How to Tackle the "Monster"?

Updated on November 03, 2008
C.Y. asks from Menlo Park, CA
57 answers

My 3 yr. old always tells me that there is a "monster" in his room to avoid going to bed or staying in bed by himself. I tried to reassure him many times that there are no monster in his room or anywhere. Aside from the fact that it is not working, should I have handled it differently to acknowledge his fear? Please advise.

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for all the wonderful tips and advice. I used to think by not talking about the M word would do it. After reading all of your advice, I realize the key is to empower him to deal with his own fear. I believe this tactic will go a long way. Thank you again.

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M.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi C.,

When my nephew was 3, he was always scared of the monster in his room. The only thing that conquered his fear was boxing the monster up and sending him in the mail some place else. I don't know if it will work, but maybe worth a try.

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N.H.

answers from Sacramento on

Dear C.,

There are some really great books out there such as "The Monster Under The Bed" and "Where The Wild Things Go" etc. These helped tremendously with my oldest children years ago, and I have very fond memories of us reading the stories together in my bed, and then heading off for their own beds, usually laughing, and announcing to the "monsters" that it was time for everyone to go to sleep now. Sometimes we would play hide and seek with the monsters and I think it helped that I "accepted" the monsters as well. I had the kids show me where they were hiding, describe them to me, and then I would "see" them too. I would shake my finger at the monster and tell them that it was bed time, and the time for playing was tomorrow when the sun came up again. At first my children were amazed that i could see them too, but it became a great game to end the day. I wish you luck.

N. H. [email protected]____.com

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M.B.

answers from Sacramento on

This may sound REALLY silly... but when I was younger my older brother had the same problem. My dad made a sign to put on his bedroom door that said, "no monsters allowed". It seems really simple, but sometimes that is all it takes for kids. Just a thought...

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K.R.

answers from Sacramento on

C.,

As a therapist, I was going to tell you the same thing that has already been said very well before me...engage the child in getting rid of the "monster". This will allow the child to feel she has some control over the situation and adding an element of play and "magic" to the process is important.

One always gets such great advice on this board!

Good luck.

K.

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A.J.

answers from San Francisco on

I always just checked for them and let my daughter now the room is cleared of them. My mother used to spray something around, but my daughter figured out it was just water. I have a shop in Palo Alto and I just came up with a "monster spray". It has essential oils in it, mainly lavender. I think the check around the room with a few sprays of a famliar calming scent will easily calm all fears. They eventually outgrow it, so just entertain it now.

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M.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I've had a similar thing going on with my nearly 3yo boy. I think he's only trying to get my attention, so what I did might not work for you, but I told him that I met the monster, took him in to another room and talked to him about not being able to come into my sons room anymore. I then told my son that the monster was actually very nice and said he wasn't trying to scare him and he was going to go stay at someone else's house for now on.

This seemed to satisfy my son. Also, the movie, Monsters Inc. is a cute movie to address the "monster" thing, if you are okay showing movies to your children.

Good luck!

M.

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E.G.

answers from Salinas on

In our house, (we have a 1.5 and 3 yr. old) we have used "monster spray" before bedtime to make sure there are no monsters under the bed, in the closet, etc. The spray is just water in a spray bottle.

We also let them watch Pixar's Monsters, Inc. to show monsters in a different, not scary, light and give them another perspective. We talked about how monsters seem scary, but they are really scared of us too!

Good luck, it is hard to deal with the toddler fears...

: ) E.

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S.G.

answers from Bakersfield on

Hi C.,
Develop a monster abatement program. Have your husband or yourself select a special, magical monster control, make it as colorful or interesting as your imagination allows, sit down with your son and explain the function of the monster control. Together check all places in his room, talk to the monster and warn it that your son now has a special monster control and that he'll be sleeping with the control, so the monster better be very careful and stay away "or else." This is a very fun activity and it tells your son that you take him serious while at the same time reminds him, that he needs to stay in his room by himself for the control to work. I think I would develop a story involving special invisible boy powers that only work when the boy is in his room by himself. Have fun, but take him serious.
S.
you are welcome to contact me if you need story ideas

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K.H.

