After writing yesterday's post, I browsed through some of my old Moonspun articles, reconnecting with my thoughts from years ago. I don't know how many of my readers have young children, but here today is a post taken from that old (closed-down) weblog, if for no other reason than that it speaks towards the kind of education I believe in.
Many of us have children who are frightened of the monster in the cupboard. I must admit, even into adulthood, I made sure my cupboard doors were closed! Having an imagination is a wonderful thing ... most of the time!
We all know to honour our children's fears about such things. But I wonder how many of us use childlike thinking in our solutions. Because I believe the world is an enchanted place full of beautiful mysteries we will never comprehend, I hesitate to tell a child there's no such thing as monsters. Or fairies, or elves, or tree spirits. Maintaining a sense of wonder and belief keeps a child's mind open to all kinds of things - and who knows, that might lead to them becoming an inventor, or scientist, or artist - or simply their full self.
It is also important to me to deal with an imagined monster compassionately. I understand about children needing to come to terms with fear and mystery, and learning how to protect themselves, but I wonder what our world would be like today if every child was taught to find a peaceful and loving solution to imaginary monsters and other thing which frightened them.
My favourite book on this subject is Dear Bear. It deals with the monster-in-the-cupboard issue with such kindness, cleverness, and love ... I highly recommend it.
To Keep Monsters Away
* Make friends with the monster, who is really not all that scary once you get to know him, just lonely and probably a bit bored in that cupboard. Write him letters or leave him little gifts (and see what he leaves in return.)
* Talk about the gnomes, fairies, or guardian angels who patrol the house, making sure everything issafe.
* Provide a special hero bear who protects a sleeping child.
* Talk with guardian angels.
* Create prayers which keep monsters away, and which the child can use effectively herself. My own mother taught me a chant when I was younger and plagued by nightmares. It never failed to work, probably because I believed so absolutely that it would work.
* Keep an amethyst beside the bed (a large one which can not be swallowed!) and assure the child it gives off a soul-radiance, kind of like the high pitched noise only dogs can hear, and monsters can not abide it. They will not be harmed, but they will want to stay away.
* Bless the room. Do this with the child. Light a candle, carry it around the room, saying prayers or singing. Make the words very simple so the child can do this himself whenever he needs (without the candle, of course!)
* Pray for the monster, that they will find peace and happiness and be able to escape from the cupboard to the beautiful flowering meadow which is their true home.
* Teach the child a simple song which captivates all monsters and turns them friendly.
* Buy a long-handled feather duster and encourage the child to wiggle it around under the bed or in the closet, making the monster laugh and therefore become friendly.
* Teach the child to request intercession from his angels.
* Try to avoid a night light as these may prevent the child from getting thorough sleep. Explain that monsters are scared of the dark.
* Ask an adult friend to take a phone call from yourself and/or the child, acting as an employee of the Monster Regulatory Agency, and have them assure the child that something will be done to help the monster move along.