Bedtime apprehension: Fear of the dark, afraid of monsters
All children are afraid of darkness, monsters, thunderstorms …
Childish fears are experiences that grow, provided they are tamed.
Quietly but surely, you can help your child overcome them.
At each age … his fear
Here are some common fears depending on the age of the child:
– 8 months: separation anxiety (fear of strangers, fear of abandonment, etc.).
– 1 year: fear of noise (vacuum cleaner, telephone, mixer, etc.).
– 18 months: afraid of monsters or darkness. Whereas before, he slept the lights off and the door closed, he now asks to keep the door ajar. He realizes that, alone in the dark, he no longer has his bearings and feels in danger.
– From 2 to 4 years: transient fears (big animals especially if there are none at home, storms, clowns, imaginary creatures such as witches, ghosts or robots.) They are sometimes transmitted by the excessive reaction of others facing certain
– From 5 to 12 years old: specific fears (insects, thieves and kidnappers, doctors and dentists, fear of emptiness, accidents). The child may also be afraid of
natural disasters or war, after seeing news footage
disturbing on the television. It is also the age of the first social fears (to be rejected at school, to speak in public, etc.) that are similar to those of adults.
How to react to his nocturnal anxieties?
Learning to face one’s fears is an important step in a child’s development.
Little by little, through his experiences, the child learns to distinguish harmless situations from those that are really dangerous. This can greatly increase his confidence. Therefore, you play a vital role in helping him slowly and gradually to fight and defeat them. Your attitude, as a parent, can make a difference. Here are some ways to guide you:
– Take seriously the fear of your child, without ridiculing or scolding him. Even if it is unreasonable or seems innocuous, the fear is real.
– Strengthen one’s courage. Remind him of situations where he is not afraid or others where he has managed to overcome his fear.
– Decode his signals of fear. Without naming them, your child may show that he is afraid when he is hiding, closing his eyes, and so on.
– Encourage the expression of his emotions so that he learns to name his fears
and talk to him. Words help young children to control their emotions
Focus on … fear of monsters
Often linked to the fear of darkness, to being alone, as well as to the development of one’s imagination, fear of monsters resolves itself by reassuring your child and making him talk about his fear, during the day or before dodo.
When you comfort your child when he is afraid, you help him feel safe. This feeling gives him the courage he needs to finally face and overcome his fears:
– Réassure him, while telling him that it is the fruit of his imagination and that monsters do not exist. You can check once under the bed, with him, but no more. If you do it every time, you give him reason to be afraid.
– Establish a comfort ritual, before bedtime, secures your child: a bath, followed by a story or quiet games, for example.
– The atmosphere of the room is very important : Install a small night light
will provide a soft and soothing light, as sweet soft toys, small relaxing music, smell of mom impregnated on a lange and placed in the bed are
so many reassuring elements for baby
– If he wakes up at night, frightened , it is better to immediately comfort him, listen to him without interrupting him, and then help him to differentiate reality from his imagination.