The dark of night creeps into the room from the window. As the bright playful room is overcome by the shadows, your child begins to cry. This has become the nightly ritual in your home.
What is a parent to do in this situation? Your son or daughter is suffering from nyctophobia. Nyctophobia is the fear of the dark of night. This is something that several children and families deal with every single night.
How can you help? Let your child know that his or her fear is legitimate. Tell your child that being scared of the dark is very normal. Avoid teasing the child about their fear. Playful teasing and joking may be seen as ridicule in the eyes of the youngster.
In the evening, before it becomes dark, begin explaining about light and shadows. Make shadows fun. Let the child see how the shadow can be short or tall depending on the light source. Making shadow puppets on the wall or ceiling using a flashlight is a terrific way to ease the tension.
Be honest with your son or daughter about fear. Explain to him or her that everyone is afraid of something. Your little one may be surprised to know that even Mommy and Daddy get scared sometimes. Share with your son or daughter one of your fears.
Perhaps Mommy is scared of spiders. Her arachnophobia takes over even though she is an adult. Daddy may be terrified of shots and needles. I am sure this is something a child can relate to.
Sometimes logic just won’t work. You can explain and discuss the fear, but as many of us know, if a fear is strong enough the problem will still be frightening.
Give your son or daughter a familiar stuffed animal to snuggle up with at night. Also, reassure your child that everything will be fine. Remind him or her that you are right down the hall.
Shed some light on the subject. Arm your youngster with a flashlight of his or her own. A nightlight can be very helpful. With the numerous nightlights available, you are sure to find one that will suit your child. He or she can choose one that coordinates with their room. Maybe you will find one in their favorite color. Whether this tiny light is Batman or a lady bug, a little light in a child’s room often improves the situation.
Some kids feel that a nightlight makes them seem younger than they are. In such instances, think about trying a lava lamp. This option may seem more grown up in nature, but still will add light to the room.
A dimmer switch is another option. Install one of these in your child’s room. This way the child can control the amount of light in the room during the night.
For those middle of the night trips to the bathroom, buy a value pack of Stick N Click lights. These are available online at:
These four lights can be installed with no tools at all. One light will run for up to 100 hours. They run off of four AA batteries. These white LED lights can also be found at Target stores. The value pack of four costs about $20.
Products like Stick n Click lights are perfect for those dark hallways. Put one in the bathroom or down the stairwell to the kitchen. These lights can be placed at just the right height for little ones to use.
Fear of the dark is a completely normal part of growing up. Do what you can to help your child face his or her fear. Keep lines of communication open. When your child feels comfortable enough to discuss their fears with you, this is a sign of a positive relationship. Make the dark fun and less threatening with a flashlight or nightlight. Soon, you and your child will be feeling better about this situation.