended melatonin and I was giving that for few months. But it initiated his sleep and didn’t work well for this mid night waking issue ... help me please

Answers

Do not give that child melatonin. A lot of doctors have issues with it for adults. It cannot be good for children. Especially because it is night terrors and not simple insomnia. Warm milk is a myth, it actually causes your stomach to create more acids. I would suggest starting a routine at bedtime that influences positive thoughts. Reading happy books, looking at happy family photos, brushing teeth together, and so on. Just to let him know that he is in a safe place. The scent of lavender has been long used to support sleep in people, maybe start diffusing some right before sleep during this routine. Also a dream catcher over his bed (telling him of its powers every night) make let his mind rest. When he does wake up at night, put on more lavender, shake that bad thoughts out of the catcher, and soothe him by gently rubbing his temple and ear area. Hope your family finds the peace you need!

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Well, I don't believe in prescriptions for any reason, so I would highly recommend 1,000 mg of calcium with magnesium and Vitamin D. My son is deathly allergic to the cow-milk protein casein, so perhaps investigate food allergies or intolerance. Ben Feingold has written valuable materials on nutritional therapy & suggests abstaining from SUGAR, caffeine, artificial colors / flavors / preservatives. Plus I'll pray for you! :)

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He is obviously scared of something and not dinos. You must find the reason for his waking fear . The conscious mind is far weaker than the subconscious. Could possibly be PTSD. But I have seen this many times. He is afraid of something and it is coming out at night when his subconscious is more in control.

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Martha in Todd, NC
Aug. 3, 2018

I would recommend you try not to give late night snacks or feeding him a full meal before bed.. I would also recommend that your kid to try out new outdoor activities. My last piece recommendation would not give your kid melatonin, later he's older he may have to depend on medication to let him sleep. I hope the night terrors go away soon :)

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Night terrors are really common in this age! My suggestion is to wake him 2-3 hours after he initially goes to sleep to restart that sleep cycle. For nightmares, rather than telling him the things he imagines (dino over your head) is not real, give him power over his fears. Make him a special wand that can keep the monsters away or spray some lavender drops mixed with water in a spray bottle so that his room is safe because monsters/dinos don't like that smell.

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Ramona in Mentor, OH
Aug. 3, 2018

Some children are very affected by what they have seen and heard on television. They are not able to discern it is not real. Try keeping a night light on, keep the closet door closed and pray with him before he goes to sleep and assure him that God will protect him through the night. God does not sleep and is always on guard.

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You need pray Jesus is the best doctor for this trust me try.

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OMG! So sorry for you, know how it feels to deal with a baby with sleep issues and loose sleep too. Perhaps more stimulation to wear him down and then some soothing music like waves or crickets to help him relax. I see that women from the african culture will carry their babies swaddled on their back or front; this seems soothing to the child and gives them a sense of feeling safe. Best of Luck! Flo

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Hi there! I know another mother on Care that says her 3 year old also has night terrors. She found out it was because of television and ipad usage. They have significantly limited their child's tv watching and he is now sleeping so much better! Maybe too much stimulation so close to bedtime? I'd try books and blocks and limit the tech use for at least 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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well first its ok if hes hafe sleepy because Melatonin is a hormone found naturally in the body. just kinda give him milk watch him and kinda he will be drowsy not much you can do u got to wait it out

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User in Chicago, IL
Aug. 9, 2018

Hi there, I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this tough time with your son. I have some suggestions on what you can do to help. 1. try giving your son a warm bath with lavender or chamomile herbs or bath products that include these herbs... 2. Try avoiding your son the watch any scary shows or cartoons that you think he may be afraid of. 3. Read calm fun and peaceful stores when tucking him at bed time. 4. play calm smoothing music while he's asleep to calm his mind and thoughts. such as the sound of rain the ocean or a happy instrumental. 5.If you are religious say a pray with him before he goes to bed and let him know angels will protect him. 6. Ensure him that you will always be there to protect him and whatever he has a bad dream let him know its not real. 7. Also ensure your child is in a happy place and talk to him to know if there is anything in his daily life that is bothering him kids react the situations different . I hope that I was able to suggest some good points that can help improve your son night terrors.

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Miranda in Guy, TX
Aug. 8, 2018

You can read him superhero books with no villains or a sleep machine. A salt rock might help as well as a sleep schedule and what he watches on T.V. Usually, at this age it is common for children to have nightmares.

