Overcoming A Child’s Fear Of The Dark

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Photo by Maria Pavlova/Getty Images

Photo by Maria Pavlova/Getty Images

Gene & Julie have a perplexing dilema. Their 6-year old daughter Sophia is afraid of the dark. This is a common fear that a lot of children face. How can you help your child overcome their fear of the dark?

While a fear of the dark is not necessarily a fear of the darkness itself, but it is rather a fear of what is believed to be lurking unseen in the shadows. It’s one of the most common fears children face growing up. We all remember what we feared in the dark as children; from the monster under our beds to the boogey man in the closet. Here are some fun ideas to help your child be comfortable sleeping with the lights off:

Yahoo! Shine suggests making the dark fun. Teach your child how to make shadow puppets. They will be surrounded by darkness with just a circle of light on the wall. When they are a bit older, have them play hide & seek in the dark.

Let your child voice their fears. Listen to them and acknowledge your child’s fear. Don’t discredit them by telling them there are no monsters or not to be a “fraidy cat.” Allowing your child to talk about their fears may not help them get over it, but “it teaches children an important tool to use for dealing with challenging feelings,” says iVillage.com.

Suggestions from WedMD include making bedtime soothing and limiting television before bedtime. TV & scary books can stimulate children’s imaginations. Things that go bump in the night are scary enough without the suggestion of books & television of what could be making those noises.

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