Almost all young children have fears of the dark and experience nighttime fears, and if this prevents your child from sleeping through the night, you can follow the next tips to help reduce your child’s bedtime fears so that he or she can sleep better.
First, you need to understand your child’s fears, try to know what makes your kid feel scared at bedtime, and remember that young children find difficulty to tell the difference between what is imaginary and what is real, and never make fun of his/ her fears no matter how silly they seem.
Once you understand your child’s fears, it is important not to support those fears by acting like you believe in the imagined monsters because this way your attempts to comfort your child actually enhance his/ her belief in monsters.
It can be helpful to give your child a safety object to feel more relaxed at bedtime such as a toy or a stuffed animal. You can create a sense of comfort and soothe your kid’s fear by leaving his/ her door open at bedtime so that your child does not feel separated from his/ her parents.
It would be a great option to have a fish tank in your kid’s room as a pet for companionship so as to help provide security at bedtime. Do not allow your child to be exposed to scary storybooks or TV shows.
If your child has a difficulty separating from you and calls out for fear, try to reassure him/ her by saying “we are near you next door to make sure that nothing bothers you so that you can sleep safely all night”. Sharing the bedroom with an older sibling can help significantly as long as they do not interfere with each other’s sleep.