March 17, 2012 | in Nanny
Many children are afraid of monsters and it is a very common thing. You were probably afraid of monsters when you were a kid. If you are wondering if there’s something you need to do about it or if it’s harmful to your child, rest assured that it’s normal and most kids will outgrow their fears. Check out 7 reasons it is okay for kids to be scared of monsters.
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- Vivid imagination: There is nothing wrong with a child being afraid of monsters. It’s actually a sign of a vivid imagination and that will serve them well in life. Kids that can take something from a movie and twist and turn it a dozen ways to be afraid of it will eventually use that ingenuity to create new things and solve problems. Maybe they will take their dreams and create fantastic stories. Imagination should be nurtured because by the time a child reaches adulthood their ability to use their imagination diminishes greatly.
- Healthy respect for danger: Often kids think they are invincible and they will do stupid and risky things. I know I did when I was young. Having a fear of monsters now will help them grow into being a little more cautious when they are older and being away on their own. If everything in a child’s life is safe and perfect they won’t have any reason to think that it won’t continue to be that way. Children often take crazy risks riding their bikes or skateboards and instilling a healthy respect for dangerous things when they are young might just keep them a little safer when they get older.
- Your child is sensitive: Kids that are scared of monsters are more sensitive. There’s nothing wrong with being sensitive and this quality will help them to become empathetic and caring adults. The last thing you want your child to be is desensitized to the horrors in life. If a young child can watch violence in a movie and it has no effect on them there might be cause for alarm. No parent would wish bad dreams on their child, but there needs to be an innocence in children that I fear is being worn away by violent movies and video games. This desensitization when they are young can lead to problems when they grow up.
- Learn compassion: Children who are afraid of monsters in the dark that are treated with compassion by their parents can learn how to show compassion to others. Doctors and nurses show compassion every day. Having your child grow up to be a compassionate adult would not be a bad thing. With bullying in our schools running rampant it appears that parents need to show and teach their children about compassion so that they will think before they act.
- Opportunity to build trust: While it’s totally normal for kids ages 3-8 to be afraid of monsters in the closet or under the bed this is an opportunity for you to come to the rescue. Most children who are scared of monsters tend to have nightmares and wake up screaming or upset in the middle of the night. Instead of being frustrated or mad about the disturbance to your sleep think of it as an opportunity to slay the dragon and vanquish the monsters. If your child trusts you to explain the monsters away now, they will be more likely to talk to you about someone offering them drugs when they are 13.
- Stage of life: This kind of fear is a necessary step in your child’s development. Everyone is born with natural instincts about fearful things. Babies cry when they are startled. Infants 6 months to walking age may develop a fear of strangers, but they will outgrow it. Kids 3-6 are afraid of monsters and it just means that they are aware of their surroundings and that they are thinking about things in a different way. This too shall pass and your child will have learned a valuable life lesson.
- Develop confidence: Growing and learning through childhood fears, like monsters in the dark, is just a step in the logical progression of childhood. By getting through these fears your child can develop confidence in themselves that they are able to face their fears and beat them. The next time they are afraid, at school for example, they will have the confidence in themselves to get through the fear and proceed with the activity.
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