answers from San Francisco on

I have 4 children and 2 of them had great difficulty with bed time. Here are some things that we did that might help you. First, I created a bedtime spray made with essential oils and flower essences and we spray ourselves and the linens every night before we go to bed (we've been doing this for 8 years now and they all love it). Secondly, we made a protection shrine near my older son's bed. He built a little lego house, put a toy family inside and then placed a knight, a lion and a dinosaur outside of the house. He felt that his pretend family was safe and that helped him feel safe. Third, we did a little exercise I read about where the child lists the top 10 things that he/she is afraid of. This is a great platform for talking through fears. We drew pictures of the scary things and then gave them funny faces or made them really small in scale to us. This was also beneficial. Sorry I am getting wordy. This is one area that I have had a great deal of experience in so I am blabbering on. Good luck.

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C.N.

answers from Sacramento on

I went through this too and when nothing else worked I read an article about "Monster Spray". Mix a tiny bit of food coloring in a spray bottle with water. Right before tucking your son into bed let him spray the monster spray everywhere where he thinks there is a monster. Tell him it's a special spray to keep them away and keep him safe. I know some experts have said this is giving kids a reason to believe that is something to be afraid of but when nothing else worked I relented and tried this. It worked like a charm! Good luck!

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K.B.

answers from Yuba City on

Oh this is tricky. ANd very common. My son did this too at that age, but never my daughters.
First, make sure he is not watching anything inappropriate on TV that makes this worse, you'd be surprised what is even in cartoons. Daytime funny can be nighttime scary.
Here is a lovely kid book: There's a Nightmare in my Closet, by Mercer Mayer I think.
Nightlights can also help. Or a flashlight, that is ALL HIS.Let him turn them off & on at will, whenever he wants. It gives him a sense of power.
You also can make "magic monster repellent" (or power ranger spray or whatever magic hero he likes)in a spray bottle from the dollar store with water and mom's perfume.
This "monster in closet/room/under bed" is very REAL & scary to kids. You kinda have to decide if you can handle going along with the lie of the monster spray, though. If you can, just tell him monsters dont like(&disapppear) nice smells (might even help make him get inn the bath quicker too HAHA) so every night spray some WHERE YOUR SON says,or let him spray, and keep the bottle handy at his bedside. Because your son is young enough to believe in MAGIC (only 2 more yrs tho), this can work quite well. Fears must be acknowledged by us (validated) no matter how old kids are. I still remember running to my room and LEAPING into my bed from as far away from the bed as I could possibly jump. (monster might be under) I was older than your son (but big sibs can really tell scary stories)
Oh, and you and yr hubby have to agree about this! Good luck!

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A.S.

answers from Sacramento on

When our 2 and 4 year old sons started getting fearful of monsters, my husband helped them find their shooter (their finger gun) and shoot the monsters....sound affects and all. I know this sounds a little violent but they= boys really enjoyed shooting into the dark and scaring the "monsters" away.

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L.K.

answers from San Francisco on

Dear C.,

I have two boys that are 3 years apart, like you. However mine are now 18 and 15 years old! It's been quite a journey but they are wonderful, well-adjusted kids. Anyway, I have a suggestion for you. Depending on how you feel about toy guns you could either use a squirt gun or a spray bottle (like an old Windex spray container, for example). Be sure the squirt gun or the spray bottle is clean and empty. Then tell your son that it squirts magic monster repellant. Monsters hate it and if he "sprays" under his bed or in his closet before going to sleep at night the monsters will stay away. It will empower him to deal with his own issue in a way that respects his imagination.

Good luck.

Regards,
L.

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H.M.

answers from Sacramento on

C.,
My son did the same thing, then I heard about this couple that wrote a book about monsters under the bed. So I asked my son what color the monstor was and had him describe it then we set a "monster trap" all it is is a jar of sugar that I put under the bed but when he's not looking I add water with food coloring that matches the "monster", then we wait a few minutes with the lights out. When we check the "monster trap" it has caught the monster and melted him. Then my son and I would carry it to the bathroom and flush the monster down the drain. We caught a lot of monsters the 1st couple of weeks but then we quit catching them because they were no all caught. The trap is still under his bed and he'll be 7 next month. So whenever he tries to say that he can't sleep because of "monsters" I just pull out the trap and say well it's still here and we haven't caught any so your safe.

