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Old 03-27-2011, 10:19 PM   #1
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Lying to our kids.

Okay, i've been struggling with this for a few weeks now, and finally figured maybe yall can help me feel less bad about this, or give me tips to avoid this in the future... my DD doesn't like to sleep in her own bed. Never has. However as she is getting too big to share the bed with us, and we don't have the money or room for a king size bed... I am starting to insist on her sleeping in her own.

the trouble is, she has a.. to call it just a fear would seem an understatement. She really worries about monsters. I've spent HOURS with her answering her questions, trying to explain that what she fears doesn't exsist in real life.... it doesn't work. I've tried to get her to watch monster's inc clips, to show that monster's are scared of children... she won't watch it (which i almost think is a good thing in hind sight. )... finally at my wits end one night after hearing DD state her fear of monsters for the 50th time in less than 20 min.. I broke down on my telling it to her straight routine and explained to her why our cat stays awake all night, how monsters are allergic and scared of cats and Diablo (our cat) sleeps all day because she is awake all night making sure monsters could NEVER come into our house.
It seemed to work, and she went to sleep shortly after that.

Now, I feel horrible because I am stuck reinforcing a lie every night.

Anyone else have an issue like this were you feel like you took the 'easy' way out, and don't know how to get back to the honest truth without making things worse?

I mean, yes she is 5, yes she would be scared of imaginary things anyway, but is the solution really to add more imaginary things/ideas? and how do I handle years down the line 'correcting' this? if/when she says to some kid in her class about how her cats keep the monsters away, and the other kid laughs because there is no such thing as monsters?

Has anyone else lied to your kid to just, stop the perseverance? so you could move on? If not, how did you end the perseverance?

now that I am done laying out the family laundry... any tips? suggestions? 'you are not alone's'? that last one would go a LONG way right now.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:25 PM   #2
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You are not alone! We used a water squirt bottle and put it on mist. That was our Monster Spray. We sprayed it into the closets every night. Then one night, when we forgot to do it, he didn't even ask for it! And just like that, the Monster Spray was retired.

I don't think you'll have to go through an elaborate routine every night, but you might have to remind her sometimes. But remember, this will pass and you'll look back and laugh.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:39 PM   #3
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You're definitely not alone!! My five year old daughter is currently peacefully asleep on the FLOOR of my bedroom, which is where she ends up pretty much every night, so we're right there with you!

Okay, I know it was a lie, but the cat as guardian against monsters has to be one of the more creative ones I've heard!!

Also LOVE the monster mist idea!!

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Old 03-27-2011, 10:51 PM   #4
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Do you also tell her that Santa brings her gifts in December? How about the tooth fairy--is she picking up the teeth and delivering dollars in return? I don't see your little white lie as being any different. Sure, some day your daughter will know the truth but i bet by then it won't matter. If telling her that the cat stays awake all night guarding against monsters enables her to sleep alone, well, yay!
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:56 PM   #5
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thanks for the quick responses!

as for the cat being a creative idea.. well, ours is very vocal, and she was yelling at me because she wanted me to lay down so she could sleep on me, so I figured might as well use her. plus, this means diablo spends less time bugging me for lovings as now my DD LOVES our cat all that much more! So, I guess it works, I just hate having her ask me about why are monsters allergic to cats, and scared of cats... It is better than why aren't they real, but still... after the 10th time in a row, it gets to me. but i know she just can't help it. love her anyway!
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:58 PM   #6
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My Mom told us as kids that Monsters hate toothpaste.It got us to brush our teeth, sometimes more than once and sometimes we slept with a tube of toothpaste.

My older brothers teddy bear had a speical outfit Mom made to allow him to fight Monsters. Mom found fabric that had toothbrushes and toothpaste on it to make the outfit.(Can you tell my brother did not like brushing his teeth)

I have friends that use Monster spray(spray bottle with colored water and scent)
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:34 PM   #7
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Hmmm... We have four cats and have never seen a monster in our house so I think you may be onto something .