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I would try not giving milk in evening could be possible that dairy is up setting tummy causing him to come out on rem sleep. Also it seems it Mondays what do u different Mondays? Change Monday routine (could be as simple as a show you don't realize that bothers him/her)

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If it is dinosaurs he says he sees during his night terrors, introduce him to dinosaurs to him in a totally awesome way! Read dinosaur books with him, watch The Land Before Time series of videos with him. Littlefoot is adorable and kids really like that one. Let him know if there was something you always thought was in your room when you were a kid yourself. Like a monster under the bed or that sort of thing. Let him know, you grew to realize, there never was. Assure him that it is ok to feel scared and to just trust you, as his ever-loving mommy that he is always safe with you. And No Matter what it is in life that he fears, that the two of you will always face these things together, because that is what mommies are for.

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since his age I would not try prescriptions, I would ask the dr or pharmacist of lil tricks like lavender is calming maybe some calming oils in a defuser. and some over the counter sleeep aid like Benadryl makes children sleepy, but can't take every night? ever thought of therapy to the bottom line of why he thinks he has monsters

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I am so sorry that you are dealing with this! I know it is so emotionally and physically draining to be up several times as well as worrying about your child. My best friend had horrible night terrors when she was young, but she grew out of them when she was eight! I know it sounds like the longest time, but I promise it will end. For now, I recommend carrying him to the bathtub and giving him a warm bath. It is very soothing, and it helps to relax muscles and strained minds. I have also found that it works very well to play soft music, or some soothing white noise in the background while they sleep. The music subconsciously helps them to feel safe, and it can influence them to the point where they do not have nightmares! I wish you the best of luck, and I hope that it helps!

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Jamie in Davison, MI
Aug. 8, 2018

Some foods can trigger odd dreams or heavy sleeping, allowing for night terrors. Just be sure snack time is early enough before his bedtime. I would try having him color or draw a picture of what he wants to dream about. Or, if the Dino is recurring, have him draw it sleeping? There may be books you can found online that you could read to him before bed to soothe his thoughts as well.

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User in Austin, TX
Aug. 7, 2018

I'm wondering if a soothing bedtime routine including a warm bath and gentle story books would help in addition to making evening play relaxing. Also, your son shouldn't have any heavy foods in the evening or caffeinated or sugared drinks. Check for any fevers and take appropriate action. Sometimes changes in routines or traumatic events can cause this sleep disruption. Make sure you're having conversations about his day (at school, friends, teachers, etc).

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Don't take night terrors lightly. They are sometimes the first signs of a mental health issue. You may also want to evaluate over the counter medications. Cold meds often have dextromathrofan (sp) which causes hallucinations in some children. Take him to a doctor.

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I would take your son to a therapist who deals with childhood nightmares. Something is making him have these night terrors. Your son should be evaluated by a specialist who can get to the root of the problem, and hopefully give you advice that will solve the underlying problem. Then maybe you can get some well-needed sleep. I will pray for your son and you. God bless. Jane

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Katelyn in Alto, MI
Aug. 4, 2018

I used to have night terrors and so did a lot of my cousins, I didn't believe it at first until I tried lavender oil. I know it sounds crazy but you just rub it on the bottom of his feet and it seriously works. I also have a lavender pillow spray, and a wall plug in from bath and body works. The smell is so comforting. I hope that helps!

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This sounds a little tricky. My daughter had night terrors for a while but nothing like what you're describing. This sounds really exhausting. You can't continue like that. Do you have a trusted person you can leave your son with over-night so that you can get a full night's sleep every now and then? It might also be worth talking to the doctor again and possibly seek advice from an expert in the pediatric sleep field?

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My daughter used to have times when she would wake up and just cry inconsolably for a few hours, which was terrible. There was nothing we tried that worked for her, we just had to deal with it and wait it out. In your case, Valerian root is something that may also help. Or sleepytime tea from celestial seasonings. But also we've found when there is something stressful or new going on at home, sometimes the adjustment brings about sleep issues. When she got older, our daughter started to sleep walk instead of night terrors, we'd find her in the kitchen thinking she was going to go potty in there among other things. We noticed it was around the time that there were some stressful things going on at home, and when those issues were gone, she stopped. So if there is a new, scary, or stressful situation he is in, that could also be the culprit.

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i would not give him the sleep medicine as that is not helping the issue. I would buy a night light that has his favorite character, dinosaurs, planters etc. and laminate on ceiling. when he is feeling scared team him to concentrate on that and see if this helps.

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Chamomile tea works for some kids.

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User in Bedford, NH
Aug. 3, 2018

My daughter suffered from the same thing from starting around age 2. It lasted a couple of weeks as we started using Lavender essential oil & Magnesium oil. Happy to chat!

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Jaime in Rogers, MN
Aug. 2, 2018

Try using essential oils. I have found that they help more than you think :) good luck and best wishes

Ramya in Lansing, MI
Aug. 2, 2018

What essential oil to be used and go to use them ? Can you please clearly explain

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Has anything in these 2 years changed for him, with foods, vaccines, any issues with marriage or if you have a boyfriend. I would look into homeopathy. Melatonin is not to be used consistently for sleep, your pediatrician should have known that. There are great remedies for this through homeopathy.

