From an early age, Kizarvexilla – the apple of my eye, the fruit of my looms, etc. – displayed a major disincination toward sleeping in a darkened room. As time went by, and as we changed residences periodically, I kept expecting her to grow out of this. I remember quite clearly being in kindergarden and deciding that I not only wanted my room dark when I went to bed, but even stuffed a towel under the door to shut out the light from the hallway.
Kizarvexilla is now seven years old, and about to enter second grade, but she still refuses to sleep in the dark. Let me define “dark”, by the way. For the purposes of this discussion, a room that has any fewer than two direct sources of artificial light is considered “dark”. Night lights be damned, she will insist on having her bedside lamp and the light inside her closet turned on, as well as the light in the bathroom (which is directly across from her bedroom door). Should I tiptoe into her room after she has gone to sleep and extinguish any of these lights, I will invariably find them rekindled the next morning. I am not an overly indulgent, let’s-be-friends-with-our-kids type of parent. I can be pretty strict when I need to be, and am not afraid to use tough love when necessary. But all attempts to limit the number and/or size of lights left burning in her room at night have thus far failed. I’ve elected not to make a big deal out of it right now, but I’m beginning to be concerned.
Based on your own parenting experiences, fellow Dopers, is this something I should expect her to grow out of on her own? Does this phobia of hers have the potential to cause harm if she doesn’t (beyond its obvious contributions to my electric bills, that is)? Anybody out there with any special insight on this?