Those of us who have children know how heartbreaking and frustrating it can be when our children suddenly develop a fear of the dark. Most of the time, the fear comes on suddenly with no explanation and is likely a part of growing up. However, when you see your child in tears and throwing a tantrum because they are afraid to go to bed, it can be challenging to figure out just what to do.
Read them a bedtime story- most children just want to know that their parents are going to be around after they are in their room and settled in for the night. Establish a nighttime routine where you have story time, while your child or children are in their beds. Whether you read one story or two stories, make it a point to say that after the story is bedtime. Sometimes, the simple act of you reading to your children is enough to ease their fears.
Choose a bedtime buddy for your child to snuggle with- use this snuggle buddy and let them know that the sole task of their buddy is to chase away all bad dreams and ease their fears. Knowing that they have a buddy looking out for them while they are sleeping is a great way to calm your child down when nothing else will. Children have very active imaginations and it only takes a little bit of feeding into their imaginations to establish a fear block.
Fill a bottle of water and label it “Monster Spray”- whether it comes from cartoons or a scary movie, every child at one time or another is going to be afraid of monsters hiding in their closets or under their bed. Take a bottle of water – it won't damage anything – and label it monster spray. For additional selling purposes, put a single drop of food coloring in – enough that it will not stain your child's room and surroundings. Spray it in the closet and around the perimeter of the room just before your child goes to bed. You will be amazed at how handy water becomes in this situation.
Put a night light in their room or in the hallway- sometimes submerging children completely in the dark is not the wisest idea, especially if they are already afraid. Choose a night light that is designed to be motion activated or turned on when it gets dark in the room. A motion activated LED light will work wonders. This will help ease your child's fears if nothing else does.
It is never a good idea to lose your patience with your child, although it can be challenging to say the least. Try some of these tactics when all other measures fail and hopefully, your child will be going to bed with no problems at all.
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