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I heard that giving them some type of stuff animal and tell that they will watch after him helps a lot. That is what a friend did for his almost 3 year old boy.

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Try a melatonin gummy/supplement/tea before bedtime and you could also set up a "goodnight" routine (if you don't do so already) of singing a song/reading a book. If he doesn't have a nightlight in his room, maybe try adding one, or one of those lights that projects stars on the ceiling. You could also try a weighted blanket, although just make sure it isn't too hot in the house at night if he is using it. If all else fails, you could get him a dog (haha) They can be helpful with calming someone from a night terror if you take a bit of time to train them. Oh, one more idea is to put a sound machine in the room, even I like to use those from time to time. Hope you find a solution to your nights!

Ramya in Lansing, MI
Aug. 2, 2018

What’s the sound machine ? Can you help me please

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Are you recently divorced, or does he have 2 households to go back and forth from? When I was 3-9, I had night terrors. I learned it was a result of a tragedy re: my dad. Is your son watching or reading anything that could make his imagination get the best of him at this young age? Make sure he doesn't drink juice or have sugar before bed.

Ramya in Lansing, MI
Aug. 2, 2018

We are not divorced... he loves normal cartoon characters and of course dinosaurs... he was once like taking a Dino toy everywhere and he now changed completely... still night terrrors and monster are making me a trouble in sleeping

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Amy in Zuni, VA
Aug. 1, 2018

I am sorry to say, time is your best friend. My husband and I have raised our grndson and he was 5 years old when he finally slept through the night. We both took turns sleeping with him when he woke up, scared, bad dream, etc. We did use Melatonin, as his pediatrician recommended it. He is 12 now and sleeping well but he would love to come get in our bed. We will not let him, if we have company, his room is our guest room and we have a cot that we put up beside our bed. I know it is draining but time did help and maturity on his part.

Ramya in Lansing, MI
Aug. 2, 2018

Thank you dear , I was using melatonin but am worried to continue it as others told if it makes him addicted to have for sleeping. Also did you had any side effects and are you still following it ? Am sleeping near by him and making sure he is safe .....

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Teresa in Austin, TX
Aug. 2, 2018

With my grandson we put him to sleep while we were still awake and also got him a dog that made him feel protected. Within about a month he started sleeping on his own and sleeping through the night. He also has a strict lay down at 8pm and gets to play for a few minutes but by 9pm he should be asleep or laying down doing nothing. Now everyday he is out fast by 9pm because his body has been conditioned to sleep at that time. Even when he is not in school he still has the 9pm sleep schedule. Please do not give your child anything for sleep. Just have to find the right solution. Do not give in to the night terrors, the child knows you will fuss with him.

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When he has his night terrors walk him to the bathroom and have him go. Works like a charm. :) Please let me know how it works for you.

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he will most likely grow out of this. Dont worry. Make sure he isnt stressed and has a regular bedtime.

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I would recommend essential oils or if it more severe anti seizure medicine as my younger brother had night terrors growing up and is beginning to outgrow them.

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Tough call, know he will get over it but maybe a calmer time before bed, and try to find out what he is worried about.

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Gina in Hillside, NJ
Aug. 1, 2018

Is he taking a nap during the day? Is he watching too much TV? keep him busy and tired and don't let hi slept during the day.That what I to the twins I taking care now.

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I would play some relaxing music and lay with him there massaging his head making sure he is calm and safe till he falls asleep again.

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I absolutely stand by and recommend "Doterra" Essential oils, blends, and diffusers. Most of their oils cam be used topically when fractionated, may be ingested as well as used aromatically in a diffuser. I would start with a lavender oil on the feet to help him sleep and relax. There are also blends that promote calmness, ease as well as many other benefits! I hope this helps!

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Children are full of imagination due to their ideas of self and ultimate truth is one with the idea of what is concrete reality and imagination. I would say play along, get "monster/nightmare spray, tell him lovely stories, and try to create as many positive thoughts for him before sleep time as possible. Try some co-sleep, in many cultures around the world, it brings positive benefits to the child for a while. I hope it helps, mom.

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When my grandson was having night terrors when he was younger, and occasionally still does, I would give him a small flashlight to keep under his blanket with him. in case he awoke and was scared. When he did start sleeping in his own bed when he stayed with me, I told him to come get in bed with me and I would make sure that he was safe. I also had his favorite song to sing to him (Angel by Your Side) and then a regular repertoire of songs for as long as needed to calm him back to sleep. He was always afraid of wolves.

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There are great books to buy on the subject. One thing that helps is creating a low low stimuli evening. No rough housing etc. Soft lighting & gentle vibes in the evening.

