Even though a fear of mythical monsters may seem insignificant to mature adults, it can produce real emotional stress for a young child and disturb his or her rest and well-being during the day. Among the many sleeping problems children and mothers and fathers work through together at night is an irrational fear of scary creatures. While parents obviously realize there are no such things as imaginary monsters hiding under the bed or dwelling in the bedroom closet, there is no amount of reasoning or conversation that can convince a scared little one that imaginary monsters do not exist.
There are 2 ways of thinking when it comes to dealing with kids and their fear of monsters. One philosophy states that moms and dads should never give in to a child’s illusion and should instead work to reassure the child that monsters really don’t exist. Although this approach may work for older children who have some experience with cognitive reasoning, it will be much more difficult for younger children to fully grasp. Kids between the ages of 4 to 6 are observant enough to realize there are things in the world that are quite scary, but their ability to discern which are totally genuine and which are fictional has not yet fully evolved.
If you minimize your child’s fears then you are basically saying their feelings don’t matter. Constantly telling a child that his or her fears are unfounded can actually undercut your little one’s confidence. Similarly, if you begin to tell your little one that imaginary things do no exist then he or she may begin to question other tenants of childhood such as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
No matter what method you use, it is essential that treat your child’s concern seriously and not just ignore it. Assure your child that you will not allow any scary monsters to stay in your home or hurt your little one in in any manner. One technique that has worked for a lot of mothers and fathers is using some sort of imaginary instrument to scare away the imaginary creatures. Some mothers and fathers use monster spray, other use imaginary magic spells and even others have employed night lights that are developed to frighten away those imaginary monsters. If your child is especially smart you might want to try a more modern solution for your iPhone with a program designed to act as a kind of monster spray.
It is your job as parents to help your child to triumph over those fears and get a good night’s sleep. Whatever method you use to work with your child to overcome his or her irrational fear of unreal creatures, don’t forget that even though it may seem silly to you it is a very real dilemma for your little one. Children who are suddenly scared of imaginary critters may be spending too much time watching inappropriate TV, playing video games that are too mature for them or they may have a stressful situation at home or school. It is essential for parents and guardians to work with their children to try to figure out the main problem. Unexpected behavioral issues, mood swings and short tempers can all be the symptoms of a lack of sleep caused by worry and fear.
Searching for a way to make sure your kids behave this Christmas season? Instead of putting a stuffed elf on a shelf why not try a Naughty or Nice Meter app for your iPhone or iPod Touch? It’s a fun and inexpensive way to remind them that Santa is watching!