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Do monsters exist?

(22 Posts)
FairyMum Wed 02-Mar-05 07:17:02

What do you tell your children? Do monsters/ghosts or whatever else they might be scared of exist? Do they only exist in stories? Are they friendly? Are they scared of mums or dads so won't come near the house?How do you talk to your children about these things and how do you calm their fears?
(Having a bit of a nightmare with DS1's nightmares at the moment. All monsters/ghosts under the bed....)

Marina Wed 02-Mar-05 09:28:41

Luckily the main monster in our lives is a friendly invisible one a la Monsters Inc (a film which I think has done quite a bit to help children with monster issues, has your ds seen it FairyMum?).
BUT strategies I have heard can help include:

- doing a sweep of the room for them and assuring them there is nothing there

- double-checking that the position of furniture/light fittings etc doesn't cast odd-shaped shadows when the lights are low

- reassuring them that monsters ARE only in stories and don't exist in real life (but being careful not to dismiss or belittle their fear, which is real to them)

- employing an existing teddy or soft toy as monster guard to take away bad feelings about monsters

- putting up a dream-catcher to take care of bad dreams about monsters

Hope some of these ideas help. It does pass - ds, having been quite anxious about lights out and nightmares, now listens to our stories of Dr Who and the Daleks with relish and can't wait for the new series! He's five and a half.

Kelly1978 Wed 02-Mar-05 09:47:44

I don't know how old your ds is but my dd is 4, and she has begun to tell me about amazingly vivid dreams. We stick to the line that monsters are only in storys and the only real monster is dd herself. Dp has always called her monster so that makes her laugh.
If she seems relly worried I will have a quick look around to reassure her, but I try not to encourage it as I think if I look it mgiht make her think there is the possibility of real monsters.

WideWebWitch Wed 02-Mar-05 09:48:33

I always told ds they don't exist, absolutely not so there's nothing to be afraid of.

marthamoo Wed 02-Mar-05 09:50:40

I have always stuck to the line that these things are only in stories - that the writers made them up so we can have a nice safe, scary feeling but that they are not real. Ds2 (3) now says things like "that not in real life Mummy, that only in a story?"

Caligula Wed 02-Mar-05 09:58:12

Monsters Inc (the film) has helped with this. I now say that there are no such things as monsters, but if there are, they are like Sully and are now nice. All the nasty ones have been sacked.

Caligula Wed 02-Mar-05 09:58:41

(These are for the onces under the bed/ in the cupboard etc.)

SleepyJess Wed 02-Mar-05 10:10:52

Mad rush.. had to just say.. there is a lovely book called The Monster Bed.. will find it later and post author if necessary. Helped my DS now end when he was about 6 - although it is aimed at younger children too..

SJ x

FairyMum Wed 02-Mar-05 10:24:18

Thanks everyone. Will look for the film and possibly some books too. Feel more prepared for tonight now. THANKS!

zubb Wed 02-Mar-05 10:27:38

Ds1 started talking about monsters when he was 2.5 after he heard his older cousins discussing them. We tried to tell him they weren't real but it didn't really register, so now we tell him that they are not allowed in the house. He'll say that they are at the door / in the room and we have to shout 'go away monster, you're not allowed in' at them! It's the same with the big bad wolf at the moment, but he can't blow the house down as its made of brick.

Poshpaws Wed 02-Mar-05 11:34:38

Zubb, we do the 'go away monster/ghost' whatever it is DS says is in his room - and it works.

At the moment, he role-plays at being Casper the Friendly Ghost, who is green (according to DS) and is the only ghost allowed in his room.

GeorginaA Wed 02-Mar-05 13:27:12

The best method I've found (which I think I got as a tip from here!) is to make a big thing of calling Daddy into the room, offering him a reward of a HUGE bar of chocolate for each and every monster he finds in ds's room. Dad goes into the room really excited and searches everywhere, behind the curtain, under the bed getting more and more despondent as it's clear he's not going to earn his chocolate. The sillier the performance the more it seems to take the fear away, ime

We also use "one ... two... three..... BOOO!" which scares all monsters away, stuffed toys who are excellent monster fighters and a strict "NO MONSTERS" ban in the house from mummy and daddy.

FairyMum Wed 02-Mar-05 13:29:37

Yes I have told my ds1 that monsters and ghosts are scared of mums and dads, but was worried that I somehow confirmed that monesters do exist.....

katierocket Wed 02-Mar-05 13:29:50

that's a great idea georginaA

GeorginaA Wed 02-Mar-05 14:11:21

Fairymum: my philosophical viewpoint is that monsters are kids way of externalising fears - I didn't (and still don't) want to them to think that I don't take their fears seriously by denying their existence.

Plus the sad fact (not that I've told them this, of course, they'll have time enough to discover for themselves) is that there are monsters and bad things in the world, just not conveniently packaged in the childhood story image.

Hmm. Sorry, that's a bit deep for me of a lunchtime!

littlerach Wed 02-Mar-05 14:16:35

monsters don't like our house!!
according to DD1. 4, they only like the dump!

MrsBigD Wed 02-Mar-05 14:19:33

DD has a habit of going 'it's a ghost' whenever there is a sudden noise or a door opening due to draft. I don't dismiss it, but simply tell her that it's only a little one and she can shoo him off, which she loves doing.

For all I know she might be seeing things I can't, like my cat used to...

As for monsters... they'd all be scared of her cause she'd be the one running after them shouting 'kitty' thanks to Monsters inc

binkybetsy Wed 02-Mar-05 14:39:53

ditto to georginaA
We do pretty much the same as in your house. Dd 2yo has a large toy cupboard where her monsters live and each night the last thing we do at her request we open the door and shout Rrrraaaaaaa! inside. This seems to do the trick!
The other thing she doesn't like is flies, we don't know why, but we hunt no more than 3 flies around the room pretending to be following their buzzing and then clapping our hands together we SPLAT them!
Dh and I were worried that if we dismissed her fears that she may think that any 'real life' fears would also be dismissed and she may not then discuss them with us. Also, tbh she really believes there are monsters in the cupboard and just because I can't see them, I'm not going to say there aren't any. HTH Fairymum

KarenThirl Wed 02-Mar-05 17:27:48

When my ds was very small, my ma-in-law bought him a huge soft toy called 'Monster In The Closet', and it does exactly what it says on the tin. It has a velcro hood so you can hang it in the wardrobe, and the idea is that it's a friendly monster who scared away all the baddies. I have to confess I've never seen them again since but perhaps you could improvise by putting a favourite toy on 'guard duty' to chase away the nasties.

Can't add anything more, ds has never been particularly scared of anything.

Hulababy Wed 02-Mar-05 17:30:11

karenthirl - is this it? It's a US site though, but it looks great!

KarenThirl Thu 03-Mar-05 06:53:05

That's him! The very same! He's hanging in J's wardrobe as we speak. Very soft and squishy too, great for hugging in bed.

megandsoph Thu 03-Mar-05 14:46:42

My DD1 is constantly talking about the fox in her dream how can you tell a lil one they don't exist shes petrified.... WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!! hehe


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