Written by: Jenn
There are so many things that scare me. Clowns, slugs, heights, clowns, horror movies (which is their job, so kudos to those who make them), and did I mention clowns? Some of my fears are valid and some are not so valid. When I was little I was scared of a lot of things, including monsters. Every night I made sure my blankets were tucked under my feet so nothing could get me and sprayed “monster spray” around my room. I did this until I was…..honestly, way too old to be going through this routine nightly. At one point, my way of coping with fears was avoiding them which is not the best way to deal with things. Over the years I have learned that one of the best ways to deal with fear is to face it head on.
A great and non-jarring way to help your little face their fears is through books! Books are a great tool that show children they are not alone in their feelings. It can also destigmatize some of those things that scare them. Now this blog is not going to address all the fears your little may have right now. Today we are going to focus on monsters. I could make a list of all the monsters and ghouls that gave me the heebie jeebies, but no one is here for that. My guess is if you are reading this, you are probably looking for resources to help your child or children. There are luckily great books that feature monsters! Helping children cope with their fear of monsters does not mean you have to find stories where their peers overthrow a goblin kingdom or take down a vicious monster. In fact, books like that could make their fear intensify. I have found the most success by using books about monsters being silly, funny, needing help, or being a pest. The following books may not be for all children. So, I highly suggest giving books a look over before sharing them.
One of my personal favorites (who am I kidding, they are all my favorites) centers on Winifred Schnitzel, a precious little one who actually likes monsters! However, she gets frustrated when monsters come into her room. While she is trying to sleep, they cause a loud raucous. Winifred spends the story coming up with ways to make the monsters go away. Luckily, by the end she comes up with the best solution. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the ending for you. To find out the key for making monsters flee, check out Monster Trouble written by Lane Fredrickson and illustrated by Michael Robertson.
Some other great monster books include:
Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott
I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll and Howard McWilliam (Just a heads up, this one can be a bit intense for some littles. The illustrations are amazing, but may be a little too real for some children)
Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
The technique of using stories to deal with “monsters” can also be used by teachers in the classroom. If your students are constantly talking about monsters and how scary they are, it could be a great time to pull out some of these awesome books! If and when this happens, also make sure to loop in your families. That can be done through a daily or weekly newsletter or a book list that you share with parents via email or posting in the classroom.
I would love to end this blog by saying that I no longer have a fear of clowns, but that would be a lie. Instead of reading a book about how great clowns are I read Stephen’s King classic, It. If anyone has suggestions for a pro-clown book, feel free to email those recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org