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Are you afraid of the dark?

games to overcome your fear of the dark

Is your child afraid of the dark?

Did you know that one in three children suffers from nyctophobia?

If you’re wondering what nyctophobia is, it’s a fear of the dark and is the most common phobia among young children. Most children outgrow this fear on their own, but there are some games you could play in order to kickstart the whole process and make bedtime a little bit easier for both of you.

The aim of these games is to expose children to darkness in a fun and exciting way. Playing any of these games for between 10 and 20 minutes each day will help to slowly reduce your child’s fear of the dark. Don’t forget to praise their bravery every time you play the game, this will give them the confidence they need to overcome their fear.

#1 Blind Chicken

This is like catchers in the dark. In a lit room the “catcher”, who should be mum or dad to start with, is blindfolded and has to catch someone else. When your child is the “catcher” make it easy at first and as they gain confidence moving around in the dark make it a little bit harder.

#2 Sleeping Beauty

You leave your kid(s) in a lit room and go into the passage or next room. You then say “I’m coming” and they have to tuck themselves in (including turning off the lights) before you get into the bedroom to kiss them goodnight. You can repeat this game several times to see if they can get faster at doing it.

#3 Surprise!

Hide a surprise in a dark room and tell your child they have to find it in the dark in order to get it. Each time you play hide the surprise in a trickier place.

#4 Animals

This game is great if your child’s fear of the dark is linked to scary noises. After tucking them into bed, stand at the door making animal noises and let your child guess what animal you’re imitating. Avoid scary animal sounds, such as a lion’s roar or a wolf’s howl.

#5 Treasure Hunt

This is Surprise! on a higher level. Instead of hiding one present in one room, you and your child will go on a treasure hunt through the whole house. Turn off all of the lights and using only a flashlight you have to look for clues (that you would have written beforehand) in order to find the treasure at the end.

You can try all of these games and see which one your child prefers or responds to best. It’s completely up to you and in a few short months bedtime should be a little less stressful than it was before. Do you have any other ideas?

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