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Is my son really afraid of the dark?

For the last three out of four nights my three year old son has said that he is scared when I have put him to bed. I really just don't believe him; I think he is just saying this to prolong staying up. However, I thought I should ask some other opinions. He has always slept in his own room, with the light out and door shut. There is a night light across the room under his desk, but I just put that there about three months ago when we moved into a new place, since he is upstairs and my room is downstairs. That way he can get up and go to the bathroom if needed by himself.

Sooo back to my question, Is he afraid of the dark (I've never had this problem with him by the way and he falls right to sleep when I leave his room) or Is he just trying to stay awake?


Asked by heartfrommyson at 8:10 PM on Sep. 18, 2009 in General Parenting

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This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • If he has never been afraid before, he may be playing you. Tell him he is fine, kiss him good night, and walk away. If he sees you are confident that he is ok, he will believe it too. If he beats you to the living room, take him back to bed, put him in bed, don't speak to him, and walk away. He will give up after a few of those because he is getting no reinforcement for his behavior. It is all learned behavior.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 10:09 PM on Sep. 18, 2009

  • yeah my son did the same thing, but i never fell for it i just got him a bigger night light then he gave up

    Answer by Kayge at 8:13 PM on Sep. 18, 2009

  • Could be. That was about the age my DD started being afraid of the dark (my DS never was). I think their imagination starts to really fly at that age and that's what causes it.

    Answer by mummy22kids at 8:14 PM on Sep. 18, 2009

  • Here's what I would say... Get a bottle of "monster be gone"... Really it's just some colored water in a spray bottle. and before he goes to bed let him go around the room and spritz anywhere there might be monsters. Tell him it will keep the monsters away so they can't come in his room...

    It might help! If you use an old body spray bottle those tend to work best because the won't spray enough to hurt anything... And if you use koolaid or something to color the water it will smell good too...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 8:15 PM on Sep. 18, 2009

  • He could be. It may be that he heard of being afraid of the dark and decided that he is, but that doesn't matter, you still have to treat it as though it is a real fear. And kids see and hear things all the time that are scary and might make them afraid at night- TV shows, movies, other kids talking, even news reports. You can add another night light, or leave the overheard light on, or leave the door ajar and the hall light on, make sure he has a stuffed animal he can cuddle (no matter what age), If you want to you can walk him quickly through a room search- under the bed, in the closet, to prove there is nothing. Tell him if he gets jittery at night to hug the stuffed animal extra carefully. If he is religious he can say a little prayer and feel comfort that way.

    Answer by Bmat at 8:15 PM on Sep. 18, 2009

  • I agree with Bmat, treat it as if it is real. That doesn't mean coddle the fear, but try to ease it for him. It does seem to be the age cause that is about the time my kids started having fears.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 9:01 PM on Sep. 18, 2009