Do you know what to do if your child is afraid of the dark?

19 October
2012



Children's fears can be a big problem both for the children and for their parents. There are important recommendations of psychologists to help children get over their fears and understand the causes of their appearance. One of the most common childhood fears is the fear of the dark.

First of all let’s look at the recommendations to what you can’t do if your child is afraid of the dark.

1. Never try to explain to the child his fears logically, rationally, with pressure to their causeless. It will lead to that the child begins to make sure that parents don’t understand him.

2. Never say to the child that you believe in the reality of fears and play along with your child in his belief in monsters, vampires and other evil spirits. This way the child's fear will beredoubled.

3. Never laugh at the children's fears andit’s no matter how absurd they may seem to you. This leads to lower self-esteem of the child.

4. Don’t scold the child for fear. Try to help himin every possible way. If the child is afraid to sleep in the dark, don’t put pressure on him and don’t make him to do this. Remember that fear of darkness problem can be solved.

Recommendations that will help parents to solve the problem of children's fear of darkness:

1. Take the position: "We don’t believe in ghosts (monsters, etc.). We aren’t afraid of them. But we can see that you're afraid of and we want to help you". If the child's fear appears lowly, it will go away by itself if you will take the recommended position.

2. Appeal for help to tales and fairy tale characters. Let your child choose a hero from a fairy tale (or come up with his own) who is endued with abilities that help stand against the child’s fear. Then help your child think up a secret sign or signal, and after hearing or seeing this sign the hero-defender will hunt away the evil spirits. You can draw the hero that protect the child and hang on the picture near the bed or buy (make) a soft toy of this hero. If the child is sleeping with such toy the darkness won’t disturb him any longer.

3. If quitethe babyis afraid of the dark then this is due to the psychological separation from the mother. Psychologists recommend giving your child a large and soft toy which replaces thematernal embrace first time. Traditional toys, which are also called "time dependent", are teddy bears and rabbits.

4. Take care that the child watches on TV. There are many movies and cartoons that can develop and worsen many children's fears. Don’t allow the child to watch such movies! It’s better to show him the special films and cartoons designed to save the child from fear: for example, "Ghostbusters", "Casper", or the wonderful cartoon "Monsters, Inc.".

5. Oftenthe unfortunate atmosphere in the family is the cause of the child's fear. Perhaps the child begins to feel the intense fear and anxiety for the parents to pay attention to him and to "stick together" protecting him.

6. You can try to habituate the child to the darkness gradually by praising his efforts pointing out his courage. You should be with the child during such exercises all time providing psychological help. But before using this methodyou should consult with a child psychologist. Don’t avoid specialists as the children's fear can become a really serious problem that requires a strictly professional decision.

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