Why are children afraid of the dark?

The fear of the dark often starts during childhood and it is considered a normal process in a child’s growth. Generally, this fear is common among children and they tend to grow out of fear as time goes by.

Here is an explanation to why children tend to fear the dark: 

Fear of darkness or night is indeed a process of growth and would start occurring in children between the ages of 3-6 years old. Surprisingly, the fear does not root from the dark environment. It is the fear of what will happen in the darkness. With the lack of visual stimuli, the dark makes humans vulnerable and brings uncertainty as they are unable to see what’s around them. Furthermore, in most cultures, dark signifies danger and fearing it means we are alert and desire to keep ourselves safe. We have all seen it on the big screens, whenever there is a spooky situation, it is often dark and quiet. 

Do children really grow out of it?

Yes and no. Many children grow out of fear of darkness. However, some carry the fear until adulthood. For some, the fear can lead to the display of anxiety or depression symptoms. When the fear becomes excessive and impacts one’s day to day activities or sleeping patterns, it will then be classified as a phobia, nyctophobia specifically, and they would need to seek medical assistance to overcome the phobia. 

Have a child that is afraid of the dark, constantly thinking there are monsters or ghosts around them and is unable to sleep alone at night. Don’t worry much! It is perfectly common and they would eventually outgrow the fear. As a parent/caregiver, turning on a nightlight during bedtime can possibly help the child to outgrow the fear. Get your nightlights installed by professional technicians to give your children a good night’s sleep.