3 Simple Ways to Ease the Fear of DARKNESS in Kids

3 Simple Ways to Ease the Fear of DARKNESS in Kids

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:

  • Explain to them that dark is nothing but the absence of light and is scary only because they can’t see what is around them.
  • Make sure light switches are easily accessible to them when they are in bed. If their imaginations begin acting up, they can easily turn on the lights and see there is nothing actually there.
  • Have them sleep with the door slightly open and a nightlight on so that it’s not extent dark in their rooms.
  • Let them take their favourite toy or blanket to bed to comfort them through the night.
  • Teach them to turn off anything on the TV or Tablet which they find scary.

Also Read: 7 Ways to keep kids away from Phone

How to ease the fear of darkness in kids

#1. Establish a happy, peaceful night-time routine

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.

#2. Read books which tackle the fear of the dark

Together with your children read picture-story books about facing their fear of the dark. Some of the best books to read are:

  • Cant you sleep little bear by Martin Wadell, is a book which can be read even to children as young as two since the story is in the form of a sweet lullaby. This is a story about a scared Little Bear being comforted by Big Bear who turns to the moons and stars to comfort the Little Bear. A beautifully illustrated, simple story on how to deal with the fear of the dark.
  • The owl who was afraid of the dark by Jill Tomlinson, is a book which helps children face their fears with knowledge and courage. The story is about a barn owl who’s afraid of the dark that decides to learn more about the dark on his parent’s advice. After he learns about the magical things that happen only at night- fireworks, stargazing and more he decides that dark can also be a wondrous thing.
  • The darkest dark by Chris Hadfield who is an astronaut by profession is a perfect book for slightly older children. This book is about a boy who dreams of being an astronaut except he’s afraid of the dark and space where he dreams of going is the darkest dark out there. After he watches the moon-landing on TV he realises that even the darkest dark (space) is an exciting thing and one shouldn’t let their fears come in the way of their dreams.

Also Read: 10 Toys you must buy to boost cognitive skills of your baby

#3. Make a monster spray

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.

Also Read: 21 Indoor Games and Activities for Children for the Holiday Season

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