While he usually falls asleep without problems, your child refuses to go to bed at night because he is afraid of the dark. How to react and help him overcome this normal stage of his development? Mamahood talks about this universal anxiety.
Avoid total obscurity
Children are afraid of the dark, so do not leave them in total obscurity! Simple measures will help him overcome the fear of the dark: a night light, the door half-opened and a protective teddy bear are generally sufficient.
Listening and sharing
Then, it is essential to take his fear seriously because this is very real for him. Your toddler will feel heard and supported if you explain to him that you are going to find a solution together. Without evoking your own phobia of the black, tell him that you too, at his age, you had a fear that you finally managed to surmount.
Identify why is he afraid of the dark
The next step is to try to identify the source of the problem. Whether with words or drawings, ask him to tell you what he imagines; it will be very useful to know how these terrors are triggered. For example, if he evokes his fear of seeing monsters, make a habit of going around the room with him to check that the way is clear.
Avoid doing this several times each evening, because you would then give him reason to be afraid. And, if you feel ready to hear him, make him understand that witches do not exist, or that it is impossible for a thief to enter the house.
Read him a positive story before sleeping
Kids love to read stories before sleeping. But there’s no question of telling him stories of monsters and witches unless it’s a book in which the child manages to overcome his fears. Otherwise, choose a rather happy and positive tale to focus on something else. You can also sing him a lullaby before telling him good night.
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