Estimated read time: Less than a minute
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
LOS ANGELES, Apr 04, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Imaginary monsters that many children believe lurk in closets or under beds, are very real to children, says a Los Angeles psychologist.
"Monster fear is real. This is a very common problem among children between the ages 3 and 6," Dr. Richard Sherman, a clinical psychologist and long-time board member of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, said.
Children in this age group have a difficult time distinguishing between their imagination and reality and their fears can transform the ghosts and ghouls of their mind into creatures as real as their playmates, according to Sherman.
"Parents need to take these concerns seriously rather than simply telling their children that monsters do not exist," he said.
Sherman suggests giving children a flashlight to illuminate a monster's favorite hiding spot, playing games in dim light to make children feel more comfortable in the dark and monitoring television shows and movies to prevent exposure to mature content.
"The key to helping children defeat imaginary monsters is to make them feel empowered, while disposing of their nightmare creations," Sherman said.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International.