Dealing with "Monsters" and Nighttime Fears

By Stacy DeBroff

monster under bedIt can be difficult to think straight when your crying child shakes you awake in the middle of the night frightened and tearful by a nightmare or the monster she knows for sure has taken up residence in her closet or under her bed. Or a terrible dream that leaves her feeling shaken. Groggily, I would find myself talking half-asleep to my 4-year-old daughter, "Honey, I know that the monster moved out last week. He doesn't even like it here. He's completely afraid of you." But, to no avail.

Up we went to scope out the situation and reassuringly find her room clean of all mysterious creatures. As I went to tuck Kyle in, she looked up with me with sudden realization and declared, "Mommy. I just realized that the monster only comes out in the dark." Apparently her night-light and door opened a crack to the hallway light simply didn't count when it came to monster chasing.

Up went the dream-catcher (doing double duty now as a monster catcher as well) that my friend Judy had given me, and out came the "monster spray."