So lately, munchkin has become a little afraid of the dark – not unusual for a four year old I guess. It has never bothered her to be honest, but over the last few weeks fear has creeped in and sure enough most nights she freaks out as soon as her room seems a little “too” dark.
Her recent fear has made me contemplate what else our little ones are scared of, and how we can banish those fears before they grow into something greater.
After all, we want our little ones to enjoy being young as much as possible and not to be hung up on irrational fears that may hinder this enjoyment.
I have done some research and below I will list the top five most common fears I have found, as well as easy ways we can overcome these fears quickly!
Being Afraid Of The Dark
Ok, so of course this is the particular fear I have researched most, desperately trying to find a way to put munchkins mind at rest – without illuminating our whole house resulting in completely tripping our neighbours out, thinking there is a “unidentified object” glowing down the street!
Children are most commonly afraid of the dark because it is has an element of the “unknown”. They may lay there with all sorts of crazy ideas going through their heads –
“Is there a monster under my bed?”
“What was that loud noise, its definitely got to be an alien!?”
“Is that a ghost?”
All rational thoughts for a four year old, don’t you think?
But how can you put your minis mind at rest allowing them to feel comfortable at bedtime?
Well, the first thing we did with our munchkin is to purchase a bright nightlight for her piece of mind when laying in bed. Although we keep her door ajar, we found that leaving it completely open still made no difference to her fear as her actual room to her still felt dark. We did our research as we wanted to find a light that is easy to turn on and off for her so she feels confident she can do it herself if she needs to, and also something with an automatic switch off so we don’t have to worry about it staying on all night!
We opted for the Lindam Light My Way Night Light as it had great reviews and had a 20 minute automatic shut off too, munchkin absolutely loves it and so do we!
Secondly, we asked her apart from the obvious fear of the room being dark, what in particular she was afraid of in the dark?
She said she sometimes heard “scary” noises outside, and after talking to her we realised that this was the birds in the back garden (we currently have a bird nest in our tree!). So we decided to talk to her about nocturnal animals and wildlife at night time to help her understand these noises better. We also took her out into the garden in the evening to see the birds so she could finally see where those “scary” noises were coming from!
Needless to say, now armed with her brilliant new nightlight and her nocturnal knowledge (get her) she is sleeping soundly again!
My top tip with this one is definitely to talk to your little one to try to find the root cause, and build on that.
Yes, unfortunately Pixars Monsters Inc didn’t help all our minis defeat this fear!
Those big, furry, loud monsters – or of course however your littles ones imagination chooses to view them!
Once you have done the standard checking under the bed, the wardrobe, the cupboard, if they are still fretful you need to bring out the crème de le crème of fear busters! Oh yes wait for it.. Monster Spray!
Now, this stuff is strong and works in minutes so use with caution, monsters beware!
Seriously though, there are two options here.
You could either use an old spray bottle and use a sharpie pen to write in very large letters “monster spray” or you can now buy monster spray that also contains essential oils like lavender to also help calm your mini. Yes Please!
Hopefully this tip will help you as much as it has helped me 🙂
Even from a young age our little ones can suffer from the fear of strangers and most parents I think will agree that this is quite a healthy fear.
Of course we do not want our children to ever go anywhere or even talk to someone they do not know.
The fear of someone they don’t know even talking to them can be a huge no no for a small child, and they tend to stick to us like glue in such scenarios.
Understandably for children, the subject of strangers is confusing, they see mummy talking to someone they haven’t seen before, they immediately freeze.
They have no idea mummy has known this person for years, to them they are someone completely new. To help your little one gage a better understanding of strangers, please read my essentail guide to stranger danger.
There are also a few things you can do to help ease your minis mind to help them in times that their anxiousness gets the better of them.
You should always stay close to your little one when they are around someone new to ensure they feel safe. I would also recommend pre-warning friends that are coming over that your mini may be anxious so that they can act accordingly and not make the situation worse.
Of course, this is also a natural fear, as we only visit the doctors when we are poorly!
The fear can be of the doctors itself, the doctor, the medication, the list goes on!
We always take the playset with us and her favourite teddy, she mimics what the doctor does to her to her teddy. Works every time! She is so distracted “treating” teddy she isn’t taking any notice at all of the doctor and it is usually over before she notices anything has happened!
Singing/reading in the waiting room can also help to distract your mini to stop any fears from festering.
I have experienced this fear first hand being a working mummy.
From around 8 months old, munchkin started going to the childminders and I would cry all the way to work from seeing her little tears when I left.
Now, don’t get me wrong, most of the time she had stopped crying as soon as the childminder shut the door, but of course as a parent you worry if they are ok.
The best way to help separation anxiety in my experience is definitely reassurance.
Make sure you always reassure your little one you will be back soon, and that the carer they are with will look after them if there is anything at all they might need while you are away.
We got munchkin a Splodge recordable teddy bear with a message from me and her daddy so that she could play this anytime she needed to hear our voices.
This trick also seemed to help soothe her a lot.
The main thing is to make your mini as comfortable as possible in the surroundings they are in before you leave so that any fears they may have are eliminated.
I hope the above helps.
Does your child have any fears? Or do you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thank you for reading a always xx