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G.B.

answers from Sacramento on

I had a friend who gave her kids "Monster Spray," simply a little bit of colored water in their very own little spray bottle and they would use it at night to spray the mosters away when they got into bed. It seemed to work for them. I thought it was a clever idea, though I haven't had to use it yet ; )

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C.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi C.,
We too, used monster spray (ours was perfume)- just a little bit in the air. Since my boys could smell it, they seemed sure it would work. We also assured them that we don't allow monsters to bother children in our house, we are more powerful than them. We would also sing "God is Bigger Than the Bogie Man" from Veggie Tales. Good luck!

C.

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S.E.

answers from San Francisco on

This may sound a bit like enabling, and it may be, but it worked. Keep in mind, this was after the long talks about what she was afraid of, watching Monsters Inc. (We had already seen it at least a dozen times by then.), and lots of reassurance that she was protected by Mommy Goddess powers ( I sprinkled fairy dust over her and her bed.) Yes, this was after lots of talking about what was bothering her, but she was three and not fully able to articulate the depth of her fears of being alone.

I made a kit called, Monsters Away! The Kid Powered Kit. I put in the directions that the child's picture needed to be inserted in order for it to work. I made it so my child had to do the ridding, but I could be present (to read the directions and make sure she remembered to follow the steps in order).

I put colored paper on the end of a flash light and she had to shine it over and under every surface. Then she had to spray (water) Magic Mist ("only ONE spritz in each area.") to keep the monsters away for a full year. She had to insert her picture into the Magic Mist in the mister bottle. She went around misting every corner, under thbe dresser, in each closet, under the bed, etc. She even demonstered the hallway and my room. I suggested she do the whole house and she spent a few hours demonstering the entire house, after I checked the kit to be sure we had enough Magie Mist.

She chased away the monsters and we marked the calendar on my computer one year, less a week, to know when to demonster the house again. When her daddy came home, she was so proud of her work that she just had to show him right away. Off to her room she went to show him how the monsters couldn't come in the house. That first time, she spent 10 minutes in her room alone. A first.

We didn't have to demonster the next year. We moved to a monster-free, realtor guarenteed home.

Good luck,
Stephanie

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B.R.

answers from Sacramento on

This would depend on your personal beliefs, but our son-in-law dealt with this problem when their first daughter was three by telling her "Jesus is more powerful than the monsters, so let's pray and ask Him to keep the monsters away." By the way, I assume most of us are noticing that fear of monsters seems to be a fairly typical problem at around the age of three.

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A.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Our daughter is three and a half and has gone through the same thing, but instead of monsters it was dinosaurs. I think telling them they aren't real doesn't help much, their imaginations are really growing at this stage. We encouraged her to use her own power to help the dinosaur leave. She would stand in her bed and yell, "Dinosaur go home! Go see your mommy and daddy and brothers and (etc.) and go night night!" She would also occassionally send the dinosaur to time out. It was pretty cute and gave her the power to make herself feel safe. She still does it every now and then. With all the great advice you have gotten I hope your son finds the safety he's after.

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G.P.

answers from San Francisco on

All children are psychic. They see things that we have been trained not to see. Being aware of this and having the "sight" myself I always take my kids perception seriously. (My youngest saw ghosts and would not go near a cemetery). Ask him to describe this monster in great detail and listen and be concerned. Then tell him that this monster has no physical body and can't hurt him. And with a thought he can make him disappear. He is more powerful as his thoughts keep him safe. I taught my children that darkness cannot exist in the light. So turn on the light. I would have them imagine a light bulb in their minds and then have them use their fingers to actually turn on this imagined light. The action of using the hand and thinking make it more real. And once bathed in the light that they have control over, they have made themselves safe. Darkness and fear cannot live in the light. (This was taught to me by an elderly medium years ago). Then turn out the real light and point out the shadows in the room then turn the light on again. Debunk shadows as monsters. Then read him "Where the Wild Things Are" One of my kid's favorite empowerment over monsters book. And let him have a night light that he feels good with and is in charge of.
When I was a child I saw lots of things that no-one else did and my parents had no clue. My mother would say I had a "Wild imagination" but never offered any help. Try this and see what happens.
GOOD LUCK,
Gale

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L.E.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi C.
I read in this month's Parenting magazine a trick is to "call" the monster mommies and tell them not to let their monsters out that night....they had the monster spray tip in there as well as some others. Good luck!

