Fear of darkness in children | What are the symptoms?
Fear of the dark is one of the most common problems in children’s lives. The talisman given by the dark evokes a sense of fear in some children. We can even say that this fear also occurs in adults. Seasonally, the lengthening of night hours in winter means more time is spent in the dark environment. Therefore, during the winter months, children have more to deal with the problem of “fear of the dark.”
Diagnosis of fear of the dark in children
Fear of the dark turns child psychology upside down. However, researchers argue that parental attitudes are an important factor in children’s fear of reaching further dimensions. Some children even stay up all night from fear.
Experts draw attention to the onset of fears, especially after the age of 2 years. Fear of the dark is one of the naturally occurring problems. In these times, families have great responsibilities. If families do not show the necessary sensitivity to this problem, the problem will grow. However, if they are sensitive to this problem and fulfill their duties to the letter, very successful results will be achieved.
What is fear of the dark in children?
Fear of the dark in children is a state of intense fear or anxiety that is felt in low-light environments. It usually happens in the evening, when it’s time to sleep or when the light in the room is turned off.
Fear of the dark in children is quite common and many children have experienced this fear at least once. However, for some children, this fear can become intense and negatively impact their lives.
Fear of the dark in children usually begins in children between the ages of 2-4 years and then usually continues until the age of 6-8 years. This fear is part of the developmental process of children and is associated with changes in the child’s imagination and thought processes.
Children can perceive shadows or reflections in the dark as monsters, ghosts or other frightening things. Children may also worry about being alone at bedtime or being in a situation where they can’t defend themselves.
One of the main reasons for fear of the dark is the development of the child’s imagination and understanding the difference between reality and fantasy. In this process, children may find it difficult to distinguish between reality and fantasy, which can cause a sense of anxiety.
Fear of the dark in children usually goes away on its own, but in some children this fear can become more permanent. In this situation, it is important for parents to support their children and understand their fears. There are several strategies and techniques for dealing with fear of the dark, and many of these methods can help a child relax and reduce their anxiety.
Symptoms of fear of the dark in children
Of course, fear of the dark in children is a fairly common form of fear. Children’s fear of imaginary figures such as monsters, ghosts or strangers often arises in the dark. This fear can affect children’s sleeping patterns and thereby negatively affect children’s daily lives.
Symptoms of fear of the dark in children can be observed in the behavior and feelings of the child. Here are the signs of fear of the dark in children:
Changes in sleep patterns
Children’s sleep patterns can be disrupted because they are afraid of sleeping in the dark. They may wake up frequently during sleep, have trouble getting back to sleep, or have nightmares.
nausea or headache
Children may have trouble sleeping because they are afraid of sleeping in the dark. This, in turn, can cause symptoms such as nausea, headaches, or other physical ailments.
involuntary shaking or crying
Children with a fear of the dark may involuntarily shake or cry when they wake up in the middle of the night. This can further disrupt children’s sleep and affect their sleep patterns.
When children are afraid of the dark, they may show physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, faster breathing, and start to sweat.
inability to be alone
Children with a fear of the dark may also fear being alone. That’s why they can have panic attacks if they have to be home alone.
How to overcome fear of the dark in children?
Fear of the dark in children is quite common and many children have experienced this fear at least once. However, for some children, this fear can become intense and negatively impact their lives. So, what can be done to overcome the fear of the dark in children?
To talk with
It is important to explain to children that the fear of the dark is natural and that many children experience this fear. It is also important to allow children to express and understand their fears openly.
Source of light
Fear of the dark in children usually develops before going to sleep. Therefore, placing a nightlight or other light source in their room before bed can help children feel more secure.
Children’s imaginations can cause them to produce frightening scenarios about their fear of the dark. Therefore, playing with children in the dark can help them gradually overcome their fears.
It is important that children feel safe and overcome their fear of the dark. Therefore, taking safety precautions with children can help them feel safe. For example, keeping the windows and doors closed in the nursery can make them feel safer.
If children’s fear of the dark becomes too intense and negatively affects their lives, therapy may be considered. Many therapists can offer specific techniques and strategies to help children overcome their fear of the dark.
Approach to children who are afraid of the dark
Children who are afraid of the dark need to give their parents the confidence that ‘we are here’. Only in this way can children be protected from the bad consequences of this fear. Being indifferent or overreacting to children’s fear of the dark can take a toll on your child’s mental health. The family should be patient and careful in this process. It can take a while for a child to overcome their fear of the dark. It should be known that this fear must be approached gradually and carefully. This is the only way children can overcome their fear of the dark.
Why do children have a fear of the dark?
The fear of the dark in children can arise from children’s imagination and the insecurities that arise in the dark. In addition, stress, anxiety, trauma or other emotional issues experienced by children can also trigger a fear of the dark.
Until what age is fear of the dark normal in children?
Fear of the dark in children is generally considered normal until the age of 7-8 years. However, in some children, the fear of the dark may last longer and be more intense.
How does fear of the dark affect children’s sleep patterns?
Fear of the dark in children can negatively affect children’s sleep patterns. Because children do not want to sleep in the dark, sleep times may be delayed or sleep quality may decrease.
How to overcome the fear of the dark in children?
Children’s fear of the dark is edible. Children can be helped to overcome their fear of the dark through methods such as talking, light sources, play, safety measures and therapy.
What is the role of parents in treating children’s fear of the dark?
It is important for parents to support their children in overcoming their fear of the dark. They can help children overcome their fear of the dark by talking, using light sources, playing games, taking safety precautions and exploring therapy options. It is also important for parents to take seriously, understand and support their children’s fears.