Why is my child afraid of the dark and how can I help him?
Although the exact causes that generate fear in our little ones are not known, it is clear that fear is only a reaction of the organism that alerts when there are situations that are believed to be dangerous. The experts call fear as an evolutionary fear that is part of the different stages of the child during her development.
One of the most common fears in childhood is fear of the dark, this usually appears from 3 years of age and can remain until 9 years and although it is considered normal, it is necessary to handle it with great caution so that This fear can be adequately overcome.
Within the childhood stage those imaginary processes that are based on what they hear, see and experience through play are included. Those tales, fables and stories told assume them to be real, the children while they play, imagine being with someone or that they are living some story created by themselves.
These types of spaces have a great influence on behavior and beliefs that are usually reflected also in the fear that something bad may happen, such as a monster coming out of the closet or under the bed, which makes it common for people to be at night the child wants to go to the parents' bed or has problems falling asleep.
This situation often motivates parents to be overprotective of not knowing what to do and to be permissive in the face of what the child asks all the time.
How can I help my child overcome fear of the dark?
Playing: The game will always be the best option for them. You can do fun activities that help take away their fear of the dark. For example, games that involve blindfolding the child, such as putting the tail on the donkey, playing blindfold among others. Also games where you can make shadows with your hands or recognize objects with your eyes closed by touch, this will gradually allow you to overcome your fear of the dark, understanding that being without light can also be a lot of fun.
Leaving a light on in the room when sleeping: This can be useful so that the child can fall asleep peacefully, but keep in mind that this light should be dim and should not be close to the child's bed so that it does not affect her sleep .
Have routines before sleeping: Carry out routines every day that allow the child to understand that sleeping is linked to a set of previous actions that are part of being able to fall asleep. You can start with a bath, a massage, a cup of milk or a bottle, read a story to him, turn off the light and go to sleep.
Teach him that the house is safe: If you see that the child has a certain fear for some places in the house when it is dark, during the day do some play or cleaning activity where you can involve the child, this will provide greater security in those spaces And if you also make games in those places, it will be perfect because it will associate them with positive experiences.