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P.W.

answers from San Francisco on

You handled it fine, but if the tactic of telling him there is no monster isn't working try something else.

Make up some kind of magic monster eradication ritual, and give him a lovey that wards off monsters, a magic stuffed animal or something. This is a case where "mirroring", which I have talked about before, works better than denial. If his senses are telling him something quite different than what you are telling him, denying his experience will make it worse.

So go for it and have fun with it. You two can vanquish the monster together.

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M.H.

answers from Fresno on

C., Besides helping him with his fear, as my mom says, kids just love monsters! However, if you need help discouraging it and believe in angels, you could buy a book or just tell the story of what a guardian angel is. Then put a chair next to his bed each night explaining that's where his guardian angel sits. You could elaborate on how his angel will sit there all night watching over him while he sleeps - his very own angel (or even conclude with your guardian angel prayer). It's very sweet and of course, I believe it! For now it works for my son (he'll be 3 in two weeks). Also, there are quite a few books on monsters in the closet that I loved as a child. You could make it funny too and try scaring the monster away! My son loves "getting" the monster ("The monster's gone, we must've scared him away!") Good luck!

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C.C.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi, C..

I would put a nightlight in his room, one just bright enough for security. Have him pick a toy to sleep with and before going to bed check under the bed, in the closet, etc. so he can see there are no monsters.

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E.K.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi C.,

We had the same problem with my daughter when she was that age. Right before bed we would go aroung the house with her and let her lock the doors so she know they were locked and nothing could get in. Then we would get a flash light and walk around the house and look under the tables and all the beds so that she could see there was nothing there.

Good luck.

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P.M.

answers from Sacramento on

C.,

We got some great advice from a friend. She took a colorful spray bottle and filled it with water and a few drops of vanilla extract. She gave it to her child and told her it was "monster spray" and when her child felt scared she asked for the spray bottle and spritzed her room. This way the child was in control and there was a nice soft scent while falling asleep.

We have combined that along with telling our children, "Daddy and I don't allow monsters in your room". This worked for a long time, but it took a lot of repetition.

Good luck, I hope you find some advice that works for you and your children.
P.

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V.T.

answers from Redding on

In our house we have a little bedtime ritual that includes asking our guardian angel to come into the room to protect us through the night. When these sleep problems begin we always take care to explain that each of us is born with our own guardian angel who watches over us and helps to keep us safe all our lives. Over time the concept sparks a lot of questions that open the door for spiritually bonding discussions at bedtime (and sometimes during the day). But building quick familiarity with the concept and then taking those moments at bedtime to help "bring" the angel into the room for protection while we sleep has gotten us through a lot of trials. It's also an exercise that works well when sleeping over and grandma and grandpa's house as the angel goes everywhere with you!

Good luck!

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J.K.

answers from Fresno on

I have always just told my daughter that no matter what God is watvhing over us and wont allow monsters in our house. I have also heard of people taking like an air freshner can and putting a label on it saying monster spray and sprayed it before the kids went to bed and it worked.

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D.D.

answers from Kansas City on

I see that you've received loads of advice on this already and may have resolved this issue. I agree that using one's imagination and making a game out of things can go a long way when dealing with young children. We also need to equip them with the skills to cope with fear. Fear is always going to be there. Right now it is of Monsters (something imaginary) but next it may be of bad guys (real and possible danger.) Having children has forced me to examine what I believe to be true in this world, because they are learning about life from me. Being truthful and 'real' goes a long way and causes less confusion later.

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S.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi C.,

I have two boys (2 & 3.5) and we make a game out of the monster thing. We've convinced them that monsters taste like yummy treats, so the goal is to eat as many as possible. They like the chocolate-milk monsters the best. It's a fun way to get them to realize that they're only imaginary.

Good luck!

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B.M.

answers from Salinas on

I dont have boys, and I have never had "monster" problems. I wondered if you have asked him what the monster looks like? This way you can asses wether or not it might be something on TV scaring him. Other than that, if I had the same problem, I would probably watch "Toy Story" with my girls. Then immediately say: "Hey!!! lets go to the toy store and buy a toy that the monster will be afraid of. Then your new toy can chase him out of the house, and he will never come back, because your new toy can protect you while everyone else is asleep!!"

