Parents who have small children often experience that they get scared of monsters. As a parent, I can say it can be stressful. As a child is developing imagination, fears are developing as well.
Monsters can state other fears that are present in a child’s life. It happens usually at the age of 4 or 5.
There can be many triggers to fear. Divorce, the birth of a baby, changing environment or kindergarten, or similar events. Sometimes they will wake up soaking wet screaming about monsters.
It is very important in that case, to stay calm and try to accept this situation as a phase. They come and go in a child’s life.
It is also important to be there and show the child you are there for him. Even if it is necessary to chase the monsters away.
Monsters in their lives are very real. It is important to understand that every child needs a different approach. That means, that some children will accept if you say that monsters are not real. For some it will not be enough, and you will have to engage more creativity into it.
For example, take a can of air freshener, and change the label into “ANTI-MONSTER SPRAY”. Choose some nice fragrance, something flowery. Every time a child shows fear, you can spray the room and say that monsters are not there anymore.
Some children will not accept any of those two solutions. So, in that case, try to offer a child to stay in the room until they fall asleep. In most cases that will work.
How do I stop my child from being scared of monsters?
When children get afraid, it is very important to show them that you are not afraid. If you show them that you are concerned or scared, that fear you feel will transfer on to them. That way you will have a much more difficult time to help them get rid of their fear.
Show them that you are confident, and that you are not scared of anything. Children see you as their heroes, and no hero should be afraid.
Share your story of the monster under the bed when you were a child. That way they will see that you overcame that fear and there is no monster under your bed or in the closet anymore.
Be open to your child. He will appreciate the effort you are putting in finding a solution to his problem.
Sometimes the songs can make a child calm down. Make your song with the child, make up the lyrics. Make it something that you will sing every day before it gets to sleep.
That will be the song that will chase all the monsters away. That will be also a chance to spend more time with your child, and also use your creativity and imagination.
It doesn’t have to rhyme, it is not even important that it is a quality song, it has to make sense to a child. Later in life, that will be your song, and you will remember the times you sang together.
Involve your child in getting rid of the monsters in the closet. Try to ask a child for his ideas on how to get rid of that monster that is living in the closet or sometimes under the bed. Take his ideas into consideration.
Make a war plan on how to scare the monster away. That can be a good pretending game, and the child will develop some new skills. As well as a way of thinking “outside the box”, because it is not easy to scare a monster, right?
It will help a child to develop self-respect. Later in life will be capable of dealing with their problems and get engaged in the solution.
Check with the child if there is any monster in the room, open the closet, check under the bed. Go with your child to the store, buy a night lamp. Something that is not too bright, but it gives enough light in the room.
Children have to see everything that is happening around the room. That will give him the courage which he needs in such situations. Darkness can be very scary, as children don’t see what is going on around them, that will help for sure.
Maybe something that has a sound of waves or some light lullaby. It will put the child to sleep much quicker and it can be beneficial to the quality of sleep.
Take your child to the local toy store and buy a stuffed animal: lion, tiger, or bear. Even a toy of some superhero they like.
Tell them that animals will make monsters scared. Make a story about how monsters are afraid of wild animals. Let the child pick the toy and tell them to sleep with it. A new toy is always a good idea, especially if the purpose of that toy is more a play.
It is important to direct the imagination of children in the right way, as it is still developing it can be mold.
Give them confidence that they have an animal that is capable of doing much more than sit on the bed. Make that animal a superhero.
If you are a family who has a pet animal, let the animal sleep with the child in their room. It doesn’t have to be the bed.
You can put a dog’s bed in front of the child’s bed. That will help them to relax, as they know that animals will keep them safe from harm.
Sometimes that will be more than enough. The child will go to sleepy, knowing that someone is watching their back.
Studies show that children who sleep with pets have more responsibility and empathy.
They will want to take care of an animal that is helping them out when they need it the most.
If the child wakes up in the middle of the night, and he is afraid, sometimes it is a good idea to take that child in bed with you.
That way you will show that you are willing to help them out. And a very important thing, that you are there for them at any time, good or bad. That will be a good start to a healthy relationship, which will help you also.
As they get older they will have the courage to tell you what is bothering them and what is going on in their lives. Puberty will come and it is better to have a child who has trust in you.
If they go on the wrong path you will be able to help them out, but only if you will know what is going on.
Most children overgrow their fears. In time they will disappear like they never were there. Sometimes you tried everything and nothing worked.
Then it is time to seek professional help if that fear is effecting a normal life. A child psychologist will know what approach to take as soon as they will meet.
It is nothing wrong with that. Often, if a stranger, in this case, a psychologist, tells a child that monsters are not real they will accept it.
First of all, because they are doctors, and children like such “powerful” professions.