Sprite of the Night began as a way to answer a need 3 out of 4 parents of young children share: kids who are afraid of the dark or afraid of sleeping apart from mom or dad.
This common need was identified when National Geographic science contributor Daryl Austin was assigned to report news stories for USA Today, The Washington Post, and Parents magazine - each covering common nighttime fears experienced in children.
In preparing those articles, he analyzed numerous studies and interviewed top experts on the topic, including ones at the National Institute of Mental Health, Mayo Clinic, Yale Child Study Center, and the medical schools of Harvard, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins. The experts explained why 73% of kids between the ages of 3 to 12 struggle with nighttime fears, and how comfort items and creative bedtime stories have proven to be helpful. Carefully designed comfort items like this wood sprite are praised by the experts as “transitional objects” between parent and child and something kids naturally view as “extensions” of themselves when they experience fear. It helps them feel comforted and brave when alone in the dark. What’s more, the meaning of the item is what gives it power. Like an “elf” watching from a shelf or Dumbo with his feather, the experts said that comfort items work best when they feel purposeful to the child.
Carefully crafted stories that directly address nighttime fears are also important for modeling bravery and for keeping a child’s overactive imagination from running in the wrong direction - giving them something soothing to think about instead of scary thoughts.
Sprite of the Night combines both recommendations: a comfort item and a fun story that gives the item meaning. It’s a technique that has worked for countless parents and is recommended by top experts as a way to help little ones overcome their nighttime fears once and for all.