Children can develop some odd behaviors and fears at night. Although you try your best to eliminate certain causes and stimuli that can provide these terrors, somehow they are still developed. In my case, it was the house being attacked by zombies. Personally, I try not to let my children watch such gruesome movies for this very reason. Luckily, I was able to convince my children that our family dog eats zombies so the undead are afraid of him. What are some other odd fears children can develop at night?
1. Coming in Through the Window - Someone coming in through the window is a fear that even some adults have. When the child’s bedroom window is on the second level of the house, the person would have to be 20 feet tall. This was my response to that brief fear. The oldest managed to add in, “What if they used a ladder?” Touche. Without skipping a beat, my response was, “We don’t have a ladder outside.” That seemed to quell the issue. Not to mention that our dog wouldn’t let anyone in the yard to begin with.
2. Alien Abduction - Who isn’t afraid of being abducted by a more powerful being? This fear is actually more common than you may realize. Many adults still have this fear and it is only perpetuated by YouTube videos and conspiracy theories. In reality, what makes you think that the alien is bad? Like I tell my children, “He could just be in need of directions and doesn’t want people to see him.” I try to teach my children to respect all life – even extrasolar. You never know when an alien will need help finding the closest Ramada Inn.
3. Monsters Under the Bed - While this isn’t a strange fear, the way it develops can be somewhat odd. Children are impressionable and any stimulus that involves monsters hiding can easily place them under the bed. Again, how do we know the monsters are bad? In the same situation as the lost alien, the monster probably just needs a place to hang out for a while. Try having your children talk to the monsters and reason with them. They may be more understanding that the children may believe. Perhaps leaving a cookie under the bed as a peace offering can help.
4. Tyrannosaurus Rex - Long before “Jurassic Park” made its way on the big screen, I had a fear of Tyrannosaurus Rex coming to eat me. Since the bedroom was on the second floor, I was in perfect position for munching. At night, I swear I could hear the loud booms of it walking around outside. The way I overcame that one myself was by using my collection of GI Joes and Transformers as the ultimate line of protection. What’s wrong with that?
Never berate a child for his or her fears when it comes to bedtime. You could inadvertently make the problem worse. Instead, use simplistic and equally ridiculous strategies for overcoming various fears. Whether you have an undead-eating pet or your child has an armada of action figures that can come alive at night, the fear can be addressed. When logic fails to help your child sleep at night, try some illogical answers to balance out the imagination.
Ken Myers is a father of three and passionate about great childcare. He’s always looking for ways to help families find the support they need to live fuller, richer lives. Find out more about expert childcare by checking out @go_nannies on Twitter.