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Tips for parents to help children overcome fear of darkness
Fear of darkness, pretty frequent amongst toddlers can have them on a sticky wicket. Technically known as nyctophobia, the fear is partly rampant amongst children. With its nexus to nervous system and neurological faculty of human beings, fear of darkness has been given several orientations.
Fear of darkness- concept and orientation
Fear of darkness to all intents and purpose may involve little or no darkness. At times, it may have its origin in imaginary perception of darkness, where the individual affected may labor under a sheer spell of apprehension as something more terrible being hidden under its sinister cover. The fear of darkness may or may not develop into pathological condition necessitating medical interference and psychological counseling.
Fear of darkness – Associated symptoms & causes
According to many a psycho analysts and researchers including Sigmund Freud, nyctophobia rampantly common amongst children, is one of the symptoms of anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorder set in on counts of separation from a known or home environment may give rise to thefear of darkness. During the early days of sixties, another orientation was given to the fear of darkness. The concerned researchers found interesting correlation between this darkness phobia and human memory.
With rats being the experimental guinea-pigs, it was found that the fear is motivated by the presence of ‘scotophobin’- a substance aiding the mentioned phobia.
Fear of darkness- psychological angle
Irrespective of the neurological angle, fear of darkness amongst children has its origin in insecurity. Human beings in general are prone to anxiety of various kinds. Somewhere down the line, it tends to affect growing children more than their senior counterparts. The innate apprehension of losing connection to the known environment may give way to this phobia. Uncertainty of rejection and solitude may also unleash spells of nyctophobia. Also known as‘Achluophobia’- fear of darkness amongst toddlers and that of the fledgling newborns springs from the hidden insecurity of losing his/hers near and dear ones. Somewhat similar to ‘separation anxiety’, fear of darkness can also affect months’ old newborns.
Factors that may accentuate such fear of darkness
Before dwelling upon the necessary tips, it is important to bear in mind the factors that may accentuate such panic prone fear attacks. Factors including hereditary & circumstantial may accentuate the mentioned condition. Stress prone circumstances in the initial years of formation, overprotective upbringing, parental tendency to discord and dissension are some of the pertinent factors. Accidental injuries, mental upheaval spurred on by parental separation may also contribute to the fear of darkness among children.
Fear of darkness- some of the symptoms
Some of the symptoms of achluphobia or fear of darkness includes panic seizures, bouts of gasping, intense sweating, and palpitation. Needless to say, that horrifying spells of dread and fury are more likely to affect children during the light less cover of night.
Tips for parents to help children overcome fear of darkness
There is a tendency on parts of parents to dismiss such fearful attacks as grossly ridiculous. It is important on your part to step into the shoes of your little one to give him a patient hearing. Hyper reactivity on your part may add to his/hers anxiety level. So, it is important to be as much patient as sensitive. Many a times when your child comes to you crying, you might not know how to react. So here are some tips for parents to help children overcome the fear of darkness. Talking things out with your little one may help grapple with his bouts of anxiety. Certain amount of acceptability on your part is definitely called for. Choosing not to listen to his hidden insecurities and burdens of apprehension isn’t at all desirable. If your child apprehends darkness and losing you in the same, it is necessary to prove him wrong by means of reassurance and example. You need to throw open his exact reason of panic attacks, what really is his bone of contention. You can add to his sense of reassurance by making an odd reference or two to the security provisions, including assuring him of all possible help in the event of intrusion.
Overcoming fear of darkness- how to pep up your child’s positivity
It is important to remain positive in events of panic attacks. Fussing about the same and criticizing him for the same may further affect his self-esteem. At all cost, criticizing him for the mentioned fear is certainly not desirable. Gradual conditioning of your little one to spells of darkness can pay off in the long run. Ridiculing, punishing and crying hoarse over this irrational fear is also not desirable because it can worsen the situation instead of redeeming the same. Weaning him away from scary movies and pictures also counts amongst the positive steps. Well laid out daily regimen including attempts to fix-up bedtime hours can work out fine. Placement of bedside lamp can work out fine in the scheme of things. You can have it switched on to disprove the existence of anything sinister. Avoid making your child fearful, in order to induce behavior of specific kind. Encourage your child’s participation in physical activities. Regular involvement in exercising regimen and friendly interaction with peers can help alleviate anxiety phobia including fear of darkness. Psychological counseling is there to be resorted to as the last curative tip for overcoming the same.