Fear of darkness: how to reassure her child?: In the evening, it is always the same story; your child uses all possible subterfuges to delay the moment when he will find himself alone, in the dark, to fall asleep. Why are children afraid of the dark, how to help them? Patricia Chalon, psychotherapist, and early childhood specialist gives us her advice …
The phobia of black in children
“If the black hatred is shared by many children, the fear of being awakened by a” Mom, Dad, I am afraid of the dark, I can sleep with you? “Is a lot of several parents, “Says Patricia Chalon. The child is afraid of the dark because he is alone in his room, without his primary references: his parents. “The fear of the child’s blackness refers to solitude, to the separation of those we love and not to the fear of obscurity properly speaking,” explains the psychologist first. When a child is in his parents’ room, in his bed, and the dark, he is no longer afraid. The phobia of black in the child would hide something else. Explanations.
The parents, since the birth of their child, have only one wish: that he should sleep all night peacefully, and that they should do the same! “The fear of black refers to that of loneliness. How does the child feel about the parent? If he believes that his mother is herself worried or anxious when she says goodnight to him, he will not cease to think that staying alone in the evening in the dark is not so good “, Says Patricia Chalon. Parents who fear the evening separation, for various reasons, make their toddler feel their stress at bedtime. Very often, they come back one, two or three times in a row to check if their child is sleeping well, and as a result, they send an “anguishing” message to the child. ” The child needs some stability. If a toddler claims his parents several times in the evening, it is because he wants more time with them, “says the psychotherapist.
Need to spend time with parents
“The child who has not had his account of time spent with his parents will claim them at bedtime. Cuddles, evening stories, kisses, nightmares … everything is a pretext to bring one of the parents to his bedside. Moreover, he will tell them, at that moment, that he is afraid of the black, to retain them, “adds the specialist. She recommends parents to consider the child’s requests and anticipate before bedtime. “Parents need to focus on quality. To be near him, to tell him a story, and especially not to stay near the child their phone in hand, “also specifies the psychologist. Fear is an emotion that makes us grow. The child forges his experience on his fears; he will learn how to manage it,
Putting words on fears
“The child must learn to fall asleep alone. This is part of its autonomy. When he expresses his fear of darkness, the parent must not hesitate to answer him, talk with him, whatever his age, “the psychologist insists. The more time there has been an exchange before sleep or on waking, what happened in the evening, the more reassuring the child. The fear of black is “normal” in early childhood. The psychologist also advises having children draw, especially if they evoke monsters seen in the dark. “Once the child has brought the terrible monsters that populate his nights, We crush the paper by insisting on “to break” these horrible characters and we explain that we will put all this in the worst place that is, to destroy them, that is to say, the trash! “Says Patricia Chalon. “Parents must value their child at every stage of development. When he talks about his fears, the parent can ask him what exactly frightens him. Then, the child is requested to choose a solution that will reassure him, such as putting a pilot light, leaving the door open, lighting the corridor … “, details the psychologist. For her, if it is the child who decides the best solution to no longer be afraid, then he will take over from his fear,