When I was 13 years old, my parents bought a rundown old house in the middle of the English countryside in Somerset. There was even an ancient church down the road, complete with an eerie graveyard that we would avoid at all costs! More worrying for me though were the creeping vines that made it all the way up to my bedroom windows and would rattle against them on windy nights. In reality, I used to lie frozen in bed, too scared to check if it was just the vines again…or a visitor from the graveyard. Removing the vines helped thanks dad! Fear of the dark is very common in children and is in fact seen as a normal part of development.
It is normal for young children to have fears of the dark and going to bed at night. Most children experience nighttime fears at some point during childhood. All rights reserved. Bedtime Fears: Helping Overcome Them It is normal for young children to have fears of the dark and going to bed at night. It is important to understand your child's fears. The nature of children's fear is different throughout development.
Symptoms and Treatment of Nyctophobia (Fear of the Dark)
While being afraid of the dark may be a part of normal development in young children, that is not the case for older children and adults. Nyctophobia is an age-inappropriate fear of darkness that can prompt someone to limit their activities, avoid certain circumstances, and experience anxiety in anticipation of there being no light. It is when the concern crosses over from being an inborn protective mechanism to being a clinical issue that it is designated a phobia. The fear may not be related to darkness itself but unknown dangers hidden in the darkness which is why horror and suspense movies often use darkness as a way to scare viewers. Lack of security and confidence can play into this as well, especially if you tend to be afraid of the dark more often while alone.
Nighttime fears are very common, and may include fears of intruders, monsters, unexplained sounds, and darkness. In this article, I review. If your child suffers from frightening dreams or nighttime screaming episodes, you might also want to check out this article on nightmares and night terrors. In most places around the world, young children sleep with other people.