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E.R.

answers from San Francisco on

We talk about monsters being Elmo, Grover, Cookie Monster and that scary monsters in kids' rooms don't exist.

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C.H.

answers from Sacramento on

With our son we bought a huge stuffed Lion and crowned him the protector of our son. As long as "Walter" is in the bed with him he believes he has a powerful lion protecting him. This has worked for years and now our son is 7 and is finally getting to the point where he thinks he's old enough to have the monsters afraid of him.

Good luck!

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A.T.

answers from Stockton on

Do NOT let him watch Monsters Inc. my son saw it at daycare and it really freaked him out - he still talks about it.
If my son wakes up from a monster bad dream we go on a monster hunt in his room - even if it's 3am. We look in the closet - behind the chair - in the toybox etc. & he gets to hold the gigantic flashlight. We tell him he scared the monster away with his "Go Away, Monster!" yells. As we go around the room we talk about how Grandpa & Momma painted the walls and Auntie made his quilt and Grandma bought him his Teddy etc. & how all of these people in his family love him and filled up his room with love and good thoughts to make it the best room ever.
Also - I have a little white noise machine tht we run when he sleeps because hubby snores - I told my son the noise hurts the monster's ears and they don't like to hear it so they stay out of our house. (same with the night light)
When we get him calmed down and reassured that his room is a good place I firmly instruct his favorite stuffed dog to watch over him and bark at any bad dreams or monster thoughts.
Of course, he does end up in bed with us once in a while, but his Daddy's snoring makes him miss his own bed pretty quick.
The next morning I ask him to draw the monster and then put stickers on the picture to make the monster look funny or silly. Of course it all looks like scribbles to me!! Now that he is almost 4 he will sometimes talk about his dream - usually when we're in the car or somewhere else private. It seems to help - but trying to get him to talk when he isn't ready doesn't work.
I have noticed that bad dreams seem to happen when he is really tired, had too much going on or there has been a change at home OR he has a fever. I recently got laid off and even though I try to keep his routine the same - he still goes to daycare, but for fewer hours - he had a batch of nightmares for 4 nights. I think kids pick up on stress even when we don't talk about it.
Try having a monster hunt & have him be the brave hunter - make it fun & adventurous - not too intense - put him in charge and then do this weekly & then taper off by replacing the monster hunt with a regular bedtime routine. Maybe read books with him already tucked in so he has something fun to look forward too instead of boring old bedtime.
Good Luck!!

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K.M.

answers from San Francisco on

We created a "monster spray" of water plus something that smelled good so she could spray around her room...and it still smelled good for us...

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J.E.

answers from San Francisco on

We watched a Vegietales movie called "Where is God When I'm Scared?". It has a great song titled "God is Bigger than the Boogeyman" that my kids still hum around the house. It also has the bible story "Daniel and the Lions Den". This is the Big Ideas website with a description. I originally bought the video at Target (about six years ago). http://bigidea.com/products/shows/shows_content.aspx?pid=675
It looks like there is also a board book available.

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L.W.

answers from Bakersfield on

My oldest had the same issue a few years back. Looking back, I'm pretty sure it was just another stall tactic but when you're in the thick of it, you just want the problem to go away. We tried several things: "monster spray" - basically a spray bottle filled with water so she could spray the monsters away (we quit this one because she was using it more as a toy than anything else), telling her to tell them to go away (this one freaked me out to hear her on the baby monitor saying "No! No!!! No!!! Go away!" when there was only her in the room - I put a stop to that one pretty soon, I couldn't take it.) :) Anyway, the one thing that has always worked for her is to just flat out tell her we don't allow monsters in the house. We were able to reason with her a bit more than children her own age (or at least we felt we could) so it really seemed to fix the problem. She doesn't have monsters issues at all now. Momma and Daddy have already taken care of it.

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C.F.

answers from San Francisco on

I always told my daughter that I'm the boss of my house and I don't allow monsters in my house. I also got her dreamcatchers and read her the stories about them, as well as other "protection" items such as stones, etc. That seemed to help.
Good luck! C.

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A.K.

answers from Albuquerque on

we have a squirt bottle in the closet marked "monster Repellent" it's water and lavendar oil. When my guy tells me there's a monster I get out the spray and sometimes wear a cape just to make it seem really cool. works everytime. I tell him smell that...monsters hate it. the bonus is that lavendar calms and helps him fall to sleep.

