My Kid is Scared of the Dark, Now What?

Imagine this is you!

I’m alone. The room is cold and darkness closes in around me. The air is heavy, thick, and unnaturally still.

I can feel It watching me as It silently grows in strength. It’s coming for me. It’s not the first time this has happened.

Breathless, I wait. I know what happens next. The terror claws its way up from my stomach into my chest. I must not scream, I must hold it in. My stomach rolls and I fight not to vomit. I’ve left it too long to push back across the bed, to push up against the wall, or to hide.

It’s here now, lowering itself down onto the edge of my bed, leaning in and over me, ever so close. It shows me its pale withered face, but I can’t quite make out the detail. I try not to look It in the eyes, but they’re mesmerizing and somehow familiar. I’m suffocating in ice cold fear. So close now, it shares my breath.

It reaches out, I close my eyes, and I feel long bony fingers caress my cheek. I pull away from It, but the bed holds me in place. I grab my blankets and pull them over my face. I don’t want It touching my skin. I just want It to go away, but It won’t go away and neither can I.

I panic. I close my eyes and wish It will just get bored and go away. I open them again really fast because not looking is worse. Frantic, I pull at my pillows, scrunching them down over my forehead and around my ears, so It can’t touch my head again. Covering up always makes me feel safer, but tonight it doesn’t help much.

It wants something from me, but I don’t know what. It never talks to me, but then maybe I’m too afraid to hear it speak. Hours seem to pass, but morning never comes. We watch each other for the longest time.

I weigh the trouble I could get in if I go for help against the horror of staying put. It’s moving around my room now, examining my stuff in its creepy, otherworldly way, looking at me now and then. I wish I could just sleep and avoid It.

I gauge the distance between The Dead and the door. I consider the odds that if I make it out, my parents will just make me come back here again. I know the consequences well, but I can’t stand to stay here alone any longer.

I plan, I calculate, and I dodge out of bed, down the hall, and into the darkened doorway of my parents room. Did my movement surprise It or did It let me leave?

I can hear the soft even hiss of my parents breath as they sleep. It won’t follow me here. Too many people, I guess. Do I dare try this again? I look down the hall to my room and hesitate. I’m afraid to turn back and I’m afraid to stay here.

Desperate, I creep into my parents’ room as silently as I can. I’m careful to step where I know the floor won’t creak. I’m worried about waking them and I’m cold. I drop quietly to the floor and curl up into a ball beside the bed.

I lay tense, listening to the steady breathing coming from the bed above, there is no movement, so I must be safe. They’re asleep. I close my eyes and pray they won’t notice me before morning. Eventually I sleep.

 

This is the joy of seeing Spirit as a child.

I am often asked why there aren’t more mediums in the world.

Growing up, psychic abilities were unheard-of and, if you admitted to it and, people believed you, they thought you were doing the devil’s work. I lost a few really good friends before I learned to keep my mouth shut.

Seeing The Dead isn’t a pleasant experience and it takes work to manage your fear. It takes time to learn how to deal with Them. As an adult I still see things that freak me out and terrify me. As a child, it must seem easier, it is definitely instinctual, to push those feelings away, to force yourself to stop seeing what is really around you. You learn to hide better and when you can’t hide, you pretend to be invisible. Denial is a powerful coping mechanism. We all choose our perceptions of life.

My grandmother was the first baby born in Blackness Castle in over one hundred years. It was a haunted place and she grew up with the presence of ghosts around her every day. She would tell stories of Ghosts moving the furniture around downstairs at night while she slept. My great-grandmother was psychic and always knew things before they happened.

My mother grew up listening to the ghost stories of my grandmother’s youth. She did not see Spirit herself but she did not doubt the stories.

Mom says that from the time I could talk, it was obvious that I could see Spirit. I had an invisible brother that I would play with for hours. I always knew when things were going to happen that would affect me.

Once, when I was three, I argued with my Grandma (Dad’s side) that Mom was bringing me home dolls. I was impatient for her to get home from work. Grandma knew we could not afford any extras and she didn’t want me to be disappointed. She was shocked when my mom walked in that night with a bag of dolls. The manager where Mom worked had given her a bunch of damaged toys that the store was going to throw out. I had no way of knowing. It made such an impact on my grandmother, that she never forgot.

It was always little things like this that happened to convince Mom that I could see Spirit. She encouraged my abilities. They were never something to medicate or shame out of me. She couldn’t help me with my fears because she didn’t understand them but she tried.

My father was the typical Dad, always at work and always too busy. He didn’t understand that I was scared. He thought that if he was firm, I would grow out of the phase I was in, sleep in my bed, and just be normal. This was the wrong aproach for me because his attitude really hurt. It made me angry with him for not listening to me and for not trying to save me. In hindsight, I think it bothered him that he couldn’t fix my problems for me. In that sense both Mom and Dad were on the same page. They just had different aproaches.

