Fear of the dark in children: ways of struggling

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Most children are afraid of the dark, it`s difficult for them to fall asleep alone in their room, they cry, ask to be allowed in a parents` room


Most children are afraid of the dark, it`s difficult for them to fall
asleep alone in their room, they cry, ask to be allowed in a parents` room. For
children under 7 tears old fear of the dark is quite a normal thing,
however, these fears give a lot of trouble, both children and their parents.
 
In early age (2-4 years) children don`t understand yet that surrounding
objects don`t become bigger in the dark, that`s why in the dark a little plush
doggy turns to be a huge dog, due to a child`s imagination.
 
Parents can help children coping with fear of the dark. For this you can
use following advices:
 
1. Listen to a child attentively
Talk to him about his fears. Many parents sometimes try to avoid this
topic, as they consider, that a conversation about fears can lead to a reverse
result (when fears will become more serious). In fact, a conversation about a
child`s fears will help him to understand their reason and overcome them finally.
During a conversation don`t strive to expound all children`s fears and tell
about ways of coping with them at one go, a child should learn coping with his
fears by himself. Probably, a child is not just ready to tell you everything
about his fear, but your striving to listen to him attentively allows him
understanding that he can overcome his fear.
 
2. Be supportive
During a struggle with fears, a child needs parental support very much.
Putting a child to bed, parents can stay in a room until a child falls asleep,
entering his room periodically during first time, to assure everything is ok.
A
child needs to feel that you are always near, what will help him coping with
fear of the dark.
 
3. Admit existence of fears in your child
Sometimes parents don`t know what to tell a child about his fears, most
often they laugh at these fears, and sometimes even don`t want to hear about
it, as adults know for sure that a child has no reasons to fear, he is in
security. Instead of laughing at a child`s fears, parents should say that with
coming of the dark nothing changes in a room, objects remain as they are, there
are no monsters around. You can walk around a room with a child, exploring
objects in the dark and naming them (here is your bed, toys etc.) and saying
that he has nothing to be afraid of. A child is in the stage of experiencing
the world, he`s learning to trust his conception about it, he needs you to
support him as never before.
 
4. Allow a child coping with his fears by himself
When these or that fears appear in a child, he starts telling about them
all the time, asking questions, can include his fears in various games, asking
parents to tell terrifying stories, connected, for example, with darkness. All
this can continue for weeks. Parents start worrying that children torment
themselves with fears so much. In fact, children are trying to struggle with
their fears this way, playing them through. If you see a child cannot cope with
his own fears by himself for several weeks already, tell him about other
strategies of struggle with fears.
 
5. Help a child developing skills of struggle with fear
Experience of overcoming own fears will help a child to solve problems,
not escape them. Adults can teach children investigating their own fears,
analyzing them, not to be afraid of facing these fears and developing
strategies, which can help a child feeling he`s in safety. Investigation means
receiving of information from other people, learning space (for example, his
own room) to find out what fears him. So, if a child is afraid of darkness, he
needs to learn getting used to it, you can do it with the help of a game (for
example, playing hide-and-seek in dark places of a house), a table lamp, which
can be turned on in a child`s room, when parents turn out general light. A
child can sleep with a favorite toy, this way he feels safe. 



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