Conquering Your Kid’s Nighttime Fears | Psych in 60

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Conquering Your Kid’s Nighttime Fears

The challenge with nighttime fears is that they can feel really irrational to parents, but are absolutely real to kids. The best way to handle this to start with trying to understand them the best that you can.

Do they have to do with being alone in the house? Or alone in the dark? What kind of stories does their brain tell them to make they feel worried?

It is also good to try to find out what (other than a visit with you) would make them feel safe. If they are specifically afraid of the dark, it can be tricky because most parents resort to a night light to make them feel safe, but night lights can actually negatively affect sleep.

It is better to equip them with a temporary light like the Cloud B sleep turtle or a flashlight than to add light to their room.

It can also be helpful to describe the worries as a story and help them identify the characters in the story. They can draw or write the story and have it have a happy result.

Lastly, it can be good to have them think of their fears as a TV show that they don’t want to watch, and help them come up with a new story that they would like to focus on.

Watch other videos in our Psych in 60 series to learn more about sleep and leave your questions in the comments below!

Click here for more content by Dr. Kristin Daley!

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Dr. Kristin Daley
Dr. Kristin Daley received her doctorate in clinical health psychology from UNCC. In addition to her doctoral training, she is one of approximately 200 psychologists who completed their certification in behavioral sleep medicine. She is passionate about assisting people in moving into healthy places in life, and spends her free time with her husband and three children.

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