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HELPING YOUR CHILD THROUGH FEAR

BY THE OLD TODDLER TEAM

This week, we thought we would address a topic common to most children at some point. That is the fear of monsters, especially at night.  There are many articles and websites that address this issue. There is even a popular movie (Monster’s Inc.) that looks at this from the monster’s viewpoint.

These fears usually rear their heads at bedtime or when your child awakes in the night and they can be hard to alleviate. Some of this can be rooted in a fear of the dark. Bedtime should be a special and memorable part of a little one’s day, but if your child is afraid of monsters or boogeymen or has bad dreams or nightmares, it can be anything but.  For some kids, when it’s time to turn out the light and say goodnight, fear and anxiety set in, turning bedtime routine into a bedtime battle that’s a stressful experience for the entire family.

“I have clear memories of jumping from the door to the bed so that the monster under there did not grab my feet. My father had to inspect the closet every night and make sure the door was firmly closed before I would go to sleep.” -Heidi

Here is a video of one book that looks at nightmares read by Mercer Mayer, the author of the story.


There are many ways to attempt to solve this problem for you and your family. We liked the image below.

Worry Monsters:

One activity is to draw a picture or make another representation of your child’s worry monster. They can draw their own, or you can help them by drawing what they describe.  You can role play about your child’s fears and talk to the worry monster about them. The more we talk about those fears, the less power they have!

JONATHAN JAMES AND THE WHATIF MONSTER BY MICHELLE NELSON-SCHMIDT

READ BY LAUREN

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