I’ve had people ask me if I think “Monsters Inc.” is what made Natasha afraid of (complaining about) monsters. I say no, not on its own, because “monsters” is apparently a developmental thing that kicks in around age-three. I’m not sure what to call it really, just that a friend’s pediatrician was giving her advice for dealing with her son’s freak-outs, and his treating it as normal.
I’ve heard a couple creative ways to get rid of monsters.
- The Ped recommended keeping a spray bottle in the bedroom and calling it monster spray– making the monsters disappear, or whatever you want say is happening.
- A book brought to my SCBWI meeting last month (Too Many Monsters) points out that grown-up can’t see monsters, but helps a kid find a noise the monsters will want to get away from.
- This method was considered superior than the first one because it had the kid solving the monster problem
The problem with both of these, Jay and I were discussing this last night, is that they both agree with the child that monsters are present.
Sometimes I think a child’s cries of monsters really could be the Enemy tormenting the poor kid. That is something I (by the grace of God and the power of Jesus) don’t have to put up with.
The line I’ve used for months is simply, “Mama doesn’t allow monsters in this house.” Sometimes I’ll add, “Jesus keeps them out. He’s stronger than any monster.” I remember at least once talking about what Natasha can say to a monster if she sees it.
Last night she used it.
We were all tired and trying to get the girls down so at least one grown-up could also go down. Natasha kept flustering back into the livingroom in her underwear.
I finally gave her the ultimatum, and she whined back, “But there’s monsters in there!” To which a tired and irritated Jay (or was it me? I can’t remember who) snapped back, “Then tell them to get out. We don’t allow monsters here.”
And she trooped back down the hall and in her room began to declaim, with bossy authority, “Jesus is stronger than you, so you’re going to have to get out.” This went on for a little while and she was telling something exactly where it must get out of (some nook on top of the cabinet) when I came in to follow up with her.
She hadn’t been able to find any jammies, which might have been what got her wandering and anxious in the first place.