How to Scare a Preschooler

Who wouldn't be scared of a chick-eating monster??

I’ve never been the type to hide in dark corners just to jump out and scare someone senseless.


It’s likely because as a 3rd grader I woke up one morning before dawn and walked around the house with my puppy. The pup was feeling playful and hid… then pounced at my feet, nipping my heel and causing me to lose bladder control.


I’ve never played well with others, human or canine.


We don’t spend time telling scary stories in our house. We don’t celebrate Halloween at all and when we were watching Frozen Planet last week I made Lizard fast forward through the polar bear fight scene because it was making my little one nervous.


Other families don’t go to the same extremes we do to protect the thought life of their children and tonight I discovered that peer groups can introduce a whole slew of fears into one another.


Just in case you do want to scare your preschooler at some point, here’s a sure-fire story to tell:


There are scary monsters roaming the world at night. They like to sneak down your chimney like Santa Claus, except instead of leaving presents, these spooky monsters are coming to steal. They turn the children into chicks and eat them up!


Yep. Doesn’t sound so nerve-wracking when I write it, but I tell you what, my kiddos are really, really worried.


They settled down when we explained we don’t have a chimney in our house, so they’re safe from being magically turned into petite poultry, but then they decided the hospital probably has a chimney and the new baby will be eaten by a scary monster while we’re in the hospital, before they ever have a chance to know him.


That fear turned into a conversation about the identification anklets they put on babies and how we room-in with our little one so the opportunity for switches, monsters, and gobbling is minimized.


“So… no babies ever get stolen from the hospital?” Uno asked. Dum, dum, daaaahhhh…


Rather than tell her babies do get stolen sometimes and there are whole movies and tv series as spin-off of that situation, we did the best we could at that moment.


We lied.


“Nope, no way our baby will be stolen by a scary monster coming through the chimney of the hospital.” Which isn’t really a lie. Is it?


Have you ever told a lie to someone to quiet their fear? 

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