There may be many reasons your child has become afraid of the dark, but the most common reason is just a natural fear.
From catching a glimpse of a scary shadow to hearing unknown sounds in the middle of the night, the dark can be a frightening place for your child.
For a child, becoming comfortable with the dark can be a little bit more difficult than it is for adults, but there are ways for parents to help their children overcome these fears.
HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD STOP BEING AFRAID OF THE DARK
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Just like adults, children fear the unknown sometimes and if they can’t see what’s happening, instinct kicks in.
It is important that parents help their children to navigate these fears, to help them overcome them.
VALIDATE YOUR CHILD
Validate your little one’s fear of the dark.
When we dismiss their fears, they start to distrust us.
Let your kids know that you understand their feelings and that the dark is only scary because it disrupts our view of the things around us.
Never dismiss your little one’s fears.
These are true feelings they are experiencing and if we want to help rather than hinder, validation is an important first step.
HAVE A LIGHT SOURCE ACCESSIBLE
Empower your children by making a light source easily accessible to them.
This is a fantastic way to make sure that your little one feels powerful against the dark.
If they are feeling frightened, they can turn on the lights.
Giving your children the power to take charge of their fears will greatly diminish them.
MAKE YOUR CHILD FEEL SAFE
If you must stay with them after the lights turn off for a little while, do it.
This will help to show them that the dark isn’t as scary as it seems.
Turn off the lights and snuggle with them for a while, talking about how our eyes adjust to the dark.
This will allow them to get comfortable with the dark while you are around, and lead to them becoming more comfortable with it when you’re not.
NO SCREEN TIME BEFORE BED
Try to keep your children away from television and other media at least an hour before bedtime.
Screen time can stimulate your little one, causing it to be more difficult for them to fall asleep and winding up their imaginations to respond more heavily to their fear of the dark.
Rather than participating in screen time, read a story or do another relaxing activity, preparing them for bedtime.
You can even read these books about being afraid of the dark with your child:
There are several ways to make sure that your little one’s fear of the dark diminishes rather quickly.
Just make sure to validate their fears, give them the power, make them feel safe and avoid screen time before bed.
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