Never fails: After an exhausting day at work, you are getting your child ready for bed and gently tucked in. You lean down to kiss his forehead softly and turn away to close the bedroom door. On your way out you flick the switch to his lamp off. Suddenly, there is uncontrollable sobbing and your child’s rapid heartbeat. You stand in the doorway debating whether or not to go back inside and comfort your child or simply close the door and let him cry it out.
But, you must ask yourself, what is he thinking? Is he thinking that he cannot see what is out there and he feels unprotected in the dark? Most children are afraid of the dark on some level – it is a very common fear of the unknown. To combat this fear, try teaching your child how to turn on lights around the house, and add a night-light to his bedroom. Allow your children to control the amount of light they have on when they go to sleep and gradually decrease it over time. Help your child understand darkness by going on a night walk together and discussing all the new and interesting things you can see when it is dark.
Above all else, point your child to the precious love Jesus has for them. On more than one occasion, Jesus’ disciples were overcome with fear. Once, they were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee when a fierce storm arose. The disciples were terribly afraid, all the while Jesus slept in the back of the boat. When they could take it no longer, they woke Him and Jesus addressed the wind and the waves; “Peace! Be still!” He let His disciples know that while He was with them, they didn’t have to be afraid. Let your little one know that same thing. Jesus is with them. Jesus loves them. Jesus will take care of them—always!
Take some time to check out this month’s video to see how you can deal with your child’s fear. Later in the month you’ll receive some practical tools for how to prevent some fears and help your child deal with fears when they do take place.