When I was nine I went to Scotland to visit family with my grandmother. It was the most liberating experience of my life. Everyone there believed in Ghosts and seeing The Dead was just a normal part of life. There were so many stories and adjustments that people made to their lives, to accommodate The Dead.

For the first time, I felt sure that, I was normal. That may sound silly but I have always struggled with that.

Memories of Scotland were my affirmation that I am not crazy for many years. People underestimate how hard it is to be different, especially when so many people just want to believe that you are trying to pull a scam. It is hard as a child, not to be effected when people accuse you of being a witch or of worshiping Satan. You know they are wrong but you are still the one to pay the cost of their ignorance. It is easy to doubt yourself when people tell you that you are evil. As a parent it must be a debilitating experience to watch as, your child struggles with something you just don’t understand.

 

When I hear someone in crisis say that  “My Kid is scared of the dark”  or that         “My Child sees Spirit”,   I offer them this advice.

 

For convenience I am going to refer to your child as “she”. It is important to note that just because your child is afraid of the dark does not mean; that she sees or feels spirit. It can just mean that she is afraid. These steps should work in both instances.

 Sit your child down to talk. Be prepared to listen.

The goal is to understand how she feels and what SHE thinks is going on. It is not about providing solutions just yet. Choose a time when everyone is relaxed and there is no drama. Just before bed would not be a good time for this talk.

I would have this discussion in the car for the following reasons;

  1. Conversations in the car tend to be more casual. The atmosphere is more relaxed so your child is more likely to talk.
  2. You’re driving, so eye contact is less frequent and not awkward. Some children do not process their thoughts into dialogue well when an adult is making eye contact with them. It can make your child nervous and defensive, especially when the topic is a sensitive one.
  3. You have a captive audience, at least until you reach your destination.
  4. If you time your drive right, there is less chance of interruption before you are done. Choose a time when it is just you and your child in the car, leave siblings and friends at home.
  5. You will eventually reach your destination so the conversation can’t last forever.

Raise the topic casually, in a nonaggressive way.

You want to be in a relaxed state and a good mood. You don’t want to start the conversation in tension. Start by asking questions that encourage your child to share. Perhaps something like, “Hey, whats up with bed time, why are you so freaked out?” If you are relaxed, she will be relaxed. Don’t make it a big deal.

Here are some very simple sample questions to keep the talk going. I offer this list because I have seen parents who were totally lost talking about things like this. It is not hard, just do it. Just be genuinely interested!

What’s going on?

What do you mean by that?

Do you actually see them?

What do they look like?

What do they feel like?

What do you feel like when they are there?

Do they come every night or only sometimes?

Only when you are happy or sad?

Do you think they want to hurt you, do you know them, are they just passing through?

Why do you think that?

Is there more than one?

What do they do in your room?

Can you talk to them, what do they say?

What do you do?

Can the dog see them?

Do they touch you?

What does that feel like?

You get the idea! Just get the conversation going.

 

Encourage your child to really share their experience with you. It doesn’t matter if you believe in what she says, it matters that she believes it. The goal is to understand what your son or daughter feels is going on and then, to validate those feelings as legitimate.

You want to acknowledge that she feels the way she does and that she has a right to feel that way. Until you give your child that, until she knows that you understand how she feels and that you care, she will not move past this emotional state to one of healing.

Even if you think its ridiculous, if it’s how she feels or what she thinks, it matters because it effects her! Children never forget how you react to their emotional pain. Teasing and criticism or doubting and denying your child’s feelings will only cause lasting hurt and trust issues.

Your child will not trust your advice until she knows that it is genuinely given. It is more important at this point to establish a connection than it is to offer up a solution. Sometimes there is more value in saying, “I’m not sure what to do, let me think about it, maybe do some research and then get back to you.”

When adults are to quick to offer a solution, it robs children of the ability to form their own opinions, come to their own conclusions and to solve their own problems.

 

Make your child’s room less friendly for Ghosts.

You need to ask your child some specific questions. Most ghosts will arrive in a room at the same spot every time they enter the room. If they walk through the wall in that spot or show up at the foot of the bed, that is good to know.

Go buy some salt rock lamps, they don’t have to be big. I suggest you check out the liquidation or health food stores in town because sometimes you can find a real bargain. You want to place the rock lamps in the spot where it will block visitors from entering the room or getting to close to your child.

Salt rocks emit negative ions naturally into the air. These ions can make it hard for a soul that has not gone into the light to build up. It is very annoying and most Ghosts will literally stay away from them. It provides similar experience to smudging without the smell.

Think about adding twinkle lights to the room on an extension cord that has an on off switch. This way your child can control the lights from bed and use them when he or she needs them. It is nice to be able to turn on a light without sticking your hand out to far or having to actually get out of bed.

