• Overcoming Fear of the Dark

    Overcoming Fear of the Dark

    Overcoming Fear of the Dark

    Fear of the dark is among the most common phobias for kids and adults alike, but the fact that it’s common doesn’t make it any easier for your little one to overcome. By overcoming fear of the dark, you can give your child valuable experience in conquering other fears down the road.

    It’s important that you respect and empathize with your child’s fear, but don’t play into it. By checking under their bed for monsters in the shadows, you validate the idea that there could be something there. If your child insists, let them know there are no monsters, but you can help them check if it will make them feel better.

    Limit Stimulation and Wind Down

    As bedtime approaches, keep a close eye on your child’s intake of spooky TV shows and other media. TV can stimulate the brain, and if a kid crawls into bed with their imagination running wild, shadows can start to look a lot like creepy crawlies. Try doing something relaxing with your child before bed, like reading to them or having them read to you. If a child is already relaxed by the time they crawl into bed, they’ll fall asleep quickly and experience less anxiety.

    A nightlight can help your child get acclimated to the darkness, but beware of making it a permanent solution. Try a flashlight instead; a child can use it at first, and as they realize there’s nothing to be scared of, they’ll use it less.

    sleeping-child

    If nothing seems to be helping your child, you may be dealing with an issue larger than a phobia. Anxiety brought about by school or family troubles can be behind your child’s fright once the lights go out. If your child’s fear of the dark comes seemingly out of nowhere, during an already tumultuous period, then you will need to help your child process the feelings surrounding whatever is happening. Only then will they feel at ease.

     

    Be a Partner in Overcoming Fear of the Dark

    Your commitment to helping your child face their fear can bring them much needed confidence. They should not feel as if they have to go it alone. At the same time, let them know they already have the power to overcome what frightens them. Emphasize that you’re most proud of the way they face scary situations on their own – if they face it enough times, it won’t be scary anymore.

    (P.S. A great motivator for kids getting over their fear of the dark? Boys pajamas and girls pajamas!)

    Topics: All, Parenting

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