Your children have come to you in the middle of the night, they are afraid of what is in the closet. How do you best deal with this?

There can be two things going on here.The fear is used to achieve another goal, namely your attention. And I do not mean in the negative sense. Sometimes there is something else in a child that causes them to exhibit certain behaviors. I say what, a child has heard in school a story of another boyfriend who has gone his father away from his mother, he did not return after an evening (in the perception of that particular child). A child can then (not entirely consciously) create a setting so that it can check whether you as a parent are still there in the evening, seized by the story of the boyfriend. Again this is not a very conscious process. The child experiences a certain emotion and expresses it through this detour. You can only discover this by talking about it.

To discover that I would just do it while I was hunting that monster out of the closet.Many children also just have a phase, where they find certain things look scary in the dark. My son would have preferred not to have long-sleeved T-shirts hung over his desk chair, because that looked like a monster at night. So I folded the T-shirt up and put it on the seat. Problem solved. The cupboard should always be closed in the evening, because indeed, what can not come out of it.

You can take a lot of sides with it, if it’s purely about ‘ what’s in the closet ‘.
For example, you can let them go through the closet during the day, I have also let my son do it.”I really don’t see a space where a monster can hide!” Plus we looked together before bedtime, there was nothing. Door closed. Nobody can do that.

In addition, I always found it very nice to make the monsters ‘ sympathetic ‘.
My son is rather sloppy with his socks.When there was a monster in the closet, I asked him, “Would he love to look for socks together or do you think he is losing them right?” According to my son, the monster put on the socks, of course he didn’t want to admit that he was losing the socks himself. ‘ Das Mooi, ‘ I said then, ‘ because then we know that he is no children’s lust. So it’s a sweet sock monster. ‘ Then I demonstratively put some of my socks in there. That did not happen to the monster either;)

Don’t make it too big a thing, but if you get started with it, give it your full attention.A child follows you, in terms of reaction and feeling. If you take the time to investigate it, they will follow it emotionally, too soon you have not taken away the fear yet. Take it seriously so that your child can give it a spot.

I used to be afraid of what was in my closet, I then went crying in the middle of the night to my parents ‘ room.The first times I did this, they also didn’t know how to deal with them, but as this happened more and more they were getting better. What my parents always did is that they took me in bed to calm down, between ‘ Papa and Mama ‘ in of course gives a very nice and safe feeling. Sometimes I fell asleep there, sometimes they let me lie down and sometimes my father lifted me back to my own room to sleep further there. If I did not fall asleep to my parents after a few minutes I went to my own room with my father or mother, and we looked together in my closet, where of course nothing was different from my clothes. Having looked good in the closet and having had a big hug, my father or mother stopped in my own bed again, they them me a few times over my head and then said, “I leave the door of your room and the door of Daddy’s and Mama’s Room Open.” We slept both on the ground floor and there was only about 10 meters between our rooms so when my parents said “Daddy and Mommy are very close” that was really true.

Of course I don’t know if these are the best ways to deal with the fear of your child but it has always helped me well.As I grew older, I was quickly growing over my fear because I understood very well that there was nothing in my closet. If your child’s anxiety persists, you can always talk to a doctor for example. My last golden tip is to stay calm and patient, if a child is afraid or even panicked it does not help at all as a parent to whom he or she asks for help getting angry or something like that. Of course this can be tricky because it is in the middle of the night and you actually would like to sleep and especially if this happens more and more nights in succession I get that it is very difficult to stay sweet and nice. I hope I have helped you enough and that you and your child can sleep well again…

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