Is your child achluophobia or Afraid of the dark?
Being afraid of the dark is a common fear for children. This behavior usually develops around the age of two when children begin to use their imagination (but lack the ability to distinguish real life from fantasy) and sometime can last through adulthood (in varying effects). The fear of the dark is not a fear of the lack of light, but rather the dangers and unknown that are concealed by the darkness. The source of the fear often changes as the child matures. Whether it is a monster hiding under the bed or a Bogey man in the closet, these fears are real to you child and they cause a sense of anxiety that needs to be dealt with.
How to help your child overcome a fear of the dark:
1. Communication – Talk through the fear with your child. Be understanding, calm and supportive. This allows your child to feel safe and reassures them that they can conquer this fear.
2. Calm Anxiety – Make bedtime a stress-free event. No TV or scary stories that can stir the imagination, but rather a familiar bedtime routine the focuses on relaxation and one on one time with your child.
3. Teach your Child to Calm themselves – Remind your child that they are safe and that you are nearby. Encourage them to repeat this when they are afraid.
4. Night lights – Gradually decreasing the light in a room is a great way to ease anxiety of the dark. Having a night light, flash light or glowing object, is a fun way to be brave when the lights go down.
Our Secret Weapon – Brobo friends (Trek and Dog)!
In my family, both DS5 and DS7 have a fear of the dark. They sleep in the same room and I think often feed off each others fears. DS5 is afraid there is a monster under his bed or dragon in his closet, where as DS7 is afraid he sees things moving in the shadows. These fears are mild and thankfully they don’t occur every night. Currently, they sleeping with the bathroom light on casting a bright ray of light into their room to ease their fears.
When I was asked to review Brobo, a huggable night-light Robot, I knew I had found a very valuable tool to combat my children’s fear of the dark!. A swipe over Brobo heart and his “Shine Force” activates. With a vibration to ward of monsters and a bright light see in the dark, this plush toys is the perfect bedtime companion. The Brobo line of huggable night lights comes in 5 different options; Brobo, Dog, Mumu, Pep, and Trek. Since the development of the toys, they have won prestigious awards, including Creative Child magazines “2013 Toy of the Year” and Parenting Magazines “Parenting Toys of the Year 2012 Playlist”
The moment my boys met Trek, it was love at first site. His big eyes and coy smile created a feeling of friendship and security. I love that Brobo’s are ‘boyish’ looking plush toys as far too many often stuff animals (especially those with flashlight bellies) appear girlish. They have rough exterior, but a soft squishy side! It took a few moments for my boys to figure out how the light came one. After closely examining the Brobo and squeezing it to death (i.e. the normal way to turn on a stuff toy flash light), they realized that they needed to swipe the Brobo’s hand (or tail in Dog’s case) over the heart (aka the flashlight) to activate the Shine Force. The Shine Force has two settings; bright light (for traveling in the dark) or night light (a dimmer option for sleeping).
Trek was such a big hit in our house, that we invited his friend Dog to live with us too! With each boy armed with a Brobo, bedtime has been easier on mom and dad and the fear of the dark has lessened!