Is your toddler afraid of dark? Is fear of dark getting in a way of putting your toddler to sleep at night?
Is your child’s imagination running wild and they are scared of things that might jump on them in the dark?
Today we are going to share several solutions you can try with your toddler and older kids to get them to chase away whatever scares them lurking in the dark.
I think it’s important to acknowledge how children feel rather than to convince them they aren’t afraid. It’s a phase that both of my older children have gone through.
I let them have the door open a bit, or the shutters open a crack. Sometimes they take a little torch to bed. It soon passes and they forget they were afraid of the dark.
and a girl (2 year old), author at Snotty Noses.
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Specifically for fear of the dark, bring in some light into child’s room. Ask them to choose a lamp they like, and say that it’s going to be a friend and chase away the dark. You can also ask them to talk about (not at bedtime, though) about what scares them and try to allay their fears gently.
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We talk about light and dark, how God made both, and how even when it is so dark you can’t see anything and feel alone, God is still there, he never leaves you. I also made sure to ask if my toddler was scared…to tell me what was scaring him. Usually it was a deeper topic, like death or something else causing the fear. Offering to “pray over him” usually helps (I pray out loud about his fears and talk about how God is there with him).
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We have had experience with both nightmares and night terrors. There is a difference between the two and I have a post that I wrote about it. Identifying whether your child is having a nightmare or night terror is the first step. The next is to find out why your child is having them. Talking to them usually helps and reassuring them with a little extra quality time usually works. An extra cuddle, some calm down play before bedtime or a funny story is always a good idea. We also got an automatic bed light that turns on when a baby cries and it is my elder toddler’s favorite.
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I have found the best way to deal with fears of the dark is to make sure the bedtime routine is calm and relaxing, recognizing and honoring the child’s fear as a real fear, and developing strategies to help the child self soothe. We keep lights on, have special nighttime songs, and make sure every child has his or hers snuggly at night.
author at Mommy Crusader and her Knights and Ladies.
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