As soon as it is getting darker, the darkness in your room seem to take lives of their own. Your four year old mental imagery whirls. You doubt if the tapping on your window in fact is a tree branch or a witch trying to get you. Out of the blue, the green jacket on your small table starts to look like that ghoul you saw on television that afternoon. And underneath your bed – you cannot even begin to imagine about what is underneath the bed. A bogey man, Frankenstein or Dracula (or all three!) could be hiding underneath, all set to jump on you at the smallest move you make. Here are some tips how to overcome night time anxiety in children and banish all the demons in your child’s imagination.
1. Watch what they watch. Kids are incredibly suggestible and imaginative. That is why you should not allow your children to watch terror movies. Watching cackling witches or frightening Frankenstein will without doubt influence your child’s imagination. Young kids do not separate fantasy from reality. This is why you ought to leave out the cartoons and movies with creepy creatures until your child is older enough to do so. If they watched a horror film without your permission, be quick to explain that the demons in the film are just “fabricated” characters and not real.
2. Bedtime Rituals. Another reason why children have nightmares or lie awake at night thinking of ghosts is because they are not actually relaxed or sleepy. You can help resolve this issue by setting specific bedtime routines to help your child slip on to the Land of Nod. Give him a glass of warm milk before bed. Tuck her in. Read a good bedtime story. All these will help your child unwind and put away the imaginings for the morning.
3. Nighttime lights. Putting a nightlight in the child’s room is one thing that helps both parents and children to defeat anxiety as the room will not be pitch dark once the main lights are switched off. Having a nightlight not only helps make the child feel safer, but is moreover keeping the child from stumbling around in the darkness when he or she needs to go to the loo in the middle of the night. However, pick a nightlight with a really soft light as having overly much light will not induce sleep and will keep your child awake.
We all ran into anxiety, mainly at night, during our youth and now we have to help our own kids through it. Be patient and do not belittle your kids fears. Remember how scary it all was for you and be prepared to offer consolation to your kids when they are scared. After all, night time anxiety disappears speedily with a reassuring cuddle of a parent.
You can find more information how to treat night time anxiety at http://www.antianxietyconsumerreport.com