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Abi in Bronx, NY
Aug. 1, 2018

There is a really good supplement called CALM, its magnesium and comes in different flavors, its really good for anxiety and sleep. I hope this helps!

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As someone who actually suffers from night terrors, I agree that it is extremely hard to sleep most nights. Melatonin is a great way to help settle sleep patterns but if it is not working then disregard it period. Try leaving the TV in the bedroom on as a light source or letting him sleep with you listening to your heart beat. This will surely keep your child calm.

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Leah in Pacific, WA
Aug. 1, 2018

It depend on what he does during the day. Try and engage him during the day and have a schedule for this until it is quit well implemented. When children are exhausted by 8.00om they will sleep. If it is a medical problem first thing is to seek medical help and follow the advise.

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Have you tried having him sleep with you? That may help, just for a short time.

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I had that experience once before. We gave her warm tea no milk and a little sugar. We also put a dream catcher over her bed and told her its to catch her bad dreams so she wont be harmed. Stayed with her till she fell asleep. So far she's been sleeping soundly.

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Ruth in Bismarck, ND
Aug. 1, 2018

Melatonin is not a good option for children or adults, give him Isotonix calcium and Isotonix Magnesium at bedtime. 1/2 cap each with 2 oz of water.

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Hello I would leave a light on in his room & stay with him until he fell asleep .Maybe sing some lullabies to him or read a nice story away from dino's Soothe him by telling him you are there & nothing to worry about & leave his bedroom door open as well as your own. This has worked children I have taken care of in the past

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weighted blanket, night light, white noise/ soft music, lavender difusser

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a bed time story and a late night snack should get them to sleep

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User in Auburn, WA
Aug. 1, 2018

Hi! I would consult your pediatrician again. Some advice I would give is maybe putting a night light in his room? That way, when he does wake up from a nightmare it's not as scary and dark. Also, a trick I have used with kids his age is "anti-monster spray." Geta spray bottle filled with water, then add a few drops of calming essential oils (i.e. lavender). At bedtime each night, spray the scarier areas of the room and tell him this special spray will help him feel protected. This will give him some confidence, and the scent will also help him relax. Good luck!

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Get a second opinion from another Pediatrician.

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What is his night routine? Does he have any kind of sugar before bed? My daughter would have juice when we had a late dinner and I found that she would have nightmares when she had it. We noticed the correlation with the nights we had ice cream after eating out. I found that it was the sugar that caused the bad dreams. We make sure now that she has about 3 hours of no sugar before bed. Hasn't had one in a really long time. I think in the last 2 years she has only had 2-3 nightmares.

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Try getting him a stuffed animal that means alot to him. A blanket works as well. A sleepover with mommy works as well. Make a set day or days for each week that he can sleep in bed with you. If that doesn't work. Try a children's melatonin tablet each night.

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What worked wonders for a little one I nannied for years as their live-in was classical music playing softly throughout the night; it was a last thing for me to try because ideally I want to contribute to the children I care for getting in the routine/habit of going to bed and sleeping without anything added if possible. However, when it comes to a little one waking up drenched in sweat screaming, you will try anything. So I turned the radio onto KS95 (twin cities station with variety of music) and she fell asleep and stayed asleep. So I tried a Mozart CD and that made the biggest difference (she still woke and it didn't help on occasion. But having you wake screaming once every 1 to 2 weeks is a huge win in the situation).

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you can give them a thing called calm and restful i have tried it and it works

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Eda in Horsham, PA
Aug. 25, 2018

I think that you are going to the specialist doctor ..he need the doctor

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Nightmares and night terrors are fairly common for children ages 3-12 and tend to be most common around 3.5 years old. Some common causes of night terrors are stressful life events, fever, sleep deprivation, medications that affect the central nervous system (the brain),and recent anesthesia given for surgery. I am going to assume that anesthesia and fever are not the cause since you didnt specifically mention anything like that. If he is on any medications that affect the brain (such as for ADHD or Anxiety for example), these may be causing his inability to sleep in which case you may want to suggest this to your doctor. I am not a medical professional, so i can only recommend that you mention that the melatonin was not effective enough to your doctor and see if there is another option. Another cause could be stressful life events such as a recent move, the loss of a pet, divorce, a sudden change in friends, or other things that would be traumatic to someone of his age. I hope this helps!

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Mady in Fletcher, NC
Aug. 15, 2018

im no expert. but what i understand from kids is that when someone tells them "theres nothing there, dont worry" it doesnt make those images go away. when i was little, ones the light were dimmed or off, all the objects in the room would turn into something and move. my mom saw how terrified i was and she gave me a magic word, since my mom was very religious she said, "when u say this magic word they have to leave, because that word its so powerful that they will not touch u or me at all" in other words dont tell them that its nothing, just let them know that they are strong enough to send them away or for them to do what he wants.

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