Many children have a fear of the dark. There are many things that could cause a child to become afraid of the dark, and that is definitely something that should be explored in order to solve the problem. However, many parents are faced with the decision of whether or not to use nightlights in their children’s rooms at night. Nightlights can be great, but are they the right choice?
When a child has a fear, it should not be taken lightly. The child should never be made fun of and no one should ever make him feel like his fears are not serious and valid. A fear is a fear, no matter what the reason is behind it. So when a child fears the dark, there is a reason why it scares them. The parents should do everything in their power to figure out exactly what it is about the dark scares the child so that they can work through the problem together in order to fix the problem. A nightlight will not help cure the child’s fear of the dark, but it does have some pros and cons to consider.
* A nightlight will most likely help your child to go to sleep more peacefully. If your child is left in the dark, he will be scared. The little bit of extra light will help to comfort him and give him the peace of mind he needs to fall asleep.
* The nightlight will help the parents because they will not have to hear their child cry out in the middle of the night. Nothing is worse than knowing your child is scared, especially in their own home! The nightlight will bring great peace of mind to the parents.
* The nightlight can be used as a transition tool in order to (hopefully) get the child over his fear of the dark. The parents can slowly work up to no nightlight.
* Nightlights honestly do nothing to help cure the fear of the dark, they just mask the fear. It is not getting rid of the problem or finding a solution, it is more of a way to avoid the problem and “fix” the situation for the moment, but does nothing to help it in the long run.
* If the use of nightlights is continued, and the origin of the fears are never explored, the child may never get over his fear of the dark. Some people remain afraid of the dark even into adulthood.
* The nightlight may become another one of those “must haves” at night time, and the child may become so dependent on a nightlight that he refuses to sleep without one. This can cause problems when sleeping over at a friend’s house and traveling.
The choice to choose a nightlight is ultimately up to the parents, and there are wonderful reasons for having one and for not having one. But the best decision is one that is made with the best interest of the child in mind, and if that decision is one that others may disagree with, it is still the best decision because it is helping the child.