What do you do when your children are afraid at night? Here’s the scenario. It's the end of a long day and all you want to do is drift off to sleep so that you can awake feeling refreshed and ready to get up and do it all over again. But then there's that little knock on the door or the frightened little voice from down the hall that is just above a whisper, "Mummy, I’m scared!".
There are a lot of reasons kids get scared at night. After all, they have vivid imaginations. It’s dark, they have watched a scary video, they are sad about a recent event, they heard a frightening story, had a bad dream or they may dreading something in the near future that is going to happen or that they are afraid might happen. The quickest way to calm their fears, and allow you to head off to peaceful slumber, is to find out what is bothering them.
Some of us tend to yell down the hall, “Go to sleep!” or “There’s nothing to be afraid of!” The fact is that children have fears just like we do. Well, maybe we adults aren’t afraid of the bogeyman in the bedroom, but kids’ fears are just as real to them as our fears are to us. Fears are age and situation appropriate. It’s never a good idea to ignore or belittle someone’s fears just because they are a child.
Your kids will find it much easier to go to sleep, allowing you to do the same, if you take the time to get out of bed and find out what is wrong. Here are some tips on how to calm your child’s night fears:
Night fears will calm as a child gets older. In the meantime, take the time to help them get through each episode. Believe it or not, there will come a time when you will miss being woken up at night.
Please be aware that the articles on this site are written by mothers who are discussing their own experiences and their own opinions. They do not, and are not meant to, represent professional advice and should be read with that point firmly in mind.
Our children’s welfare is paramount; if you are ever in the slightest doubt about any aspect of caring for a child you are urged to seek qualified, specialist advice from a professional advisor.