Handling Your Child’s Fear of the Dark

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Children have big imaginations, and with that can come even bigger fears. Young children do not have the ability to distinguish between what is fantasy and what is considered reality. Without this distinction, a child’s mind easily turns harmless noises and shadows into big, scary monsters. These fears often arise when the room is dark and it’s hard to tell that nothing is really there. Here are a few tips on how to help your children overcome their fear of the dark:

Monitor Content

It is important to make sure that the programming your child is consuming while watching television is appropriate for their age group. Watching content that is not appropriate for the child is an easy way for fears to come about. Stay aware of what is on the television when the child is around and consider parental controls for when you can’t be with your child. Age recommendations can be a helping guide, but you as a parent should decide what your child is mature enough to see.

Use A Flashlight

Giving your child a flashlight to keep by their bedside is a great way to lessen their fear of the dark. The child will feel more in control when they are having trouble detecting what is real and what isn’t. Plugging in a night light in your child’s room or close by in a hallway is another simple way to reassure your child that everything is okay.

Encourage, Acknowledge and Reassure

Encouraging your children to talk about their fears is important. This will keep an open line of communication, so they will continue to come to you for support. Being aware of your child’s fear is necessary to try and combat it. Acknowledging their fears and reassuring them that you will keep them safe is necessary as well.

A child being afraid of the dark is common and it should be nothing to worry about. Try out these simple solutions but if the problem continues, contact your pediatrician.

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