Tip Tuesday: Afraid of the Dark Angst (post 1/5)

Posted on December 1st, 2015

Being Scared of the Dark

Written by Sarah Hively, MA, BCBA, Exectutive Director of ABS Behavioral Services

It's very common for kiddos between the ages of 2-8 to have bedtime fears- the dark, monsters under the bed, and sleeping alone.  The reason for this is due to the fact that their imagination and pretend play skills are emerging at this age and can sometimes be difficult for them to discriminate between reality and fantasy.  If you find your child has begun to fear the dark or sleeping alone, here are some things to try:

Listen

Try to identify exactly what your child is fearful of during the night or bedtime. Ask open ended questions that allow your child to think and then tell you what they are afraid of during bedtime.  By doing this you can begin to pinpoint exactly what they are scared of and then try to address the certain aspects of the bedtime experience.

Acknowledge Your Child's Feelings

By acknowledging or being empathetic with your child's fears, it lets your child know it is safe to communicate with you because you are listening to them without judgement. 

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