My Grandmother haunted the room right next to mine when I was a child. She was never so rude as to rattle chains or moan, or give any evidence really that she was there in spectral form, but she had lived in that room and had passed away. To most any child's imagination the fact that she now resided there as a spooky ghost is as unassailable a fact as 1+1=2, right?
What's worse is that her room was across the hall from the stairs leading down into the basement, the dark, lifeless basement full of strange furnace noises and creepy storage rooms. The section of hallway between the two may as well have meant a child proof psychic forcefield some nights.
What I'm saying is that, while I remember waking up scared at nights for the typical childhood fears, there were many nights I didn't try to sneak into my parent's room for the greater fear of being dragged into the basement by some drooling monster or pulled into my grandmother's room by her spectral form (Why would you do such a thing, Gran?).
My parents were lucky.
Alan, our more rough and tumble of our boys, gets scared of the dark. We leave the closet light on all night and I lay with him until he's out, but he inevitably wakes up and, without the haunting grandma/monster basement barrier, he makes his way to our room most nights now.
Brian has never shown any fear of the dark, monsters, ghosts, or any of that. He has a firm grasp on such reality, or lack thereof. As a kid I was more like Alan, and knew only peers who were afraid of the dark. As such I find myself impressed at Brian's courage or his obliviousness to it. BUT he does wake up with first light... even in the summer.
This all means I am spending most of my nights with Alan's foot in my side (he like to lay sideways, poking into both Rob and me). Also the dog likes to lay on my feet, no matter how many times I push him away. Then I'm awoke from this light sleep too early by Brian's cheery self.
In short, I'm not sleeping up to my potential.
I don't want to forbid Alan from coming in to our room when scared. One of the worst weeks of my childhood was after a sitter let me watch Salem's Lot and I became convinced I couldn't go to my parent, as they were now secret vampires. No, I want him to have a safe place for his fears... just not feel he needs to use it as often. Does anyone have any good imaginary monster tricks? Anything that works with your kids? We've tried the anti-monster spray, flashlights, and reasoning it through, but it just doesn't work. As a kid who had those fears, I can see why, but is there a good way to mute them at that age?