Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FEAR OF THE DARK

From TODAY, Voices

Monday November 17, 2008

 

By Dr Bill Maier

 

To a child who’s afraid of the dark, bedtime can be a nightmare – literally.

 

I heard about one mother who had to sit beside her 3-year-old daughter’s bed each night until the girl fell asleep.

 

The mom assumed that she just wanted attention, but it soon became clear that the poor girl wasn’t bluffing. She was genuinely terrified of the dark. It turned out that she’d been exposed to several terrifying movies at a friend’s home and had developed a serious phobia.

 

When children are afraid of the dark, there’s usually a reason for it. Imagine a boy who gets teased a lot by his brother. He walks into a dark room and gets pounced on from behind. It seems funny, but what does the boy learn from it? The dark isn’t always empty!

 

Children aren’t born with these types of fears – they develop them. So make sure your child knows that not all teasing is harmless, even if it does seem funny at the time.

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