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K.S.

answers from San Francisco on

One thing I do with my 2yo boy is we shoo the monsters away by chanting "Monster Monster go away! Come again another day! POOF!" For a couple of months he thought that was fun and it would ease his fears.

Just a few days ago I started to explain to him that monsters are just pretend. That they are in cartoons and books just for fun, and to be silly, but that they are not real. He is a real thinker and it seems to be helping, for now atleast.

Hope that helps. :)

1 mom found this helpful
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V.S.

answers from Charlotte on

You've gotten a lot of great advice... I have yet to go through this with my almost 3yr old since she thinks shes the monster (RAWR) lol... but wanted to thank you for posting this as i have another one who will be 1 next month and who knows she may go through this...

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M.R.

answers from Bakersfield on

Get them each a teddy bear & let the boys give each of their teddies a name. Tell them Teddy Bear will protect them.
The negative monster is imagined in his mind so replace a good imagination in his mind. You can be creative based on your family interactions.

Reassurance idea is great. You can do that next time!

Mary R.

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L.C.

answers from Chicago on

My son has a book called BIG GREEN MONSTER.
We use to read it at night before bed. It is a really cute book. Very short and easy for the kids to read. It is from Scholastic Books.
Good Luck.

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E.H.

answers from Austin on

My 3 year old was scared of monsters in his room so we filled a spray bottle with water and called it monster spray. He would spray his room down before bed. The monster spray killed all monsters. He even sprayed our room! We have not had a problem since.

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L.C.

answers from Montgomery on

C.,
Buy your son some veggie tales cd's. They are all based on christian things and the way God protects his children.Let him watch them so he will learn about God & Jesus. Then get him a picture of Jesus & put it in his wall next to his closet.Tell him that God & his son Jesus will protect him from all bad things not just monsters b/c "Jesus loves the little children".No matter who they are or where they come from.God bless you & your family
L. C

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K.W.

answers from Portland on

I highly recommend the book "Mommy, I'm Scared" which talks about the specific ways in which some TV and movies (not even "scary" programming necessarily) can disturb kids. A lot of kids can't articulate to their parents what is bothering them, and often won't tell because they're afraid parents will get mad that they were watching something they maybe shouldn't. It discusses the differences in what frightens kids at different ages and stages according to brain development and maturity, and gives you strategies for helping them.

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi C.,
I see that you have tons a responses and I did not read most of them, but my 3 year old son went through this recently too.
Not sure if what I told him was okay, but it worked! I told him that monsters only live in the snow. Since it does not snow here I thought that would do the trick. But then I told him that maybe we will go and see the snow this year and he said "but what about those monsters?" and I said...."oh, honey didn't I tell you that the monsters only live in the snow in Maine." Then I showed him Maine on the map and he saw how far it was...and that we have no plans of ever going there:)
Well, it worked and now we can speak freely about monsters and it's fine because they live in Maine!
He also used to be scared that a lion or bear were going to come in his room and get him. I told him that lion's go to bed at 5:00pm and that bears go to bed at 6:00pm so they were already sleeping just like him!
good luck!
by the way... I have a almost 3.5 year and a 9 month old too:)

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D.H.

answers from Miami on

My daughter is now 16 years old, but I can tell you what worked for me when she was little. My husband and I invented something we called "Mommy spray" (later I found out someone marketed it, and made millions...I was SO MAD!) anyway....we took a body spray, any kind will do, but try to pick something soothing, like vanilla or lavender or something... and every night when she went to bed, we sprayed the "Mommy spray" on her doorway, under her bed, on her sheets, we made a "safety perimiter" for her. We told her that the Mommy Spray would protect her from monsters or any other scary thing that she was worried about or afraid of. We didn't bother decorating or changing the bottle, because she was little, but you can get really creative with the name of it and decorating it and such. It worked for years! Let me know if it works! Good Luck!

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C.T.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi, I know you have received so many great ideas, of which I will borrow for my turning 3 year old but we read a great book to our 5 year old called The Most Loved Monster. It is about monster kids afraid of children in their rooms..It is sweet and disarms the concept of monsters...better for older!

Also, Curious George books, Clifford and Bernstein Bears along with Dora and noggin characters help minimize the scary parts of holidays associated with monsters and keep it about pretend.

