When Laura Kate was two years old, every night for about two weeks, she was terrified of ducks. During the day, she was not afraid of ducks. But at night, it was full-on terror. She said she could hear them quacking when we turned out the lights. She would sob and sob and beg us to make the ducks go away. We went on “duck hunts” with her, we searched for any toy in her room that could be causing the sound, we checked the perimeter of the house outside her bedroom window to see if we could find something. We found nothing. These ducks were completely in her imagination. And since we had little control over what she was thinking, we determined that we needed to teach her to manage her fears instead of telling her to stop or not be afraid.
Even as an adult, there is something about bedtime that makes the fears and anxiety rise to the surface. Something about the dark, the quiet, the aloneness, that triggers scary thoughts and fears. And I don’t know about you, but very few times has it actually worked to just tell myself to stop it, to stop being afraid. As an adult, I’ve learned how to manage my fears in healthy ways and I think that’s the best way to teach our kids to handle their fears as well.
These are some things that we practice when it comes to managing fears, especially at bedtime:
2. Remember truth
3. Replace the fearful thoughts
This week the ladies of the BFBN (Babywise Friendly Blogging Network) are all writing on the topic of fears. You can find their posts below:
- Monday: Valerie from Chronicles of a Babywise Mom – What To Do When Your Child Is Scared of the Dark
- Tuesday: Natasha from Let’s Be Brave – 9 Ways To Teach Kids Bravery
- Tuesday: Katrina from Mama’s Organized Chaos – How To Easer Your Toddler’s Fears
- Wednesday: Christine from Christine Keys – 3 Powerful Ways To Conquer Your Toddler’s Irrational Fears
- Wednesday: Carrie from Wiley Adventures – Managing Fears At Bedtime
- Thursday: Kimberly from Team Cartwright – Real vs. Fake Fear: How to Distinguish Between the Two
- Friday: Emily from The Journey of Parenthood – How To Help Prevent Childhood Fears
Until next time!