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Old 03-15-2016, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Miami, FL
9 posts, read 4,299 times
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So my kid is three years old and seemingly overnight he's become afraid of the dark. He's convinced that something lives his closet. I've done some research, both on this site and a few others, and I feel a little more comforted that it seems to be a normal thing.

I've tried searching his room before going to sleep and that hasn't worked much. I downloaded this monster scanning app this morning (https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...byebyemonsters) , which hopefully will help. I can report back here tomorrow with an update on how it worked.

Has anyone here had any success overcoming your kids' fears? Is this something that he simply needs to outgrow or does anyone here have any suggestions of something I can try? If your kid acted the same way, at what age did he or she outgrow it?
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:22 PM
 
660 posts, read 602,050 times
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This brought back memories for me :-) I was afraid of the dark for so many years as a child. According to my mother, it apparently started when i was about 3 years old and I was convinced there was a monster in my closet. My parents would come and do the whole chasing out monsters each night and I would still scream if they left before i fell asleep. It didnt help that I had older brothers who "tormented" me with monster stories at night.. hahahaha.. I ended moving into my sister's room and sharing a room with her for years and if she went away overnight, I would sleep with my parents or brothers. Then when i was about 7 or 8, I cant remember but I ended sleeping on my own in the room because my my sister had gone away to some camp and then when she came back, I announced I was a big girl and wasnt afraid anymore. Honestly I dont think there was anything my parents could have done that they didnt, I just outgrew it in time..

I was so sure one of my kiddos would be like me afraid of the dark but so far nothing.. I sometimes joke that my 4 year old is like a vampire and can see in the dark (he always manages to find mummy and daddy's room at 3am with no lights on :-)

Good luck...
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:29 PM
 
3,153 posts, read 2,848,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythbusters117 View Post
So my kid is three years old and seemingly overnight he's become afraid of the dark. He's convinced that something lives his closet. I've done some research, both on this site and a few others, and I feel a little more comforted that it seems to be a normal thing.

I've tried searching his room before going to sleep and that hasn't worked much. I downloaded this monster scanning app this morning (https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...byebyemonsters) , which hopefully will help. I can report back here tomorrow with an update on how it worked.

Has anyone here had any success overcoming your kids' fears? Is this something that he simply needs to outgrow or does anyone here have any suggestions of something I can try? If your kid acted the same way, at what age did he or she outgrow it?
My kid is 7. Still waiting for him to outgrow it.
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:18 PM
 
300 posts, read 242,709 times
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I think pretending to chase monsters away or scanning for them reinforces the fear because you are saying there might be a monster. I would say "monsters aren't real. There is nothing here that can hurt you." Repeat 100 times.

I'd get a few special night lights and place them around the room. Buy a "flashlight friend" (stuffed animal with a flashlight attached.) Offer to leave the door open with the hall light on.

If your child is truly terrified stay with them until they fall asleep. I know a lot of parents balk at this. But if your child is truly frightened it's the kindest thing to do. Eventually the fear will pass and you can wean them off your company.
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:00 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,860 posts, read 18,883,731 times
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It's a normal phase that they go through. Some of them take a lot longer to get over it than others.

Get a few night lights, you can get some that cast light patterns on the ceiling or walls. My daughter has a turtle stuffed animal that makes a star pattern on the ceiling. She's not scared of the dark anymore but she still uses it.
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:06 PM
 
15,287 posts, read 16,833,735 times
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There are good books to read to your child (they often have friendly monsters instead of scary ones in them).

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone
If I Were Your Monster by Scott Nicholson (ebook only)
No More Monsters for Me by Peggy Parish
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley
Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott
Jeremy Draws a Monster (Jeremy and the Monster) by Peter McCarty
Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin

You can also let him have a night light or a flashlight.
Or get stars on the ceiling.
http://www.amazon.com/4M-5143-Glow--...rk+stars+small
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:45 PM
 
10,090 posts, read 6,492,743 times
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You can validate the fear without agreeing

"Sweetie, I know you are feeling scared. Lots of kids like yourself get afraid of things in the dark at your age. Lets come up with a plan to help you feel more safe"

Lights, cleaning up clutter, soft music, longer more calming bed time routine, etc.

I wouldn't reinforce the fear with monster spray or a scanning app.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:27 PM
 
13,008 posts, read 12,440,016 times
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Complete darkness can be scary - little kids are great at psyching themselves out. I remember thinking when I was little that the morning wasn't going to come or that monsters were waiting for me if I went out into the hall or the world could end or... you get the picture. It's part of growing up, imo.

As others have said, night lights and soft music, not a cell phone app. You just need to take the edge off the loneliness and the suffocating nature of darkness.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:30 PM
 
35,121 posts, read 37,802,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VelouriaPDX View Post
I think pretending to chase monsters away or scanning for them reinforces the fear because you are saying there might be a monster. I would say "monsters aren't real. There is nothing here that can hurt you." Repeat 100 times.

I'd get a few special night lights and place them around the room. Buy a "flashlight friend" (stuffed animal with a flashlight attached.) Offer to leave the door open with the hall light on.

If your child is truly terrified stay with them until they fall asleep. I know a lot of parents balk at this. But if your child is truly frightened it's the kindest thing to do. Eventually the fear will pass and you can wean them off your company.
How is this not reinforcing the notion as well? If you tell a child there are no monsters then give them a flashlight *just in case* you have not made anything better or alleviated their fears.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:03 PM
 
13,008 posts, read 12,440,016 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
How is this not reinforcing the notion as well? If you tell a child there are no monsters then give them a flashlight *just in case* you have not made anything better or alleviated their fears.
I don't see the flashlight as "just in case" - I see it as "this is a tool for you to use that will allow you to cope with the discomfort you feel." Or, you know, so they can go to the bathroom without stepping on a stray lego or tripping over the corner of the nightstand.

Actually, I really like the flashlight idea. It kind of gives a kid a certain amount of control over the situation.
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