Help Your Child Defeat Bedtime Monsters

parenting, child nightmares, bedtime monsters

 

Is your child afraid of the dark or they have bad dreams?  The scary monsters are real for children.  They hear noises, see shadows on the wall, hear the wind blowing or their imaginations get the best of them and they become frightened.  I used to watch my grandson constantly look at the front door when I’m visiting my daughter, especially when it got dark.  They have a window on one side of the front door so you can see onto the front porch. I could see that he was scared when he looked over.  My grandson is no longer afraid, but my daughter is afraid now.

Both were afraid of the dark in my home and in theirs. They also liked for me to lie down with them until they fall asleep.  Of course I was happy to accommodate my little darlings, but as parents we can’t always do that.  We need every free hour to finish or to do list or just to relax from the  day for a few minutes before we head off to bed.  My goal was to make sure they were able to go to sleep without being afraid before they started school. I believe it is important that children sleep in their own beds and  have a designated bed time during the school year.  If you have the same believe, here’s a plan to help you reach this goal:

1. Use Night Lights – Using night lights takes away the fear of the dark.

2.  Read Bedtime Stories – Reading or telling a story relaxes children and takes their mind off their fear.

3.  Tuck Them In – It’s important that kids feel safe and secure. Put them under the blankets, give them their favorite stuffed animal or night time toy, tell them you love them and whatever else you do to make them feel safe.

4. Take Their Fears Seriously – Don’t tell children that they are being silly or laugh at them.  Fear for all ages is real.

5. Calm and Reassure – Hug them and make them feel safe.  Discuss the wind, shadows or whatever is bothering them and let them know that other children are afraid too.  Tell them that it’s a shadow and explain shadows. Explain how the wind blows and moves tree branches etc. They need to learn what’s happening so they can think about your conversation when things are happening, and that they are not alone .

6.  Monsters Are Temporary – Your child will out grow their fear of monsters, the dark, the wind and anything else that frightens.  My grandchildren stopped being afraid at the age of 5. We still use nightlights.  Big kids still need to be able to see at night. They go upstairs alone at night now. They just turn on the lights and head up. We still haven’t talked them into turning them off when they come back down, but at least they’ve conquered their fear.

How did you help your child get over their fear?  Please leave us a comment, readers may want to use your technique.

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