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My toddler is scared of the dark

How to Tackle Fears at Bedtime

Being fearful of things is super common in the toddler and preschool years. Fears can start from anywhere and it is also the age that kids start to experience night terrors and night mares.

Common childhood fears include fear of the dark, strange noises,  “monsters,”  or any one of a million other things your child can come up with!  I saw an instagram post of a toddler with bed time fears of brocolli!

At night it’s usually fear of the dark, monsters, being alone or shadows that tend to show up at bedtime.

So, what do you do to help tackle these fears.

  1. Respect the fear- Take the fear seriously. Ask questions about it. What exactly is scary? Where did they hear about it? If it’s something in the room, lay in their bed and look from their perspective. You want to make your child feel heard.

  2. Problem-solve together - If it’s a shadow, can you shift some things around in the room to change it? If it’s too dark under the bed, can you put some glow-in-the-dark bracelets under there to provide some light? If it’s the smoke detector blinking, can you cover it with a piece of electrical tape? If it’s a scary closet, can you check it together before bedtime? Working together helps your child feel empowered which helps to build up that self-reliance.

  3. Find bedtime books - Bedtime books can be a great way to reduce fears or just put a silly spin on them to ease tension. 

  4. Call upon fairies- Calling upon fairies as children go to sleep at night is a psychologist endorsed method to help ease worries. Switch on your Little Belle nightlight as you tuck your child into bed, or place your fairy house wishing box near their bed. Make a magic call out to the fairies to come and give them good dreams and watch over them during the night. Let them know if they wake in the night that fairies will be nearby.

Let your child know you think they can tackle their fears, even if they aren’t so sure yet. Your confidence will be contagious. And your consistency is what will get them over it quickly.

Remember, teaching your child how to manage their fears is going to help them develop the self-confidence and independence that you want them to have as they grow up.

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