Is Your Child Scared of the Dark? Here Are 10 Ways to Help Them Overcome Their Fear

Is Your Child Scared of the Dark? Here Are 10 Ways to Help Them Overcome Their Fear

When things go bump in the night, we adults are able to quickly conclude where they originated. Maybe it was the radiator switching on, the refrigerator fan running, or a neighbor fiddling around outside. Most of the time, these sounds are entirely harmless, so we can slip back into sleep easily.

But, from many kids’ perspectives, the darkness is fraught with endless peril, whether or not there are creepy noises or a jacket on a chair nearby appearing to be a hungry Velociraptor on its way to their bed.

That’s right– we’re talking about your child’s fear of the dark. If you have experienced your son or daughter screaming, clutching onto you, or running then basically diving into your bed in the middle of the night, you know this all too well.

Fortunately, most children do get past their fear of the dark relatively quickly– but, on the other hand, 20% of children do have a persistent fear of the dark. Let’s try to not let your child be a part of that percentage by following these 10 tips to help them tackle the darkness once and for all!

1.Acknowledge Their Fear and Be Supportive
Having a close loved one acknowledge any emotion is a huge advantage to anyone, including children. The first big step to take as a parent is to have a conversation with your son or daughter about what they’re feeling. Acknowledge their fear and be supportive, which will help them feel overall safer, understood, and not alone.

It’s important to not be condescending or react in any way that could lead your child to feel as if they aren’t being heard or understood. Remember: their fear may be irrational to you, but it is very real for them. Be supportive, understanding, and patient with them. It can be a huge difference.

plug in night lights

2.Use Plug In Night Lights
One of the most classic ways of helping your child ease out of this fear is to plug in night lights. These will provide warm and soft lighting to the kid’s room that will be able to banish the darkness from their room just enough to both ease their anxieties and allow them to fall (and stay) asleep.

You could plug in night lights in areas that they frequent at night, such as the hallway, bedroom, or bathroom. We also recommend using plug in night lights that depict their favorite characters or images, such as one of our Blue Fish Night Light or Starfish Night Light, to add to their comfort.

3.Play Games in the Dark (Comfortably)

                                   plug in night lights

Try to make the dark more fun for your child! This can show them that the dark isn’t all that scary. You can build a blanket fort or play hide and seek together. However, don’t force them if they don’t want to. Make sure that they are comfortable enough; otherwise, they could become upset.

4.Practice Relaxation Techniques with Them
Relaxation techniques aren’t just for adults. Kids can benefit from them, too! Some common impactful relaxation techniques are breathing exercises, light meditation, or even completing some yoga stretches. You can guide them through these techniques and, when they do feel afraid of the dark, they can try implementing them on their own.

plug in night lights

5.Provide Him or Her with a Security Object (Toy, Blanket, etc.)
This is exceptionally important for all kids who are afraid of the dark, but especially those who are younger. Providing him or her with a security object can go a long way in comforting them when they need it and you are unavailable. Two classic security objects for a child are a specific toy, like a stuffed animal, or a blanket.

These security objects can also assist them to learn how to self-soothe, which is a vital part of their development. Plus, they can use these objects not only in scenarios where they are afraid of the dark but also in other uncomfortable situations.

6.Check on Him or Her Often
You should still check on your child during the evenings just to ensure that they are all right (which you were probably doing already!). By checking on them, you can provide yourself with peace of mind. Plus, if your child knows that you check on them or if they do notice you checking on them, they will know that they are cared for and that they are indeed safe.

7.Skip on Sleepovers
While your child is experiencing powerful bouts in the night due to their fear, it’s probably best that you skip on sleepovers for the time being. This includes sleepovers both in your home and in other children’s homes. Sleepovers can add an extra layer of anxiety for your child and could even hinder their socialization development.

8.No TV at Bedtime– Relaxing Experiences Only
Making bedtime a soothing and cozy time is also important for ensuring your child is comfortable going to bed. You can read to them, for example, but don’t allow them to watch TV too close to bedtime. That could throw off their circadian rhythm and cause them to not sleep well. Plus, TV images could stick in their minds and potentially lead to nightmares.

9.Try Not to Play Into Their Fear
While you should acknowledge and understand their fear, you shouldn’t play into it. Checking under the bed or stating that the “monsters will get you if you’re bad” will only exasperate the situation.

10.Consider the Possibility of Another Cause– and Manage It
Our last point is that their fear of the dark could be attributed to something else in their life, especially if their fear is going on for months or years. Do a deep dive into understanding if maybe a new move, new family member, stress at school, or something else could be leading them to feel this way. Seek a therapist’s help for your child if you believe this to be the case.

With luck, your child should be able to beat their fear of the dark within weeks! So long as you follow these tips and stay vigilant, supportive, calm, and patient, your child should be feeling significantly better in no time.

When you are looking for high-quality plug in night lights to add to your child’s bedroom or your home in general, you can trust us here at J Devlin to provide you with what you need. We have plenty of other fine glass products available to meet your requirements, too!

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