I've lied to my kids. When DS11 was three and refused to go into the ladies room with me I convinced him the wheelchair symbol was actually a little boy sitting on the toilet. He bought it.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:41 PM   #8
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You are not alone

As our kids get older the "lies" get a little more complicated, that's all.

When my youngest was little he had monsters too. I had to do a fake Native American smudging ceremony in his room every night before bed so the monsters would stay away.

When he got older he still had monsters (right up until last year) so I convinced him the monsters were in his room only. So then he slept on the sofa for a year.

In a very scary confusing world, sometimes the "monsters" stick around longer than usual, even for us adults.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:43 PM   #9
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I love how you explained the cat behavior (sleep by day/monster lookout by night). I think this is harmless to tell your DD. Heck, when I was a little girl, Dad told me that the sash on a dress I didn't want to wear made my waist look small (I was a chunky little thing and an early worrier about my appearance-----I got over it)
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:47 AM   #10
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I love the cat guardian thing. I was also going to suggest monster spray. I think the thing to remember is just as much as you may feel that you're "inforcing" the lie, you're also "inforcing" the behavior by letting her continue to not sleeping in her own bed. I took a long time to start sleeping in my own room actually. Once that streak of natural modesty kicked in, it was immediate that I wanted my own bed. Also remember that she's 5, and doesn't think like you do, so as much as you try to get her to think of it logically she just may not be able to process it the same way you are. There's been quite a few episodes of Supernanny with kids who get out of bed/are afraid, and she did the monster spray with one and her typical bedtime routine with the rest. A winddown routine in the evening, a story and cuddle and "goodnight darling, it's bedtime", then if they kid gets up, another "it's bedtime sweetie", gets up again, "bedtime", then no speaking. Putting the kid right back into bed each time. Kids are looking for a reaction, and once they realize that reaction won't happen anymore, they'll usually stop. Your daughter knows she can get you to let her be in your bed, and she's 99% surely going to be upset and fight you when you say enough's enough, and it's going to suck and you'll probably feel bad about it. Keep it consistant and you'll probably be just fine.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:42 AM   #11
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we did the same in our house for the fear of Ghosts. Darn kid saw a eppisode of Ghost Adventures with Zac Baggen (my fav show) and decided our house was hanunted. We told her ghosts hate cats and dogs and thats why a ghost wont come here. Oddly it worked (she was 9 at the time).
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:16 AM   #12
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With the special relationship our kids our kids have with animals, the gaurdian thing is a good tactic (as long as the cat is near her). I would let the other details fade and focus on that. In the end it is a fear of being "alone" so if the cat fills that need then that is good.

It is very common for our kids to be "with us" for much longer than typcial kids so working through the seperation is good, but let her come to it on thier own (with whatever support works)

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Old 03-28-2011, 10:20 AM   #13
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If you go to www.simmonskids.com/noMoreMonsters, they have a kit that you can fill out online and print to get rid of monsters. It is really cute and is placed under their bed and left there to chase the monsters away.

We did this for our nieces and nephew, but the kids have not had this issue (yet), but if they do we are ready.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:22 AM   #14
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This is so common. Read Junie B Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed
Read it for yourself first--it is very entertaining and a fast read. Then you can decide if you want to share it with your child.

I always started in January reading all the Junie B kindergarten series to my class. They are right on about young children and really great to talk about with them. I loved hearing the responses to: "Hmmm, why do you think she did that?" and "How do you think she is feeling?" and "Why do you think she feels that way." and "What do you think would be a better choice ?" Note that those questions have no right or wrong answer and encourage discussion!

Those books taught me as much as they taught my students!
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:57 PM   #15
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My ds was finally sleeping in his own room through the night at age 7but here we are a year and a half later and he wants me to stay with him, can l borrow your cat?!!! I'm a better parent when l have a full nights sleep.
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