From the age of 2, your child might start developing fears and anxieties: fear of water, fear of being alone, and fear of the dark. These fears make your child more alert, but also more vulnerable. This means it is important for you to react to it quickly and correctly. We give five tips that can help reassure children who are afraid of the dark.
A relaxing evening ritual
Try to find a cosy bedtime ritual. This relaxes and reassures a lot of children. Turn it into a lovely moment to end the day together, and do something calm that your child loves: read his favourite book or look at photographs of people that make your child happy…
Neat and tidy
During the daytime, your child can recognise everything in his room. But as soon as the lights go out, the contours of that big, cute stuffed bear may look like a monster. Make sure your child can go to sleep in a tidied room. Does your child not like to tidy up? Read the Yumi Yay book about Finn together, maybe this will give you some ideas!
Use your imagination
Is your child afraid of monsters under the bed or in his room? Then use one of these tips to combat the monsters in a creative way:
- Pretend you are a dinosaur/monster hunter and chase them all away.
- Make a monster catcher with your child and hang it up in the nursery.
- Put a magic ribbon on the floor near the door and say the monsters cannot cross this line.
- Make anti-monster spray with water in a decorated spray bottle.
- Fill up the space under the bed with a trunk or toy box or drawer, so that there is no more room for monsters to hide.
You can also decide to be straight and clear: monsters do not exist. It can provide extra reassurance if you stay nearby for a while, so that your child can hear you and knows that you are still there. Soothing sounds or soft music may also distract your child from scary thoughts.
After your bedtime routine, you can say night-night with a long hug. If your little one is still afraid of monsters, despite the tidied room, a night light might be the ultimate solution. The Yumi Yay night lights have three light settings: they either turn off automatically after 20 or 40 minutes, or they stay on all night. You can select the setting depending on what your child needs. Does he wake up in the middle of the night? The night mode will then probably be the best option. He can then see what the shapes in his room are and drift off to dreamland again.