My Child has developed a fear of the dark and worrying about monsters. How can I help him get over these fears?
This is a tricky one! It can be hard to tell where some of these fears come from, and you never know which child is going to be scared of which fairytale character. I’m actually a little surprised that more kids aren’t terrified at the prospect of a strange man in red coming into the house through the chimney in the middle of the night!
There is no guarantee that you will be able to eliminate night time fears entirely. After all, most of us adults still get a little anxious when things go bump in the night. It might be tempting to create ‘monster spray’ for your child’s room, or to let the family dog sleep nearby to ward off scary night time creatures, but this just confirms for your child that you believe there is something to be afraid of. Acknowledge their anxieties, but make sure your child understands that you do not believe there is anything to be worried about.
Nanny Carrie’s Tip: Comfort objects are okay—in fact they’re a great idea. Encourage him to find something that soothes him and don’t worry too much right how about him taking his ‘blankie’ to Frosh Week. CD players, noise machines and teddy bears can all help to quell night time anxieties. If you can, find something that is portable if the kiddos are staying at Grandma’s, and make sure you have a back-up for lost ‘loveys’ (and take it from me, don’t get caught at 3:00am without a stash of replacement bulbs for the nightlight!)