The fear of monsters and ghosts gradually fades as the child grows up
Did your child complain that he was afraid of the dark and monsters at bedtime, or did he wake up at night and refuse to be alone in his room? Do not worry, it is common all over the world and it is not only limited to children, teenagers – but also adults – may suffer from it even if they realize that it is not true.
In fact, there is no ghost hiding under the bed, and the only one who really saw monsters in her wardrobe was little Beau from Disney’s Monsters, Inc. There are many reasons why our children worry about ghosts in their imagination, and we can help them overcome these fears in simple ways.
fear of the night
In 2015, the International Journal of Physiological Psychology published a study stating that children’s fear of bedtime is not so much of the dark as of the night itself.
The anxiety that children feel during bedtime also plays a role in feeding their imagination, and their belief that there is a danger.
This danger can be embodied in the form of ghosts for various reasons; Including popular culture, which deals with multiple stories in books, movies and cartoons about creatures that look strange that have supernatural powers and scare people.
The motives for fear differ according to the age of the child and can be divided into 3 age stages:
Children between the ages of 2 and 3 are often afraid of anything unknown, and this can make them cry.
Children between the ages of 3 and 5 have a vivid imagination that nurtures their fears, and they feel threatened by fears created by their imagination as they cannot yet separate the reality from imagination.
at school age
During the school years, fears become more realistic; Like fear of thunderstorms, and some may continue to suffer from anxiety during sleep.
How do you help your child?
As illogical as the fear of ghosts is, it is a true fear that cannot be ignored. Here are some strategies that can help alleviate your child’s fears:
be honest about his feelings
The child’s feelings may seem illogical, but they are real, and to deny it, the child may feel that you are rejecting his feelings, so instead of saying “do not be afraid”, you can say “I know you feel scared “, to assure him that you believe him, and it’s good to feel scared.
Encourage him to express himself by drawing
Encourage your child to express what he sees in his mind by drawing, such as drawing pictures of the monsters he fears, because it gives him another way to express himself more clearly.
Watch with him under the bed
Doing research on the places where the child thinks monsters are hiding helps him to unpack his fears head on.
Before turning off the lights at night, you can ask your child if he wants to look under the bed with you, and use a flashlight to search everywhere, and make sure it is clear.
Match it to the dark
Doing something fun with the child in the dark helps him reduce his fears for him, and that he is not what he imagines him to be.
You can read bedtime stories with a flashlight, or share that they look at the sky and see the stars and the moon and talk about how beautiful they are and that they only appear at night.
Give your child some control
Ask your child what can help him overcome his fears, and whether his solutions are to sleep with his stuffed animals, or to wear superhero pajamas, be prepared to go along with his suggestions if it is within reason.
This feeling gives him some control, calms his fears and helps him solve problems.
See what your child is watching
Pay close attention to what your child watches movies and cartoons, especially those that include violence or anything scary, as this is one of the biggest contributions to nurturing their imagination, especially just before bedtime.
Create a soothing bedtime routine
You can make a bedtime routine a bedtime routine, read soothing stories or cuddle the baby, to calm the baby and increase his sense of security and warmth.
Use stories on how to overcome fear
A 2015 study found that reading stories about overcoming fears of the dark night fears in children decreased.
Beware of this behavior
There are some strategies that can backfire and aggravate your child’s fears. Here are some things to avoid:
- Do not mock himLaughing about your child’s fears can aggravate his crisis and make him feel ashamed, so avoid embarrassing him and downplaying his feelings by saying “do not exaggerate”, or accusing him of is a “little kid”, or waving him off if he’s a boy. for he is “a man and he should not be afraid.” Rather remind him of other things he was afraid of and that he could overcome; To improve his strengths and confidence.
- Do not argue with logic: Children – and also adults – can not reason and reason in an emotional state, so do not waste your energy trying to convince your child when he is afraid that monsters under the bed are irrational, rather show him your sympathy. Remember that many adult fears and phobias are not necessarily based on logic and facts; Like fear of public speaking.
- Do not walk away from itPunishing the child for his fear by moving away from him or isolating him in his room will aggravate his panic, and perhaps words alone will not be enough to calm him down.
In most cases, the fear of monsters and ghosts gradually fades as the child grows up, and this does not mean that the fear of the dark will disappear completely, it is normal for older children to remain somewhat afraid of the dark.