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Fear of the dark in children

Fear of the dark in children


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The fear It is a protective reaction of the organism to flee from situations that are understood as dangerous. One of the most lived and suffered fears by children, mainly between 3 and 8 years of age, is the fear of the dark. The causes are not known, but everything can be related to one's own knowledge of child development. Fear of the dark can arise after the child has listened to a story, seen a movie, or looked through a book. An image, an experience or simply the imagination, can awaken the fear of the dark in children.

Another reason that can cause fear in children is a change of house. The new room can spark your imagination into the unknown. Fear of the dark usually appears at bedtime. When a child asks his parents not to turn off the light, he may be wanting to extend his day and also wanting not to be afraid of being in the dark.

Children they often associate darkness with loneliness and helplessness. Also, poor vision makes imagination fly and suspect that the darkness hides strangers or monsters under your bed, inside your closet or behind the curtains of your room. A simple noise can represent a new threat, coming from some ghost or other creature of your imagination. In many cases, darkness represents the end of the day, the end of activities and games. When darkness comes, the parents leave and you can no longer read or play or do anything fun. In that case, it is not about fear but rather about concern about what you can no longer do, about impotence.

- When parents identify that your child's refusal is related to the end of activitiesBecause what he wants is to continue playing and be with his parents, there is no other choice but to be firm. It's time to go to bed and kiss goodbye. The child will end up learning that his excuses do not work and will fall asleep.

- In the event that parents value that their child is afraid and is very scared, the situation should not be underestimated. In this case, you should talk to the child, show love and understanding. It is good to pay a little more attention, tell a happy and positive story or talk about the experiences of the day. It will help you distract yourself until you fall asleep. Small lights in wall sockets or dim-lit lamps are a good solution so that the child is not in total darkness and usually give good results. Another alternative is to give the child a doll or stuffed animal that will keep him company or that needs his care, as it will help him feel more wrapped up. To make the child feel more secure, do not close the doors of the rooms or leave any light on such as in a hallway, for example.

Some sleep experts recommend play in the dark during the day, with the bedroom blinds down. In this way, darkness as such is demystified and the child becomes familiar with the absence of light. This activity allows the child to enjoy games such as finger shadows on the wall, searching for hidden things or guessing what he is touching and does not see. Inventing secrets to kill monsters also helps the child master the fear of the dark.

Another suggestion would be to calm the child down before he goes to bed. A quiet story, shower, song, or music can help you relax. Children love massage too. Nothing more favorable and relaxing. Only in the most serious cases, when fear already prevents the child from sleeping the hours necessary for their well-being or when none of the mentioned alternatives work, is the help and guidance of a psychologist recommended.

You can read more articles similar to Fear of the dark in children, in the category of Fears on site.


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