My daughter is seven and a half and is petrified of the dark and of being alone in her room. The onset of the fear was at an expected age, I think somewhere between four and five. Her biggest issue is in the evenings at bedtime. She constantly thinks the Big Bad Wolf is lurking behind every curtain and door. (Who the hell gave her the Three Little Pigs book?!)
Since the fear set in, she's waffled. Sometimes she's fine, other times not. For the past couple of weeks, she wakes up and immediately comes into my room. While it's not dark when she wakes, she will NOT stay in her room by herself. I have to escort her back to her room and stand there while she takes care of her responsibilities, like making the bed, turning off her nightlight, getting dressed, etc.
I was particularly irritated this morning because she was assessing her clothing options and taking a lot longer than normal. "Should I wear this or that? What about these pants with this skirt?" All the while, my hair is wet and starting to dry on its own, which never works out well for me.
This time spent in her room is not special time spent with her. This is just me standing in her room waiting for her to complete her tasks. Even writing this is making me irritated...
I'm being conscious here. I honor the fact that she's scared. And I will not yell at or shame her for being scared. I understand that at her age she's still trying to decipher the difference between reality and fantasy. With that said, she was getting ready on her own in the mornings for a LONG time!! She's reverted and I'm irritated as all get out. I'm irritated because it's an inconvenience. I get that. I honestly don't want to build in more time to deal with this, but will likely do so until I can figure out a way to resolve.
I've found some articles that hopefully will give me some suggestions that I've not yet tried. I'll let you know what I find and if it works. In the meantime, wish me luck. And if you have suggestions, by all means, please comment below or on Facebook.
Be open to what comes.