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How to help your Child Overcome Irrational fears of Darkness?

08 May 2016


Fear in toddlers is considered a common thing.

But it turns into a disorder when kids develop irrational fear  of darkness leading to severe fear of presence of ghosts & monsters. If this irrational fear continues, it may ingrain anxiety in the child and make independent functioning difficult as well as increase night time wetting or sleeplessness at night.


Following three factors contribute to Nyctphobia: 

·Imagination: With growing age grows their imagination. They can imagine new vivid things, and more scary or fearful things too. This can further increase their fear. 

· Difficulty in discrimination:  child does have difficulty in discriminating between many things so do they have difficulty in discriminating their fantasy world from real world. This act as maintaining factor for some time.

· Developmental factor: fear of darkness, monsters (in form of dinosaurs, big animals) can begin early in their life and go on until late childhood and for some it may get severe which can be observed even in their adolescence years as well as early adult life. They may develop fear of bad people. At the same time we need tobe cautious  for the fearful behavior should not be overwhelming.  

Other common factors we tend to ignore

· Television: is one of the common factors which might affect child a lot. Even the loud sound can be very debilitating for a child, which seems to be OK for US. Watching scary or horror movie CAN really impact a child negatively so DO NOT make them watch horror movies or scary serials!

· Books: Story books which display any kind of fear invoking characterisation might make your child fearful. 

· Wrong Messages: we parents casually use phrases to make our children behave properly or obey us. Example would be like “Don’t you dare misbehave; if you do then rag picker will come and take you away”.

What can we do as a parent?

· Communicate: talk to your child about what is making them scared and fearful. Make them comfortable and tell you are with them and will work out on their problem.

· Understand: try and understand their point, don’t judge them. Listen to them carefully without intruding in between and display empathy.

· Avoid: the biggest mistake we do is we make comment on their fearful behavior and call it wired we might end up saying; “there is nothing to fear about, you are just playing silly.” Don’t laugh off on their behavior. Rather put yourself in their situation and try and understand why they are being so fearful and work towards how you can help them.

·Bedtime: try and make an hour before their sleeping time very light and joyful for them. This will make them to sleep with good positive thoughts.

·Discourage & Screen:  Block your child from watching horror or violent movies and reading such books. This can turn into nightmares late during night.

Rather encourage them to read and watch good and healthy books and movies.

When to consult a child psychologist at

· When your child's anxiety and fear is too severe.

· If your child cries often.

·When you think you are unable to help them.

·When you are unable to understand why they are behaving in such a way.

. When independent actions like going to toilet alone in night or getting water from kitchen alone are difficult for your child

Do not hesitate take a step forward towards better psychological and emotional well being. As mild level of fear can nip into increased level of fearfulness and might lead to development of phobia. We here at provide help 24*7 to you and your child to overcome such issues. 

Just Click the pink chat button and Type "Child Fear" to instantly connect with a child psychologist and know more about online child counseling and charges. 

Or Call +919069145293 and Dial 1 to instantly connect on call with a child psychologist and know more about online child counseling and charges. 

Tags: #child #fear #disorder #management