The stage of fear of the dark is passed by almost all children, and sometimes even adults. Any creak of the floor, rustle of a shutter or an occasional bump in the night is filled with dread. But is this just childish bliss, or is there an evolutionary reason for it?
As scientists have found out, the fear of darkness has deep roots in our brains. It is the result of an evolutionary process that helped us survive in the wilderness, writes Gizmodo.
In our ancestors who lived in jungles and savannahs, darkness was associated with danger. In the darkness lurk predators that could attack a defenseless person. Therefore, fear of darkness was an important defense mechanism that helped us avoid danger.
This fear has been passed on to us by inheritance. And even in the modern world, where we do not risk being eaten by wild animals, the fear of darkness is still strong.
However, the fear of darkness is not entirely instinctive. We also learn how to react to darkness from our parents. If parents react to a child's fear of darkness with apprehension, it can exacerbate the child's fears.
Therefore, it is important to help children overcome their fear of darkness. To do this, you can do the following things:
- Do not dramatize the child's fears. Explain to the child that there is nothing dangerous in the dark.
- Create a comfortable atmosphere in the child's bedroom.
- Offer the child a soothing story or song before bedtime.
- If the fear of darkness in the child is excessive and interferes with his normal life, then you should contact a specialist.
Earlier, scientists explained why some people die in their sleep and what a person sees before death.
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