All About Monsters

Featured Picture Book


(Available at your local public library or bookstores, including online stores.)

Elmer, a patchwork elephant, travels the forest watching all the forest animals run from an unseen roaring monster. Elmer is fascinated but not sure he believes there really is a monster in the forest. He needs to see for himself. His animal friends, however, think, “Just imagining it is horrible enough ….” When Elmer finds the roaring creature, he learns that a roar does not always equal a monster. In fact, he learns that the imagined, heard-but-not-seen “monster” is only roaring because he is afraid of all the other heard-but-not-seen forest animals that have been roaring and running away from him. He has been imagining that they were all roaring “monsters.” Once all the creatures came together they could only “laugh at their own silliness ….” at assuming everything that roared was a monster.

Parenting Thoughts

Five very important things about monsters

Monsters are not real. Monsters are not real. It is important that we avoid talking about them or doing things that say they are real.

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Chasing bad monsters out of the bedroom, spraying magic potions, or casting a spell on monsters can tell a child that you believe the monsters are real – just as the child fears they are. It says you think you need to protect the child from a real monster. Why else would you be slaying the monster?

Being afraid of monsters is real. What children are feeling about monsters (fear, anxiety, anger, etc.) is real. Your child needs to know you believe he is afraid. It’s OK to comfort your child and help him find ways to comfort himself, while at the same time you are telling him monsters are not real.

Monsters are pretend. Children need to know the difference between pretend and real. 56 SideBar 4So, when playing pretend with your child, be sure to say things like, “I like to play pretend with you, so who will slay the pretend dragon first?” Or, “I’m done pretending now, let’s be our real selves – no more monsters allowed.”

Monsters can exercise our imagination. Pretend play is like exercise for our imagination. 45 Sidebar 1Just like you have to exercise your muscles to be able to run a race, children need to exercise the imagination part of their brains to become creative, artistic people – which are the type of people most needed in today’s world. Pretend play is what children need to develop their imaginations. It should be encouraged as long as it is clearly explained as not for real.

Monsters can be scary or nice. Monsters are not real, so your child can make them be any way she wants them to be. Here are some things that can help her outsmart or out-imagine her fears. Blog24 Sidebar1With the help of a little imagination, a big hairy monster can become teeny tiny, toothless, all furry and cuddly, so sleepy he can’t wake up no matter how hard he tries, or a monster without legs that weebles-wobbles on a round behind. Especially when monsters are part of a scary dream at night, a child can learn to turn the dream into a fun, safe, comforting dream instead. A child can use her imagination to make the monsters be anything she can think of that would be the opposite of scary.

Read More

That Special Gift – Part 2

Getting Kids to Sleep

GROWING UP AGAIN, Jean Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson


 Surf the Internet:
  • self esteem
  • developmental tasks
  • make believe
  • pretend play
  • fear of monsters
  • getting kids to sleep
  • getting babies to sleep
  • child sleep problems
  • bad dreams in children
  • nightmares in children

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