For many kids, there’s nothing scarier than the unknown of a dark room. Luckily, there are ways to help your child overcome the tear they feel as soon as you turn out the light. You can chase the beast away for good, just in time for the spooky Halloween season.

The first step to curing a child’s fear of the dark is to find out exactly what they’re afraid of. Ask your child what scares them, using open ended questions. Don’t be little or dismiss their specific fears. As trivial as it may seem to you, it’s all too real to your cat. A simple statement like “I can see you’re really scared” can go a long way.

Then you need to ensure your child feel safe in the dark. Spend some time with them after the lights are off, calmly reassuring them that they’re safe in their bedroom. Show that there is nothing to be afraid of, whether by shining a light into the closet or taking a look under the bed – with the child looking to dash to prove there’s nothing to worry about. Empower them to vanish their fears themselves. If they get frightened and run into your bedroom, escort them back to their own bed and help them relax. Their own bedroom must become a safe space.

Only give your child healthy snacks before sending them to bed. Sugars and processed foods activate brain activity, putting your kid on high alert. Try vegetables, nuts, or string cheese.

Of course, adding more light is always an option as well. Get a lamp with a dimmer that goes on there nightstand or plug in a few fun night lights. Over the period of a few months, steadily decreased the amount of light in the room. Eventually, they’ll be fully acclimated.

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