My 3 year old has a habit, annoying to her father and I but something quite common for her age, of coming into our room in the middle of the night because she is "scared of monsters." We have begun a ritual at night of checking her room and seeing that all the monsters have gone away. Needless to say, once the lights turn off, her fears come back and she insists to come sleep with us. I don't know when the last time my husband and I had a quiet night. Our 6 month old sleeps through the night so she is the least of our worries. But the older one, knowing that the world may not always be secure, thinks of monsters when she does not know what is there.
She has also done this with her bath. Wanting only a "teeny-tiny baths" because she has become scared of water. And the sound of the water going down the drain in the tub leads to a great leap out of the tub, and screams of "There are monsters in the tub!"
Being an adult, we can always explain "what goes bump in the night" We even as adults have fears and nightmares because we are in situations beyond our control. Debt, unemployment, addictions, homelessness can all be monsters in our life, and if we don't have control of them, they control us. I know that my husband and I have been through that nightmare. Now, with both us being employed and finally getting paychecks, we now can have control of what was uncontrollable. In a way it is blessing to have that control now, but sometimes we know those monsters may reappear. God may throw a monster in the closet to remind us that sometimes there are things that scare us and we cannot explain. This can lead us to Him, like our daughter coming to us in the night, looking for Mommy and Daddy to comfort us.
I know this is just a phase with my daughter, but I hope she never outgrows coming to us if she has fears, no matter what it is.