My three-year-old daughter is scared of her shadow


  • Fear is such a big emotion for my little girl. 
  • Overcoming it is not always easy, but we try to deal with it.

My daughter is scared of her shadow.

It doesn't matter how often I tell my daughter she can't drink water before bed. But she always gets 'thirsty'. Or she thinks of something that will ultimately lead us to the kitchen. She can be strategic, to my very dismay.

This particular night I decided to only turn on the kitchen lights. So this meant we had darkness around us.  And sure enough, we had some shadows outlined on the wall. I was busy trying to get her to drink the water she wanted; when I saw the look of terror, she wore on her face. She pointed to the wall and said, 'mommy kgokgo,' loosely translated as a monster or something scary. She was so terrified.

I explained to her what it was, educating her on what she was seeing.

I told her it was a shadow. Reassured her on how safe she was. That the shadow wouldn't eat her as she feared. And how sometimes she would see shadows when it got dark, with a bit of light around. I doubt she clearly understood what I meant, but she listened all the same. I think what freaked her out the most was how her shadow kept moving as she moved.

So I made her aware of how mommy had a shadow as well. The thought of sharing something with me eased up the tension a little bit. Then we started pointing out shadows of everything we saw in the kitchen. It became a fun little game we shared, with giggles and loud 'look mommy' pleas.


Finding a silver lining to our situation.

So I started making shadow animals with my fingers for her. It took a moment for her to see what I was showing her. But when she eventually realized that mommy made a dog shape with her fingers, she was in awe of me—such a great feeling as a mom.

For a little while, we forgot the reason we had gone to the kitchen. We got lost in our newfound game. Shadows across the wall suddenly became fun and exciting for my sweet girl.

  • The trust my daughter has in me, gives me a 
  • newfound purpose. 

It's such an honour having my little girl looking up to me for guidance and many times for reassurance. Her innocence is a pure gem. The wonder in her eyes and the hope she has in them is something I treasure.

I don't take for granted the trust she has in me as her mom. How she instantly knows that mommy will make it better, the confidence she has in me to help her when she needs it. And how I will have a solution to her problems. It's a gift.


  • My daughter will have many more fears as she 
  • grows older.

I try to teach my daughter that it's okay to have fears. Sometimes fear is the thing we need to survive. Of course, some things I tell her won't make sense to her three-year-old mind. I say them anyway, though.

She feared her shadow, and I understood her fear. I didn't dismiss it. Instead, I explained what the shadow was. We found a way through her fear. As she grows older, she will have many more worries.

She might not get over some of them. Many of them might not even need mommy to help. I hope that she finds a way of living with them or through them. Conquering won't always be possible, but understanding them and finding a way to move through them could help. 

She is so brave, my little girl. She is always asking me to switch off the lights to make a shadow butterfly for her. I couldn't be more proud.

All my love
Ari & Kgoši's Momie ♥