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my 3 yr old is horribly scared of monsters I need advice

I have tryed everthing i can come up with to tell him no mosters can come in his room. I spray air freshener in the air and call it monster spray so no monsters can come in told monsters hate the color blue and green which his whole room is done in and that lighting mcqueen is the best protecter in the world and nothing can get past him because he is so fast and he will run them over and still it takes at least 3 hours every night for him to fall asleep. And every night no matter what he wakes uo screaming at the top o his lungs and shaking and once again it take at least another 3 hours to lam him down and get him to go back to bed I talked to his doc about it today and she its normal he will grow out of it but i cant handle it any more i am i need to sleep for his well being ad my 9 month old and well mine to please share some ideas so i can relax and un-zombie-fy:)


Asked by J_L_Fshr at 10:59 PM on Jul. 24, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (13)
  • Oh, I'm sorry. Okay, a therapist who specializes in play therapy. Ask if they are certified in play therapy. Only way to gurantee they know what they are doing. Next: when he sleeps, does he have nightmares? How many times does he wake up once asleep? Are his thoughts very graphic? Meaning monsters tear and have blood? How much sleep does he get during the day? Is he very active during the day even with very little sleep at night? Does he have rages/tantrums that are above and beyond other children his age? There are so many many things that I can think of (I'm a therapist) but without going to do an eval with a properly licensed professional no one can tell you. I think it is time to get help. And I have seen kids with nightmares and fears - they do get better but sometimes you need help. And sometimes you have to rule out other causes.

    Answer by frogdawg at 1:49 PM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • take him to a therapist, don't let them give him any meds though

    Answer by mandielynn23 at 11:02 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • Have you tried a "guardian" stuffed toy or other favorite toy/blanket? My godson (4) used to have their cocker spaniel sleep at his feet to "protect" him and it made him feel safe. Good luck!

    Answer by Emuu at 11:18 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • Have you told him that no monsters exist? My daughter was afraid for sometime, but not to the point of your son. I just sat down with her one night and told her that there are no such things as monsters and that Mommy and Daddy wouldn't let anything happen to her. We also leave her closet light on and the door cracked a little bit instead of a night light, that way she can see into her closet. She sleeps with about 10 different stuffed animals and isn't afraid anymore.

    When she watches a movie that has a part or two that I think might scare her I interrupt her attention and say, "You know that this is pretend right? That there are no monsters and all this is make believe." She is also five, but we have been doing this for some time now. And also, at night she listens to the radio...and falls asleep to music.

    Answer by LaceyAM at 11:49 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • I would also try getting a second opinion from a doctor. He might be having night terrors and not know how to really tell you what is happening. At that age dreams seem so real and they can't tell the difference. If you can I would try taking him to a therapist and see what they suggest like mandielynn23 suggested.

    Another thing too, see if he can draw you a picture of the monster that keeps bothering him, and tear it up tell him that it is pretend and anytime he feels scared he can draw the monster and rip it to pieces. Just another suggestion. Good luck. I hope that things work out.

    Answer by LaceyAM at 11:52 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • tell him monsters are not bad. theres the monster band show "good monsters" i dono if you heard of it but its on, on the weekends. i really dont have an answer because i dont have this prob.

    Answer by elias1mamma22 at 1:29 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • Invest in the monsters inc movie. it got my three year old to yell at monsters instead of cry. i'm trying to teach him to be mean to the monsters cuz they are scared of humans like in the movie. good luck!

    Answer by mommykayti at 2:24 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • I agree have him seen by a thereapist my baby sister did this and she has night terrors but she did not know how to explain it to us. I have custody of her and we went to walmart and got a glow in the dark fish tank that sits on her night stand it is extreamly bright, so that she can see everything. Also I put all her stuffed animals in a trunk in her closet, so if she wakes up in the middle of the night she can't mistake it for a monster. I have also tried putting a tv in her room incase she wakes up. ( It helps but i do not recommend it if he is in school.) * my 3 year old watched a horror movie and did the same thing he would get in bed with my sis or myself. Have patience! Good luck. I hope you find something that works for you.

    Answer by munchkinman at 5:16 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • First off, give him the control he needs to make the monsters go away. Don't spray air freshner - give HIM a bottle of "monster spray" (water, scented or not) and give him the control to make the monsters go away. Also, TALK to him about being scared, about fear and that EVERYONE experiences this. Help him find the words to explain his fear and don't just say that there's nothing to be afraid of - there is to HIM. This is something he needs to process - your pedi is right, but you need to help him get through it by being patient and understanding. Talk to him, even if he's just to scared to use his words, give him your words. Tell him stories about when you were a child or things that you are afraid of. Check out some books at the library about being afraid and find things that HE can do when he's afraid. Then let him practice when he's awake. My son loves to walk around the house spraying monster spray...

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 8:54 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • cont...another thing that helped my son was to make friends with "good monsters" so that they would fight off the bad monsters. But ultimately, my son had control over the scenarios AND we talked about monsters so that they seemed less scary - so find ways to give your son control over his fears - whether it's his own bottle of monster spray, nightlights he can turn on and off, flashlights, special friends in bed with him (like a previous poster suggested - a sort of guardian). And help him talk through it all...talking helps process the emotions and makes the emotions more controllable.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 8:56 AM on Jul. 25, 2009