Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fear of the Dark

Children have so many fears when they're little.  I remember two years ago when my girls were SO afraid of bugs.  I'm afraid that I wasn't much help since I actually don't like bugs.   Still, I continually tried to encourage them not to be afraid.  I hid my fear of bugs.  When they were upset, I spoke in a calm voice and tried not to make a big deal out of it.  They did seem to grow out of their fear though they still didn't them them.

This summer they changed.  My daughter, Sami, has actually gotten crickets out of the underbrush for a friend's frogs.  She's come a long way.  I believe that part of what has helped her is my friend, Jenny, who loves bugs.  Her example and joy in God's creation--bugs--has opened my daughter's eyes and helped them to feel comfortable holding, touching, and being around bugs.

Sometimes it's hard to know just what to do to help our kids get over their fears.  Bugs are a common fear among kids.  Fear of the dark is another very common fear children have.  

Many parents leave the lights on for their kids.  Some put on music at night.  But, often the kids are still afraid.  As parents, we can help them learn to cope with their fears, such as a fear of the dark, and turn to the Lord.  Often stories can help us set the stage for such lessons.    

Pat Holt and Robyn Vander Weide have written a story titled The Long, Dark, Scary Night.  It is about a little boy named Dylan who is afraid of the dark.  He does everything he can to put off going to bed.  Once in bed, he thinks he sees a monster, a dragon, and then a ghost. 

This story was originally published as a part of a collection of short devotional stories titled Everyday Adventures, back in 1982.  There were only a few pictures with each story.  In this update, the story has been spaced out by pictures.  The language has been updated only a little.  It was very interesting to me to compare the two line by line.  I could see why the authors changed the text as they did.  They made it more readable.  The story flows better.  

My children are not very afraid of the dark.  But, they understand fear.  They struggle with many fears of their own.  In the future, I will remind them of Dylan's fear and how faced it when their fears come up.  One of the ways we fight fear is to hold onto God's truth in His Word.  The parents in this story teach Dylan to do just that.  

My girls, who are 7 and 5 years old, liked this story particularly because they felt the boy was a little older.  They could identify with the little boy and felt he was their age.  My son, who is 3, loved it as well.  

If you have a child struggling with fear--whether it be of the dark or something else, this book might be a great tool to help you model for your child how they can hold onto God's truth to fight their fears.

If you are interested in purchasing this book, I did check around and found that this book--like Searching for God's Love--is sold for the best price at this website:  It is $8 plus shipping.  It can also be purchased on Amazon for $11.

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the authors.

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