When your kids are little, they are afraid of the dark. This seems to be a universal trait they all share. Is there a single one who is brave enough to face the depths of nothingness without trepidation? They imagine ghosts and goblins under the bed, monsters in the closet, and scary insects under the sheets. There no doubt are bats flying under the ceiling. What imaginations! They go wild with ridiculous scenarios. They concoct the most frightening possibilities. Hence, they need a good nightlight to illuminate their rooms in order to go to sleep peacefully. Sometimes it takes more than that. They need a familiar and comforting bedtime story that is happy and cheerful, sometimes a nice song that is a nightly routine, and often a hall light blaring through their open door. Bedtime can be a trauma. Kids like to hear their parents’ voices and even a bit of a TV show. Anything to break their feeling of being alone.

An ingenious parent can devise ways to make the process a little easier. For my situation, I bought a rechargeable flashlight after researching online at  so I can go into my daughter’s room at night to check on her and illuminate her precious little face. I want to see those closed eyes. I want to imagine her having sweet dreams. I, too, hunt the ghosts and goblins but they are nowhere in sight. I love that I don’t have to turn on the ceiling light in order to see that she is snuggled comfortably in bed. I can now get rid of that annoying hall light. How can she sleep with all that on? I wouldn’t be able to do it. I love to enter slumberland in total darkness.

As Maya grows older, I hope she will be more relaxed about bedtime and learn to laugh at her imaginary images. Now she finds comfort in her stuffed toys and they surround her on top of her quilt, giving her a feeling of joy that stills the nagging thoughts that can abound. Their presence guards her from the monsters that lurk. I try to get her to laugh at her folly but to no avail. I say that her teddy bear will protect her and she need never worry for a second. She is not alone. Sometimes she seems to believe me and tires of her ever-present concern. She knows that I am nearby with flashlight in hand to scare anyone and anything away. Sometimes she waits until she sees it before falling asleep. But fatigue can overtake her and she falls into a deep, restful sleep nonetheless. This is what I must witness before I can retire for the night.

You needn’t worry if your child is afraid of the dark as it is perfectly normal. Just have a bedtime routine that can help him or her relax. Tell them that your flashlight is at hand to relieve the pressure of total darkness.