My son is 2 1/2 and has an imaginary dinosaur and is petrified of him, I spoke to the Health visitor but she didnt know what to suggest, but perhaps treat it similar to night terrors. (the dinosaur doesnt come at night). He is really scared and comes running with his heart pounding. Ive told him the dinosaur is freindly and just wants to say hello.

Any suggestions

asked 27 Oct '09, 11:12

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Phil Seller
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edited 27 Oct '09, 11:35

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Tammy ♦♦

Poor kid! It's adorable but really sad. :(

(27 Oct '09, 14:12) Artemis

Love this question. My kids haven't had this problem yet, but most kids have this and it's nice to have these things in my back pocket for when they come up. Thanks!

(29 Oct '09, 03:26) Anderson Imes

I think you have to completely buy in to their fantasy. They genuinely believe in the scary dinosaur, snakes in the box etc, so you have to go along with that. Perhaps you could come up with some sort of dinosaur protection scheme? Are dinosaurs terrified of teddy bears, or people wearing hats? You need to protect him from the dinosaur in some way.

If possible, you might want to avoid creating an anti-dinosaur weapon, as it might lead on to general violence which you will have sanctioned and so will be more difficult to deal with.

In the past we've dealt with monsters coming out of the wallpaper at night (it was horrible wallpaper actually) which were scared away by a cuddly dog. It wasn't instantly successful, but we persevered and the monsters learnt their lesson and went away.


answered 27 Oct '09, 12:33

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Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

This reminds me of the movie Patch Adams when Robin Williams helps his roommate overcome his fear of imaginary squirrels. They turn their room into a warzone with imaginary bazookas to destroy the evil squirrels. :)

(27 Oct '09, 14:11) Artemis

Imaginary force-fields work well, or at least they did during my generation. Not sure what's popular with the kids these days.

(27 Oct '09, 16:41) Scott ♦♦

I totally agree with Meg that it would help tremendously to have a dinosaur protection scheme.

But I must point out that for my son, creating an "anti-dinosaur weapon" would be exactly the right solution. He'd be really into that, it would diffuse the fear and make it into a fun situation. He's also got enough brains (and testosterone) to know that a cuddly dog would not be able to ward off a dinosaur. If anything, that would just make him (rightfully) concerned about the dog's safety.

And no, I am not the least bit concerned that use of an imaginary anti-dinosaur weapon, of all things, will in any way make him predisposed to real violence against humans. See, for example, Raising Cain for good explanations about how boys (and maybe girls, too) really need to work out their understandings about what violence is, and that kind of play / make-believe / fantasy is totally normal, indeed necessary, and isn't connected to hurting real people.


answered 27 Oct '09, 21:39

lgritz's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%


Ah ha we seem to have cracked it, bit concerned about making a weapon just in case he used it on his baby brother. so ive made him a wand to magic the dinosaur away.

(29 Oct '09, 12:10) Phil Seller

Our daughter went through a time when she was afraid of the snakes in her jewelry box. To the point that she didn't want to go to her room. So when my husband or I took her in there, we made a big deal out of looking for the snakes and showing her that they weren't there. When she had a nightmare about it, my husband would go in to check on her and the next day she would tell me that he saved her from the snakes.


answered 27 Oct '09, 11:58

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accept rate: 8%

My father-in-law was pretty old-school. He's worked in sawmills his whole life. Thin as a whip with forearms like Popeye and muscles like steel cables wrapped around his skeleton. Not a big guy but not one you'd ever want to tangle with. When his kids first got scared of the 'wolves', he sat down the young one and said very sternly that there are no wolves and that he won't let there be any wolves in his house.

It had an interesting psychological effect. It was said in a way that if you insisted there were in fact wolves, then you knew he would pull the 'are you calling me a liar' thing. And he was simply an intimidating guy. He was also the kind of scary guy that you knew could keep the wolves away and who must mean it when he said he wouldn't let the wolves in. Consequently, the youngest stopped being afraid of the wolves. Not just stopped telling dad about it, really stopped being afraid. She stopped tip-toeing around and diving in the bed so nothing could get her.

Caveat: I don't think just anyone could pull this off. It worked because of the way he carried himself day-to-day, his personality, and the way he ran a house.


answered 27 Oct '09, 13:56

Dinah's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

I have a friend who had a similar problem but the kid was affraid of monsters. It was so bad that the kid would wait on the stairs until the parents went up to bed as the child did not want to be upstairs alone. The parents ended up giving the child a flashlight and a can of Fabreeze and told him that he could turn on his flashlight at any given moment to look for monsters if he thought there was one near. They also told him he could spray the 'monster spray' aka Fabreeze any time he wanted in his room to make sure that the monsters stayed away. They told him that the monsters hate the smell of the spray and and that he only needed a tiny bit in order for it to work. This solved the problem in many ways as it empowered the kid, stopped the stress around bedtime in the household and made his room smell great.


answered 08 Nov '09, 04:58

dreamerisme's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

Good idea but the strange thing is bed time is no problem, its during the day that the dinosaur appears. So i'm normally nearby, and it is completly random, we can have days without him.

(08 Nov '09, 07:57) Phil Seller

Even better - your whole house can be Fabreeze fresh all day long!

(08 Nov '09, 21:37) dreamerisme
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Asked: 27 Oct '09, 11:12

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Last updated: 08 Nov '09, 04:58