Night time terrors. The BoogeyMan. The doll eyes following your every movement. The haunted house, the dark, the monsters.
Being afraid goes hand in hand with being little. Take being afraid of the dark, for example. I have six kids, so it seems like we've been sleeping with night lights on in our house since Moses was a baby - in fact, I'm not sure I could even sleep in complete darkness any more - although it sure would be super nice to try, wouldn't it?
My kids, like most kids, have been afraid of the dark. They've also been afraid of other, more random things. Clowns, for instance. That apple doesn't fall far from the tree, though - both my husband and I don't like clowns. For me, it goes back to a long ago, late night reading by flashlight of a better-left-unnamed Stephen King book.One of my children reports that she pulled her Barbie DreamHouse in front of her closet every night - for several years - because of the movie Monsters, Inc. No matter what I say, do or show - it seems like there's nothing you can do to get rid of the childhood fears.
One of my friends bought a lightly scented room spray with a pump. She removed the label and created a duplicate, with the words "Monster Spray". She spritzed the room every night before her child went to bed, and told him that the lavender scent kept monsters away. Another friend allowed her child to sleep with a flashlight. The cost of batteries twice a month was a small one that ensured her son would sleep.
Ask your child why he's afraid of something. Chances are, he won't be able to tell you exactly why - and maybe you can reassure him and help him get over it. Don't ever try to minimize your child's fears. No matter how trivial or banal, to your child those fears are as big as the Empire State building.
How do you help your child manage his or her fears? How do you keep those fears from overwhelming your child, keep them from becoming much more than simple, childish concerns?
by natesmom1228October 24, 2012 at 9:19 AM
My son hates heights. I don't keep bringing it up and making it a bigger deal then it is.
by Rushn311October 24, 2012 at 9:45 AM
We try to not make a big deal out of nothing like thunderstorms etc. My kids sleep right through it. I know others whose kids are freaked out because I think their mom is like that. You aren't supposed to put your own fears on to your own kids.
October 24, 2012 at 10:27 AMMy dd doesn't seem to be afraid of anything.
by slw123October 24, 2012 at 10:32 AM
We just reassure the kids that we wouldn't let anything happen to them. We have also told them that when the pest control guy comes in to spray for bugs, he's also spraying for monsters, lol.
I think facing a fear together is the best way to overcome it. My oldest used to have a fear of heights and the summer before she entered high school she decided to face that fear head on. She went parasailing and was very nervous so we all helped to assure her and comfort up to the time she took off. She was very scared but had a great time doing it and loved the feeling of conquering her fear.
by goddess99October 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM
My dd is afraid of the dark so she has a night light.
by SisteractOctober 24, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Mattress on our bedroom floor- all were welcome at any time-