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K.R.

answers from Portland on

Wow, that's as tough as it is adorable! My mother took a small spray bottle (the type used to mist plants) and filled it with water and a drop of perfume that she didn't wear often enough for me to recognize. She came in armed with the spray bottle, being sure to spray anywhere that I knew a monster was lurking. Hope that helps!

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P.P.

answers from Janesville-Beloit on

Hello C., Have you tryed laying in his bed with him? Read him a story. Or go and open all closet doors with him and stay with him until he falls asleep in his own bed.If you do this after awhile he will forget about the so call monsters and you all can get a good night sleep.

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P.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am going through the SAME EXACT thing with my son...for MONTHS! We have tried all the suggestions posted here...squirt bottle, books, laser light...etc. Worked for awhile...Now, he is experiencing bad dreams...I asked him to show me those monsters and he replied, "mommy, they are in my dreams..." So, last night I told him, "Whatever you do, DON'T dream about Milo and Otis" (one of his favorite shows...very pleasant) So, if your little one's fears escalate into dreams, try telling her what NOT to dream about...places an image in her head before sleeping...worked last night for us, hope it works again..Good luck to you...I soo feel your frustration

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W.G.

answers from Portland on

Lots of great advice here. I have 5 children and from about the age of 3 I started telling them about "tv" and how shows are made with robots and people dressed in costumes and "special cameras" relating to halloween with the costumes. I would reinforce how there are no real monsters on our planet and I would tell them that monsters and other creatures lived on fantasy planet. (thats what we named it) and could not come to earth because of our force field around the planet, it would burn anything up that tried to come through it. Even now my 8 year old twins and 7 year old will be watching something and they will look at me and say mom that's not real it's just someone dressed in a costume or a robot. Every once in a while there will be a nightmare (few and far between)and they have very little problems with going back to sleep on their own.
Oh and I have always used night lights in my kids rooms.
This has worked for 5 kids and I would recommend it to anyone.

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D.P.

answers from Dallas on

Oh, this is great when I saw it I had to reply. I went through it with both of kids now 20 & 18. Since kids base alot of things on smell this is how I put an end to the monters.
I found a a fregrence they liked perhaps a perfume I wore or and air freshner they liked. When bed time rolled around and the monters came we would use it to spray a little in the room under the bed and in the closet. (This was called Monster Spray)Worked everytime. I believe I read this hint in a magazine. After they are asleep and before you go to apray a little more in the room and usually if they wake during the night they will smell the monster spray know theres no monsters and back to sleep. With little ones if you use lotions or fregrence they seem to like it will work. Just what ever gives them comfort. Good luck.
D.

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J.C.

answers from Seattle on

- Morning, C.- this is SUCH a typical issue for bright children--- their fears and anxietys are SOOOOOOOOO real- and they struggle to wrap words around the fear. The brighter the child- quite likely the more intense the fear ( not always but often). A dear freind of mine- now in Heaven -(too soon- way too son) used the following strategy for her son- now nearly 40 - and it worked perfectly. Take an EMPTY hair spray can- wrap it in something else--- sunday cartoons or wrapping paper- so it no long screams '''this is for hair spray''' Then you give him his '''magic monster spray''' - and assure him that '''monsters are really scared of this- you spray this under your bed, in the corners -and they CANNOT get near you'''. the reason this works??? --- children this age have magical thinking - that's why you can say to a little child'' Mommys' kiss makes the owie all better''' --- ''''of course Santa knows exactly what you want''' --- '''' Santa can find you my angel- no matter how close to Christmas we move- cause -------''''' Their sweet, honest, spiritual minds WORK that way---

I know you'll deal with this beautifully--- and do allow your children to tell you about the monsters - within a decade - the monsters will be slightly older children trying to con your treasure into trying cigarettes - and other poisons- Let them tell you EVERYTHING -- you'll be glad.

Much love,
Old MOm
aka- J.

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J.K.

answers from Redding on

I agree with Victoria. We pray and ask our Angels to protect us..

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K.L.

answers from New Orleans on

Hi C.- I don't know if you let him watch tv or not, but you could always respond with the most famous monster of all, ELMO! Most of the Sesame Street gang are monsters. That might help a little, since they are not scary

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