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COVER STORY


HOW TO DEAL WITH


night. So how can parents help them cope? Sharon Cramer, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and author of “Marlow and the Monster”


M


(July 2012) has dealt with her fair share of monsters while raising her three sons. “We don’t want to underestimate the reality of our children’s beliefs and fears, but we do want to help them understand the role their imagination plays in controlling the things they are afraid of,” explains Cramer.


Here are some tips to help parents take the fear


out of monsters in their child’s room: Read stories and watch shows that debunk


traditional monster fears. Stories that represent other children bravely or humorously while facing their fears can be wonderful at allaying false beliefs. When my granddaughter was three, and struggling with the monster stories that were being cast her way at daycare, I bought the movie “Monsters Inc.” and we watched it over and over. Not only did she reframe in her mind what a monster really was (a cuddly and sweet creature that protects little girls) she challenged the older children’s belief system at daycare!


Provide soft lighting in your child’s room. A lot of the mysterious and scary thoughts surface in


darkness, and light helps restore a child’s confidence in the stability of the here and now. Don’t worry about how long a child utilizes the nightlights. They will let you know when they’ve had enough.


Make a sign and put it on your child’s door that


reads, “Only nice monsters allowed.” That way, your child has control over who visits his or her imagination.


If your child fears the “under the bed” creatures.


Put the mattress right on the floor. No under the bed frights can happen then!


While removing scary scenarios is logical, ie:


closing the closet door, searching the room to make sure the coast is clear, it is more reasonable to


onsters hide under beds and in closets, and lurk outside closed doors. No matter where these creatures take up residence, most children go through a phase when they worry about monsters, ghosts and other creepy-crawlies being in their room at


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