How To Overcome Your Child’s Fear of the Dark

How To Overcome Your Child’s Fear of the Dark

Every child is unique, and every child has fears that can creep into their brain. While some may fear clowns, spiders or imaginary monsters under the bed, one of the most common fears among little ones is a fear of the dark. If your child is afraid of the dark and gets startled with noises in the night, it can do more than make your child uncomfortable. Fear of the dark can make it very difficult for any child to get the quality sleep that they need every night.

This is why we have created a comprehensive list of some of the best tips for helping your child get over their fear of the dark.

  1. Limit Their Television/iPAD/ Screen Intake- The things that kids see and hear on TV are much more stimulating to the brain than many parents realize. Television can expose kids to things that may not be scary for an adult but can be very terrifying to a child and enhance their fear of the dark. Even if you don’t think your child can really “understand” what they’re seeing it may be scary to them.
  2. Be Understanding- Fear is a completely normal part of life. Just because one child has a fear of the dark, and their parents or other siblings don’t understand that fear, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t a reasonable thing to be scared of. Do your best to be as understanding as possible. Be respectful and show that you understand without playing into the fear of the dark.
  3. Empower Your Child- The best way to help your child get over their fear of the dark is to help them feel like they have the power to fight back against their fear. Arm your child with comfort items and things like night lights and flashlights that help them tackle the fear of the dark on their own. It is OK to check on your child, but let them dictate when they want a parent to come in and check on them.
  4. Be Calm- It can be difficult to stay calm with children who are afraid of the dark, especially when that fear of the dark interrupts your sleep. However, it is best for your child if you can stay as calm as possible and don’t make the fear worse. Your child should understand that being afraid is normal and that you as a parent are offering security and protection from that fear.
  5. Don’t Let Your Child Crawl In Bed With You (If your family does not co-sleep)- It can be tempting to let your child sleep with you if they are experiencing an ongoing fear of the dark. You need to have boundaries for yourself and your child and to make sure you are helping your child have the tools they need to cope with their fear.

Here at Continuum Pediatrics, we can help you with all of your child-related questions including common challenges such as getting over your fear of the dark. To make an appointment call us at 817-617-8600 today. We are more than happy to help you with techniques that can help your child get over their fear of the dark, or any other issues that may be impacting their quality of sleep and quality of life.