Sammy has always been scared of monsters ever since he was around 2, but now his imagination of creating this monster is getting out of control. He rarely sleeps in his own bed, he has to sleep with me at night. He makes me check his room every night for monsters, and runs into my room and night telling me that "its after him." Last week I was in the house and Sam came running in screaming "he's trying to get me" it freaked me out thinking someone was after my son I looked around but I couldn't see anything. Im starting to worry for his safety is this a monster he has created or is this a real person.

  • Has he ever slept somewhere else? Like another house, at a friend's, family members, etc? How do you deal with it? Do you talk it out, or just try to tell him there's no such thing? I always told my kids stories of monsters from babies and showed them what could have been considered horrifying movies so they grew up with them as sort of normal things. They don't embrace monsters now, but they know things like goblins only live in the center of mountains, the predator only lives in the jungle, etc. But I speak of them casually so they don't panic at the thought. My 2 cents
    – Kai Qing
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 0:45
  • 1
    How do you react to these situations? What questions do you ask and what are his responses? This could be something hes doing for attention (or to make sure he STAYS in your bed every-night) or it could be that something small was encouraged and he is now really concerned about "monsters". But we need more information to distinguish the two.
    – user7678
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


If this was a sudden development and he had never spoken of monsters before I'd be more worried about the possibility that there is actually something threatening your son, but if his imagination has always generated monsters I'd be inclined to suspect the threat is in his imagination.

"Monsters" can become very real to kids, and once that reality takes hold in their heads it can grow. You need to find something that makes your son feel safe, and make sure he takes it to bed with him. Imaginary monsters can be fought with the imagination. A friend of mine had a son who had a similar situation. He had nightmares and was convinced that monsters came into his room at night. I bought him a "monster zapper" gun that I saw in a toy store and gave it to him, without any real hope that it would help. Apparently that worked really well. Because it would light up when the monster was zapped it made the shadows disappear and so the monster would seem to disappear. He kept score on a white board of how many monsters he had killed and he actually started looking forward to bedtime.

You might try a soft lights in different colors. I found pink was a really good color for my daughter; it made her room seem "warmer". My son, who also suffers from nightmares and anxieties, goes to sleep with soft music. (I personally like Enya for soothing, but he finds pop more comforting. Go figure)

The thing is that you should accept his fears (in a low-key way) and use psychological judo on them.

...okay, if monsters are real then so is the power of this monster zapper

...did you know that monsters can't stand the color pink? If your room is full of pink light they don't dare come out.

At this point he "knows" that monsters are real. If you deny it, his fears will overcome your authority factor and he will conclude that you just don't know about the monsters. If you engage with his imagination, then he will believe you know what you are talking about when you tell him that pink light makes monsters dissolve.

Here are a few cute ideas: http://www.wikihow.com/Eliminate-Monsters-Under-the-Bed, although I could see the "monster spray" getting out of hand.

Today's Parent has a great suggestion: if your child is afraid of something, you introduce a friendly version. http://www.parents.com/kids/development/behavioral/understanding-kid-fears/ Has he seen Monsters, Inc? Does he know that children are poisonous to monsters? If not, sit down and watch it with him. Discuss it with him, relating to the monsters that he has in his room. You might get him a large Sully doll or poster to ride herd on the other monsters. Once Sully takes up residence, Randall and his buddies won't be allowed in the room. Or what about squirt bottle with people juice in it; he could dribble in a little spit. (Yeah, I know that's gross, but it's all the more potent that way :)

Give him the tools to use his imagination to protect him from himself. Discuss with him monster scaring and how it might be done and what he needs to set it up. Giving him control over the process will enhance his confidence and make him feel safer.

I developed my own "monster protection" when I was a youngster. I remember nothing of this, but apparently when I was about three or four we lived in a house with a very loud furnace that used to go off and startle me awake. That was when I developed a terror of the dark that followed me even into high school. My rational mind knew it was completely in my imagination, but that did nothing to stop the feeling of primal and uncontrollable terror that would ambush me when I found myself alone in the dark. So I decided that I would fight imagination with imagination. I would visualize myself with "powers" that could banish any threat, and I told myself "logically, either monsters and power exist, or they don't. If they don't, who cares? But if they do, then my powers are stronger than any monster. I would go out walking in the orchard at night, daring the monsters to come out so I could blast them. (did I mention that as a child I had a very vivid imagination? :) Eventually, it was habit that banished the monsters, and both monsters and "powers" have vanished from my thoughts (except in my fantasy novels)

Don't worry about him feeling that you have "deceived" him, he'll figure it out when he grows up. If he even remembers. The only way he'll feel you have lied to him is if you turn on the pink light and the monsters really do come out from under the bed...and then you've both got bigger problems than a little pink lie.

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