Fear of the dark in a child and the reasons why it happens. The article will provide recommendations to eliminate this phobia with the gentlest ways to solve the current problem. Fear of the dark in children is a condition experienced by many concerned parents. A child’s whims often have a good reason when it comes to severe disturbances in the emotional perception of the world around the child. It is necessary to find the origin of the formation of such mental anxiety, which disturbs the process of “sleep-waking” in children.
Causes of the child’s fear of the dark
A small personality that has not yet formed is most susceptible to developing all kinds of phobias.
The reasons for fear of the dark in children usually arise in the following life situations that arouse them:
- Emotional trauma … Any imbalance that occurs in the general condition of a child or an older child can negatively affect their inner state. At the same time, darkness will be seen as an additional threat because it holds something unknown and frightening for a person that has not yet occurred. In daylight, such children are no different from their peers, but with the last rays of the sun, they turn into beasts of prey.
- Watching horror movies … Not only the contemplation of stories about traffic accidents and terrorism can frighten overly impressionable children. The modern film industry regularly provides unique products for those who want to tickle their nerves. Stories about vampires, werewolves, and other evil spirits have already become familiar to the commoner on the street. When darkness sets in, however, the child ceases to perceive the information it sees as a fun movie, and all kinds of nightmares and horrors appear under cover of the night.
- Family conflicts … If the child’s nervous system is under constant stress, the arrival of darkness begins to give the little man frightening signals. He can’t fall asleep alone in a separate room and asks to sleep with an adult to calm down and at least get a nap.
- Fears that raise adults … How many times have they told the world that under no circumstances should you develop all kinds of phobias in your child? However, broadcasting in a tragic whisper about Babayk and other evil spirits does not leave the lips of zealous parents who consider themselves experts in pedagogy. It is how they extract obedience from their offspring and subsequently breed nervousness.
- Obsessive images … Some children are initially taught that night is a time to be careful. Adults are in no hurry to explain the reason for such an association. Still, an overly emotional child willingly believes the “information” given to him. In addition, some extremely strict dads and mothers punish their fidgets by locking them in a room for quite a while. To further increase the punishment, additionally, turn off the light. Therefore, the system “guilty – dark – scary” starts working in their mind.
- Fear of death … In this case, we are talking about a rather psychologically severe imbalance in children. Individuals who have not yet formed cannot initially give clear explanations for the arrival of a new person in this world and his further departure to another world. As a result, fear of the dark based on voicing the reason is a reason for an urgent appeal to a psychologist because, after the death of family members close to the child, he got a similar phobia.
- Moving from an apartment to a private house … Even for adults, such drastic changes in residence do not just happen. The kid reacts more strongly to the absence of neighbors and moves from “height” to “ground.” And suppose an adventurous child romps around in the garden during the day and enjoys a change, then at night. In that case, he can play with his imagination, climbing through the windows, attacking, etc.
Adults are to blame for most stated causes of fear of the dark. Instead of protecting their offspring from developing all kinds of phobias, they contribute to their development. The child’s psyche is so unstable that it is suitable for all the corrections of the older generation of the family, which very often hurts its descendants.
Risk group for fear of the dark in children
A child of any age can be susceptible to voice phobia because it sometimes comes out of nowhere. However, experts have made a precise age analysis of this problem, which looks like this:
- 1-3 years … With this initial personality development, the child is not yet aware of his fear of the night. When he has passed childhood, he is weaned from his mother’s breast and, in most cases, acquires his apartments. Not every child is ready for such a first step into an independent life because fear of the dark is often accompanied by anger and a desire to sleep in their parent’s bed.
- 4-5 years old … At this age, children are susceptible to changes in their lives. They are already physically and psychologically able to share their fear of the dark with their parents in a form that is accessible to their development. However, not all adults can understand cries for help from their children, which threatens to increase their fear of the dark in the future.
- 5-6 years old … At this stage of development, the child can already project his fears onto clearly formulated danger factors for him. For him, a dark room is no longer an abstract object but a place where fantastic beings survive on information received from outside.
- For the first time in the first grade … This period of children’s development is a time of closer acquaintance of a small person with society. However, this episode sometimes causes the first grader to develop new phobias, as he is provided with a new set of “horror stories” from his new friends.
