Horizon KidsMany of us remember being afraid of something in our rooms that looked like a monster in the dark. It was easy to forget that the same objects we found so frightening at night looked harmless during the daytime. Child development experts sought to learn more about just why some children have these nighttime fears. Science discussed the findings and wrote "In their study, published in Child Psychiatry and Human Development, the researchers found that preschoolers with persistent nighttime fears were far less able to distinguish reality from fantasy compared to their peers."

One expert interviewed in Science notes that children get mixed messages from adults. They are told stories of the tooth fairy and other mythical creatures and asked to believe in those stories but we also tell them that the monster under the bed is not real. Adults in already know which stories to take seriously and which ones to take with a grain of salt. For a child, this is not an easy distinction to make.

If your child has persistent nighttime fear one solution suggested in Science is to use their imagination to help them conquer their fears instead of telling them that what they fear is not rational.

"For instance, parents might help their children view an imaginary monster as a non-threatening entity, perhaps by writing it a letter to extend an offer of friendship or reading the child a book in which a threatening figure turns out to be friendly."

If your child attends Horizon Education Centers and has been getting less sleep because of nighttime fears, you can let us know so we are aware. This is the kind of thing that is helpful for us to know so that we can provide your child with the best possible care.