I don't know how old your daughter is, however, imagination is a big part of growing up. The best way to quell the "monster" is to be firm and reassuring. No long explanations just go to her side and remind her that you are going to keep her safe. Sometimes "monsters" are a way of staying up or getting out of bed. Try not to let this happen because it will be a hard habit to reverse. If your daughter is very young e.g. under two years old, rubbing her back and staying with her briefly may be sufficient. Reading stories also helps. Avoid scary ones or videos that might fuel the fire. Good luck with an age old problem. Stick with what makes sense to you and you will succeed.
Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
eliad - the member who asked this question - selected this as the best answer posted by another Education.com member.
from a fellow member
We had this problem with each of our boys and it took VERY different solutions to get each over it. With one son, we could just tell him that monsters are not real. Every time we'd see a picture of a monster throughout the day (on TV, art, etc) we'd say "Is that real?" and (eventually) he'd say "No" and that (eventually) helped him sleep.
Our other son, however, would not be convinced that monsters are not real so instead, we "armed" him to battle the monsters. We bought a plain "fairy wand" at a craft store and then I decorated it with ribbons and beads that spell out his name. Then I filled a clear small spray bottle with water and a small amount of glitter. I gave him these two magical weapons and told him they had the power to scare away any monster. It worked like a charm! He has to have them on his bed when he goes to sleep at night, but we never hear from him!
Hopefully, depending on her personality, one of these will work for you!
Watch Monsters Inc. and then ask her which one her monster looks like. Sometimes you just got to get on their level with issues like this. Also, have her draw what she seeing. I had my daughter do this and got some really neat artwork. She can name the monsters and then hang them up. My daughter drew a picture of an octopus lamp coming after her. Then just explain that monsters are not real just in the imagination. The more she deals with them in day hours, the more nighttime wont be so scary! Good Luck :D
This is a really small suggestion but it was in a book I read recently. In that story the parents put a sign on the INSIDE of the closet door saying something like "No Monsters Permitted" or "Monsters: Beware of Child.' At least in that work of fiction, it worked. Sounded clever to me.
Eliad- I think you need to find out what kind of monsters she is scared of. This could be related to watching the wrong shows or movies that are not age appropriate. If that does not help you could have her sleep with a couple of lights on(use 40 watt bulbs so they are not to bright) Slowly take away one light at a time until she is left with a very dim wall night-light. Hope this helps and good luck!