Parents forget that it is really icky to be touched by the dead, it is a truly creepy experience. If your going to risk getting out of bed, it will probably be to leave the room for good. This is why sensitive people will sleep with a blanket covering every inch of their skin when it is so hot everyone else is wandering around the house 3/4 naked. The heat is easier to handle than being touched.

Does your child like lots of pillows and stuffed animals to hide under? This is a classic avoidance technique. I would rather sweat and overheat then have my bare legs, arms, or feet exposed. Make sure your child has a cool blanket for warm nights. My favourite has always been a v striped crocheted blanket or one that has tiny holes in it that allows a little bit of air to pass through. If the holes are to big, you can put your finger through them, then the blanket is useless.

Amazon sells these awesome little tents or canopies for twin sized beds that I think are great because they fit over the top 1/3 of the bed. They are about $40. What they do is create a barrier between your child and whatever wants to lean over them. The best part is they are designed for fun so no one has to wonder why your child has one. Some children can be very self conscious about seeing spirit. You might want to think about attaching the switch for the twinkle lights to the edge of the inside of the canopy.

If you have an older child who does not like this idea, consider a canopy or curtain set up that produces the same result but with a more romantic grown up look.

Use a fan in the room, close to the bed. It does not need to be a big one. It sounds crazy but it works and I think a fan can be the single most useful tool that a parent can offer. A fan moves air, this makes it harder for Spirit to build up. Air movement and white noise makes it easier for your child to block out all the creepy stuff that Spirit brings with them. It will make them feel safe.

I do not recommend putting your child to bed with an iPod or TV. Sleep is very important. People are at their most vulnerable and impressionable when they are sleeping. Music has a vibration and a lot of popular music is not good for us. The messages the music sends goes straight to the subconscious when you sleep. What messages do you want your children absorbing?

People underestimate the power of energy. Even when someone in your home isn’t sensitive to energy or the presence of Spirit, you need to consider what you read and watch on TV. Violent programs, horror movies or any program involving ghosts should really be off limits for the whole family. When you play this stuff in your space it creates an energy that you amplify. Fear in the house is never a good thing. You may think you are having fun but fear is a negative energy that Ghosts can use to feed off of. It can take days to dissipate.

Take the time and teach your child to protect herself. Show her how to use the Three Fold Flame of Protection to isolate her energy from everything else, ground to the earth for healing and to connect with Source for strength. This way when she goes to bed she will be ready for sleep. When she gets to sleep she will be able to stay asleep. I encourage everyone to make a nightly prayer or meditation part of your sacred daily routine.

If your child follows the same nightly ritual before bed the body will begin to anticipate sleep. This is half of the battle.

I think it is great to include your child in setting up their room for sleep. She should know why you are adding things to her room so that she feels confident that you are listening and making the situation better. When my son went through this stage, we did all of this. We just never made a big deal out of it. It was a very causal attitude, “Ok, your seeing ghosts, here’s what you do, moving on now.” This was always my approach.

When I make a big deal out of something, the kids will to. If Jared came to me to talk, I listened just like I would listen to any other story about his day. If he was having problems then I would start with, “Did you white light, did you use your fan?” Many times Jared was having issues because he had slacked off and then I would have to say that I had no sympathy for him. He has the tools, he has to use them. If you have ever cleaned a messy room because it got so bad your child was overwhelmed by it, you understand. Kids need to do the day to day and when they fall down we have to be there to get them on track again.

You may need to go in every few months and clean up the energy with a good cleaning and airing out. I mean that literally. Open the windows and exchange all of the air. Move stuff around. Cozy corners are lovely for ghosts because they have tight physical corners to build their energy up in. Move those salt lamps around during the day if you need to.

If your child continues having issues then it may be time to come in for a session. Every situation is unique and talking it through can find creative ways to solve the problem. Some people benefit with certain meditations, sacred rituals (no animal sacrifices, I am referring to regular routines done with intent and reverence.) or the use of special crystals. Sometimes a Spirit needs to send a message and after a session both the living and the dead, relax, find a path, and move on in balance together.

I hope this helps and I would love it if you would comment on my post. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I will get back to you.

Thank you in advance, have an amazing day.

Tara

2 thoughts on “My Kid is Scared of the Dark, Now What?

  • November 30, 2017 at 5:20 PM
    Permalink

    Hi Tara, Thank you for the advice. I have two children that sleep in the same room and they both react differently. The youngest one doesn’t want any light but has trouble initially going to sleep and her bed is a pool of stuff animals and blankets. Then there is my oldest and he sleep with nothing but his blanket and pillow and like your article talks about no matter how hot it is he can only sleep if he is covered completely. I think I’m going to buy a stand up pivoting fan to keep the air in their room moving.

    Reply
    • December 1, 2017 at 10:14 AM
      Permalink

      I think that is a great idea. It will be interesting to see how your children react to that. Give it a couple of weeks and see how things change. Thank you for the feedback.

      Reply

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