With the school routine, my daughter falls off to sleep the moment she hits the bed. But when school is closed the whole routine is changed. She is up till late at night, watches T.V. and plays a lot with friends.
It was one such time, when I noticed her talking and inquiring about ghosts. One night I saw her running and coming to us quickly from a dark room. When I asked, "What happened? Why are you running?" she was a bit embarrassed and said - "Nothing". But as parents we knew, that she was thinking and talking of ghosts and was afraid of darkness.
Next morning by the time she woke up, the Sun had become very bright. I asked her teasingly, "Do the ghosts visit in the morning also when there is bright Sunlight?" She gave a sheepish grin and said, "No! They come only at night time." She is big enough to understand the humor.
But come night, and it's again the same story.
Why do children feel scared of darkness?
Most of the children feel scared of darkness. We also did so as a child. It is mainly so because the little brains have just started exploring and are not sure of all the things that exist in the world. Visualizing things in the dark is also a sign of cognitive development and increase in the imagination power. When children can't see in the dark, they start imagining.
How to alleviate the fear of darkness?
A comforter soothes a child. It can be a blanket or a soft toy which is your child's favorite. Tell him that the soft toy is there to guard him against anything. Gentle, beautiful stories of lovely flowers and butterflies and fairies and kings and queens is also comforting them and puts them to sleep. Click on the link http://bit.ly/Appy_BedtimeStories to watch soothing bedtime stories with your child.
Show to the child by switching on the lights that there is nothing under the bed or in the room. Put a soft night light in the room, so that the child can see. This light may be switched off when the child has slept.
Magic Spray - Take a spray bottle with plain water and a few drops of lavender (or any other sweet fragrance). Spray it in the room and tell the child that it is a magic spray that scares away any scary creatures. The child can smell, so he is convinced that it is working.
A magic thread works on the same lines. It can be laid around the child on the bed. Tell him the moment any ghost crosses it, it will disappear.
Talk about your own childhood, how you were scared. Teach him some prayers that you chanted as a child and tell him how God protected you throughout the night.
Humor helps in allaying the fears
Ask details about any ghost that the child is visualizing. Attach a fun element to the questions. Like, ask if the ghost was wearing glasses? Was he wearing any clothes? Was he fat and short? How was the tummy? Did he have any legs? Was he green, purple or blue? Child's imagination will be diverted in searching for details and the fears will take a back seat.
Different strategies will work on different children. So be patient and listen to your child. Do not make fun of your child's fears in any way. Do not pressurize a boy by saying, ‘Boys are not scared of anything.' Take them seriously. There might be something or someone that is really disturbing for the young child. Try and figure out carefully from what he speaks. He will confide in you only when he has developed trust in you. See through your child's eyes.
Click on the link http://bit.ly/Appy_BedtimeStories to watch soothing bedtime stories with your child.
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