Are your kids afraid of the dark?
We really like to watch our children’s abilities grow bilities soar, but as their abilities expand, so do their imaginations. Between the age of 2-8 years, kids are exposed to many books, media and stories; not all of which are pleasant. They begin to understand that they can be hurt. They also develop numerous worries and fears of getting lost, of getting bullied , of change, fear of the dark and many more.
As a parent, you should not laugh off or dismiss your child’s fear. What might seem like an unimportant matter to adults might seem like an huge problem to young minds. Understanding your child’s concerns and addressing them in an age-appropriate way, covers the way for honest future conversations. Validate their fears by letting them know that it is normal to be afraid.
Bedtime for children who fear the dark can be a true nightmare. They might follow their parents around the house for hours before bedtime and refuse to go to sleep in their room or refuse to let go of you as you put them to bed. Bedtime for such children could take hours and be exhausting for parents.
Reassure them that you are just a few steps away. You could also do:
Also Read: 7 Ways to keep kids away from Phone
Children find routines comforting. Establish an easy to follow, peaceful bedtime routine – take a calming bath, change into pyjamas, drink a warm glass of milk, read a comforting bedtime story, dim the lights and turn on the night-lights in preparation for sleep. Make sure children watch happy cartoons and read pleasant books in the hours before bedtime as scary books or cartoons can fuel their active imaginations further. Establishing a bedtime routine calms their little bodies and primes their body clock for sleep.
Together with your children read picture-story books about facing their fear of the dark. Some of the best books to read are:
This is a fun activity to do with your kids which will also help them tackle the lurking monsters head-on. Take an empty spray bottle and fill it with water lightly scented with any essential oil. For the next step involve your kids who are afraid of monsters in the dark. Tell them just the way there are sprays to get rid of bugs, this bottle has a spray to get rid of monsters. Ask them to draw a monster they are afraid of on the bottle and put a big red X on it. Before going to bed, spray it anywhere they think monsters might lurk and hide to banish them forever. Reassure them that their room is now monster-free for a good night’s sleep.
Do remember that children learn more by our actions rather than our words, so be careful not to pass on your fears or anxieties to them. It is only a matter of time before your children outgrow their fears and grow into confident, knowledgeable young ones.
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