What do you do when your child tells you that they're afraid of a monster under their bed? Or that there's something hiding in the corner of their room? Just as each child is unique, so is each fear, yet one common factor for everyone, even adults, is that whatever we fear it is very real for us. So how do we comfort children in the face of their fears?
Here are four ideas we hope will help and inspire you on those nights when your child can't sleep in the dark.
If your child has a fear of the dark or trouble sleeping, try a nightlight like the Boon Glo. Nightlights provide just enough light to comfort a child without hindering their sleep. What we love about the Boon Glo is that the three Glo balls stay cool to the touch so your child can pick them up and hold them close.
If nightlights aren’t for you, then try leaving the hallway light on. That way your child is reminded that you’re close by and he or she is safe.
What you’ll need: a spray bottle, tap water, and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Mix the water and lavender in the bottle, and at bedtime let your child give a few short blasts in all the areas monsters like to hide.
Monster Spray helps your child take action against his or her fears. Using an essential oil for a scent make the spray a little more special. We like lavender because it’s so soothing, especially for right before bedtime.
Guardians & Friends
I love Mums n Posies dolls like Ben.
Give your child a nighttime guardian. This could be done in several different ways. If your family has a dog, you can send him in to sniff out any monsters that might be lurking in dark corners or under the bed. Once your dog has given the all clear, your little one will know it’s safe to go to bed. And if necessary the dog can stay for the night.
Or find a soft toy that can stand in as your child’s special nighttime guardian. A stuffed animal or doll would work great, or you could make your child a monster friend!
If your child has a Little Green Love Vampire Hat, why not let your child sleep in it as extra “armor?”
If your child is unable to sleep, ask him or her to tell you a story. Sheri does this with her granddaughter, and it really works. Stories help because they distract children from their fear until they feel better and can fall asleep. When you and your child share stories with each other, your child is comforted by the resolution and happy endings of those stories.
Stories can also help change how your child looks at their fear. With stories, you can ask a child to imagine a different scenario. If there's a monster under the bed, is it possible that it's not scary and dangerous? Maybe it growls and snarls because it doesn't know how to speak, and it needs a friend to teach it how. Help your child take control by turning the tables on his or her fear.