- 8-10 years old … If the parents were skeptical about their child’s problem, all the warning signs from him, then the fear of the dark becomes the norm for their child. Children with this phobia cannot fall asleep at night unless adults and loved ones are nearby. As a result, everything ends up having to contact a psychologist specializing in this field.
- Adolescence … Experts note a greater fear of the dark in girls than in boys during this period of personality development. Their self-preservation is more triggered, signaling to them the likely danger of any frightening element. Adolescent fear of this kind is a common phenomenon often caused by adults’ inattention to their children’s emotional problems.
Ways to deal with your child’s fear of the dark
If the problem concerns a beloved child, then it is necessary to treat the family disorder that has arisen with the most significant responsibility. In this case, it is best to take expert advice on overcoming your child’s fear of the dark. The most important thing is to prevent the development of a phobia.
Helping Parents Treat Fear of the Dark
Every mom and dad always wants the best for their child so that he becomes a full-fledged person in time. Nyctophobia (fear of the dark) can be eliminated at the initial stage of its development with the help of the following actions on the part of adults.
Who is interested in solving the problem?
- Intimacy … Children, are always ready to communicate with parents who can adequately assess their fears and concerns. A kid under three will always hear a loving word from dad or mom if, at the same time, he doesn’t want to be alone in a dark room. It would help if you told your offspring with complete frankness about the inadequacy of his fears, citing as an example your previous fears from childhood.
- Buying a pet … In some cases, you can afford to have the same kitten when the child has a thoughtfully developed problem with nyctophobia. If your son or daughter is not allergic to animal dander, they will sleep soundly as their new friend cleans and fucks next to them. If such a purchase is impossible, you can get the same aquarium. Only their presence in the child’s room will show that he is not alone and will allow him to fall asleep in a quiet environment.
- Pajama parties … If the children have reached a reasonably conscious age, then from time to time, you can allow them to invite their friends over. It would help if you did not abuse such activities. Still, sometimes they have a very beneficial effect in eliminating the child’s fear of the dark.
- Rearrangement of furniture … Some aspects of a headset in a nursery can make a child depressed. Even in broad daylight, children are uncomfortable with some of the pleasures of adults in making their homes. Parents should optimize their offspring’s resting place as much as possible so that they do not feel like animals driven into a cage when darkness approaches.
- Purchase an interesting new item … Lamps with a peculiar shape are the main enemy of the dark and the phobias it arouses in children. Parents who are seriously worried about the problem of kidney stones in their child should arrange the child’s bedroom with maximum comfort. It is necessary to put only things for relaxation without the slightest reason to frighten the child.
Almost 80% of the success of the planned event depends on the behavior of the parents of children with similar problems. It is only in their interest to do everything possible to rid their beloved child of rather severe pain from nyctophobia.
Psychological Tips for Treating Fear of the Dark in Children
In some cases, even the parents’ attempt is not enough to rid the child of the expressed fear of terror. In this critical situation, psychologists advise using the following ways to deal with the problem that has arisen:
- Play therapy … This technique has quite a large number of its variations. You can play hide and seek if the conversation is about a child fewer than 5. At the same time, experts advise hiding the child’s favorite game features in a dark room. For an older child, you can offer a spy game. Still, the leading development is in a mysterious but rather dark place.
- Reception of “anti-adventure” … Introducing the word “hit a wedge with a wedge” into life will be a somewhat helpful exercise with the proclaimed method of combating nyctophobia. Since childhood, many children have become accustomed to listening to stories about evil monsters and all kinds of fathers because these concepts are abundantly provided by television and the Internet. At the same time, psychologists present a radically opposite technique, where evil will always be defeated by good through a well-presented fairy tale in a new way.
- Drawing with an expert … Children love to express their concerns and experiences on paper. A skilled psychologist can coordinate the faculty’s thoughts in a joint artistic activity. In such everyday leisure, the child and the specialist can find the causes of fear of the dark, which will be a decisive step in the future for the subsequent treatment of the little patient.
When parents ask how to eliminate the fear of the dark in children, psychologists usually give a precise and unequivocal answer. They recommend monitoring the changes in your beloved child’s behavior so as not to reap a careless attitude towards the upbringing of the younger generation in the future.