Three Ways to Help Your Child With Ghosts and Things That Go Bump in the Night
When my youngest son was quite small he used to say things like, “Mum, who is that man standing over by the window?” Of course when I looked oftentimes I couldn’t see anybody at all although there have been occasions when my boy and I have shared the same visions. But as you can guess in our house, ghostly boarders, auras, healing touch, and things that go bump in the night were and are an accepted part of the household. This meant I didn’t have the same problems many parents face as their child reaches toddlerhood and starts to worry about monsters under the bed and ghosts in the attic. But I do know the worries parents have over helping their young one to feel safer in their own home and bed.
One of the key things to help ease your young one’s fear is to show how calm you are about such things yourself. Children learn their cues from their parents and if you are hysterical, or worried about strange noises, animals and insects then your children will learn to stress about those things too. I have become the “Calm Expert” who has gotten used to having weta’s (very large bugs), large spiders and lizards shoved under my nose by my errant sons as they were growing up and I pride myself on the fact that not only do I not flinch at the sight (although I do wish they would give me a bit of warning) of anything that I think belongs back in the garden, but I can even manage a tight lipped “wow isn’t that cool” as a response. So if your child has a monster under the bed, or strange creatures tapping at the window after the lights have gone out, be calm about it and if possible find a logical explanation (that the child can understand) for the things he/she is experiencing.
It is not a good idea to ignore or brush off your child’s fears either, because it is a really important part of child development for them to have a parent who is going to take care of the monsters, ghosts and other weird ghouls. Some parents get annoyed with their children and just say things like “there is no such things as monsters” or ghosts, but again this does not help the child get over their fear; they just learn to hide it so they are not made to feel bad about themselves.
The second thing parents can do is take charge of the situation and get your child to do it with you. Yes, dive under the bed and wrestle with the “monster”; turn on the lights to banish ghosts; turn on soft music to banish creaking windows and trees or put a chair under the door handle of the closet so any “thing” can’t get out. You are not pandering to your child’s imagination by doing this, you are teaching them to face their fears with you as the protector. They will feel stronger for being with you, Hero duty truth honesty courage and feel better about themselves as they learn to conquer their fears.
Finally, the dark can be a really scary place for an imaginative and creative child. Rather than try and squash your child’s imagination by rubbishing his fears, simply install a night-light, or for older children a touch light they can use if they get scared. Our children’s brains are forced into being grown up mode far to quickly already, and it really doesn’t hurt for your child to have his fears validated and helped with a bit of love and comfort from you while he is still small.
There will always be things in this world that science cannot explain. And it is not up to any of us to tell a child that ghosts or other such things don’t exist, especially if the child is claiming to see them. There have been many documented cases of children seeing ghosts in cases where the adult can’t and rather than dismiss their concerns, maybe we should help our children to accept what they see and just get on with living – after all wouldn’t we look like idiots to our children if science could one day prove that ghosts do exist and always have?