Rule #56: Join Forces With the Monster Under the Bed

Just lay low for now, and if he's still awake after 10, just crawl out and lick his hand or something.

Just lay low for now, and if he's still awake after 10, just crawl out and lick his hand or something.

Every parent needs an ally, and there’s no better source of unknown evil to a toddler or small child than the monster under the bed.

Use this sinister source to your advantage when trying to sway your child to follow any of your home’s random rules that, truth be told, most children with the brain function of a parsnip wouldn’t bother following anyway.

But that’s not the point.

The point, as we see it in our long-term, tainted-by-Donnie-Darko worldview, is to break your child’s will and foment the beginnings of rampant paranoia that will one day have him scampering up trees like a feral tabby when any sign of danger approaches your home.

This Ain’t No Monsters Inc. Joy Ride, Kid

The key to using the monster under the bed is to pretend he’s sort of like your old college roommate. You’re close to him. There’s nothing you wouldn’t do for each other, only unlike your college roommate, the monster has it in for your kid.

So, you’ll say things like, “Justin, so…like, I was having a beer with the Monster last night, and he was talking trash about you—like how he wants to rip off your head and toss it to his wolf friends he invited to hang out in our back yard.

But I was like, ‘Monster dude, we’ve known each other a long time, and while I know you want to seriously hurt Justin’s head, he’s actually pretty cool. So what can I do to get you not to feed his head to the wolves that are in our back yard?’”

And, of course, the monster under the bed will request that Justin better damn well learn how to use the potty because it’s getting really old smelling his crappy diapers and, oh, while Justin is into personal development, the monster also would like him to sleep with the lights off and polish the rims on your new Escalade.

See how this can help your life tremendously? Your son shapes up, and you gain an imaginary drinking buddy.


  1. Very good idea…it would have worked for me because I was scared to death of the monster under the bed.

  2. SillyDad says:

    I’m going to let our youngest know that the monster (I like to call him Andy) told me that the only way to avoid immediate and painful consumption is to not make a sound before 8 AM. Even the slightest noise could trigger a furry of razor sharp teeth and claws that would leave the police in a state of shock.
    Andy knows that Daddy needs his sleep after finishing off that box of wine.

  3. @Pat: The monster under my bed was actually formerly homeless guy. I found this to be scarier than an actual monster. And smellier.

    @SillyDad: Fear is a powerful tool. I applaud you for using it wisely.

  4. SillyDad says:

    That should have been fury I think. Although Andy is rather furry. In a matted, smelly way.

  5. December says:

    Imaginary drinking buddies are priceless, I say this should be the main goal of befriending the monster under the bed.

  6. kitty says:


    If Daddys dumb enough to drink that revolting boxed crap he deserves to get woken up at five am.

    any monster worth his salt (oh hell, even the kids know it) that boxed wine is disgusting and only for useless hillbillies who live in ymca’s.

  7. sailor says:

    tell your kid the monster is actually a vietnam vet and you dont know what noise will set him off so don’t make any at all.

  8. Lise says:

    OMG! What a fantastic website, and such sound advice. I nearly choked on my coffee!!

  9. Jennifer says:

    I actually did use this approach, as did my mother.

  10. tinknbetty says:

    We use a similar fear trick with our daughter, we live way out in the country an snakes are a real problem. As a result my 2 year old daughter is terrified of them and we use them often to our advantage. Like not going to close to the crick cause its full of snakes with razor sharp fangs that will bite you to death. Lol What ever works!

  11. That’s not how we dads do it in England! For some really bad British parenting advice, see

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