Some kids go through childhood not fearing the “monster” under their beds or in their closets, while others develop a crippling fear of the dark. If your child belongs to the latter group, use the following tips to quell nighttime fears so you little ‘un sleeps soundly every night.
Determine the Cause
Determine the cause of your child’s fear first. Are shadows in the child’s room freaking him or her out? Flashing lights from passing cars? Random noises because you live in an old house? Rather than trying to explain that fears are unfounded, take steps to rectify them. Children will not understand they their fears are “irrational,” rather they simply want them to go away. Noise-proof the room, take down wall décor that causes shadows, and do “monster checks” every night before bedtime. These and similar tactics are the best ways to deal with your child’s fears.
Avoid Scary Movies
Avoid showing scary movies to your child at any point, particularly before bedtime. “Energizing” movies such as action movies should also be avoided, as they will keep your child awake rather than helping him or her feel relaxed. Even Disney movies have downright scary scenes, so pay close attention to what your child is watching at all times.
Create a Calming Bedtime Routine
Help your child settle in for the night with a calming bedtime routine. It can involve baths, story time, lullabies, and anything else that promotes sleepiness. Such routines help calm down active imaginations.
Use a Nightlight
Install a night light instead of keeping your child’s room pitch-black. Night lights make bedrooms much less scarier than ones that are completely and utterly dark. Let your child know the night light is a guardian against monsters and other fears.