Only God is Fearless!
He is able to overcome all our fears when we trust Him.
Causes of Fear of the Dark
“Television is one of the worst offenders when we’re talking about a fear of the dark,” says family therapist Jenn Berman. “Parents don’t recognize how much TV can affect their children.”
Books can also overstimulate a child’s active mind through illustrations of monsters, witches, or perhaps a battle scene. If no one is there to interpret what’s going on, his mind will think of its own explanation!
“And surprisingly, another culprit when it comes to nighttime fears is a well-intended parent who tells a child, “You better behave, or the boogeyman will get you,” says Mary Dobbins, an assistant professor of pediatrics and child psychiatry. Be careful not to create something that wasn’t there.
As parents, be attentive to what your youngster is hearing, seeing, and watching. Limit TV and electronic device time and be sure older siblings are just as attentive.
Fear of the Dark: Dos and Don’ts
Remember that no matter how silly your child’s fear seems to you, it is very real to her. Be understanding, ask questions that may help uncover the source, and listen.
- Do stay calm.
- Don’t get frustrated.
- Do support your child.
- Don’t do sleepovers.
- Do empower your child.
- Don’t play into the fear of the dark.
- Do make bedtime soothing.
- Don’t ignore a larger problem.
- Do get help.
Never Underestimate the Power of God!
God is fearless! His power is supreme over everything. Nothing can hide in the darkness from God. He sees through it like day.
“even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day”
– Psalm 139:12
Speak these truths to your child. Remind them of our verse in Joshua 1:9:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Teach them to trust and depend on God who will always be with them; something we are not capable of. Share your own fears and how you, too, depend on Him to enable you to overcome them. Listen to the story together with your child and talk about the main character’s struggles. Whatever you do, don’t ignore it!