I am scared of the dark. I always have been. I always will be, I assume. My boy inherited my fear of darkness, but I want him to be stronger than me. I’m working on helping my child overcome his fear of darkness and maybe I’ll learn something for myself in the meantime.
I received a product in exchange for this post, but as you know, all stories and opinions are my own.
Since I was very young, I have been fearful of just about everything. I was a timid child and just hearing the word “boo” would send me into nightmares that you could not imagine. I had recurring nightmares that would send chills down your spine. I blame this on an overactive imagination that apparently only works when I’m sleeping or alone or in the dark. If only I could get that imagination to work for good instead of evil.
My boy definitely inherited my wild imagination and his seems to be a little more “friendly” than mine. He can entertain himself for long periods of time and tell stories that will have you rolling. Unfortunately, he also inherited the evil side of the imagination that creates the scary scenarios in the dark. He has my fear of darkness and I’ve been researching ways to help him grow out of this fear.
Overcoming Fear of Darkness
Listen to your child about the fear – Childhood fears are very real and very scary. Your child doesn’t know as much as you do about the world and he may not be developmentally able to distinguish between that scary thought and reality. Listen to what your child is fearful about and talk it through.
Talk to your child about the fear – Talking about something imaginary or perceived can often help it go away. If your child is afraid of a stranger coming into the house, talk to him about how you lock the doors and windows and how your dog will bark if someone strange enters the home. If your child is afraid of monsters, talk about how the monster is not real, but if it were, you would punch it in the nose. Monsters have very sensitive noses and he would cry and fall on the floor and then run home to his mommy and the news would spread in Monsterland and then no monster would ever come back to your house again.
Explore the fear with your child – If fear of darkness is plaguing your child, take them on an exploration around the house in the dark (or almost dark). Listen for sounds that might be scary and identify them. Watch for shapes and shadows that might be scary and identify them. Talk about what feelings are happening (sweaty palms, racing heart, etc) and sit with those feelings until they go away on their own.
Provide a solution for the fear – Fear of darkness is just too common not to have a real solution that is simple and reachable. Pick up a night light, table lamp or a Flashlight Friend for your child to help ease that night time fear. My boy has a night light and a Flashlight Friend for his bedroom.
I honestly think the Flashlight Friend is a great solution to help overcome a fear of darkness, possibly more so than a table lamp or night light. Your child will still have to experience darkness when he wakes up, but can quickly press the light to turn it on and be in the light again. The Flashlight Friend has a bright burning bulb that reduces the eerie shadows that a lamp or night light might produce and it’s a friendly smiling face when the darkness goes away.