We all know that this is just a phase, but there is a way to help them move past their fears.Avoid Scary Images During the Day Keep a close eye on what your children watch on TV during the day. A lot of these imagined monsters are born in the images that bombard our children every day. Try to find what may scare them. There are things that may be benign in our view, but for some reason scare the living daylights out of our children. A lot of cartoons and childrenâs movies have serious bad guys in them. For a lot of children thatâs fine, but for the ones who are battling monsters in their imagination every night, these bad guys could be the fodder for your childâs fear.
Acknowledge the Fear, Not the Monster Explain to them that you understand their fear is real, and you understand why theyâre scared. However, try to avoid validating that a monster really could be there. Looking through the bedroom for the imaginary monster, or making up something to âscareâ the monsters away can validate the idea that a monster really is there. Instead, explain that itâs normal to be scared of monsters and that Mommy and Daddy used to have this fear too. Then, try to explain the difference between reality and fantasy.
Avoid Put-Downs Phrases like âdonât be a babyâ, and âbig boys donât get scared of monstersâ will just make this worse. Not only is he still scared, now he probably wonât talk to you about it anymore. Which means your child will just stay in bed too scared to go to sleep with no one to ease his fears.
Add A Little Light For some children the fear of the dark reigns supreme. And for them, that dark is hiding the monsters they fear. Try adding another night light or twinkle lights around their bed. Just the addition of some soft light can relieve their fears and help them sleep.
When Logic Fails We donât want to validate the monsters themselves, but for many children no amount of logic will convince them that monsters are not invading their room at night. You may have to fight imagination with imagination. While validating the monsterâs existence is a no-no, you can use a âmonster sprayâ to help them take control of their fears. However, instead of calling it a âmonsterâ spray, make a âfear be goneâ spray. A little water mixed with some lavender will do the trick. Just be very clear that since the monsters are not real, but their fear is, this spray will help make their fear go away. Let them spray before bedtime so they can feel like they are taking charge of their fear.