As I child I remember being afraid of monsters under my bed. I was afraid that if even my toe leaned out over the bed, a monster would snatch it! I never mentioned my fears to my family and I did eventually get over them. On the bright side I think this taught me to be a very still sleeper, but I wonder if it would have made a difference if I had talked about it with my parents.
If you aren’t sure if your child is afraid of the dark or of monsters then just ask! You can also look for signs like anxiety at bedtime and clinginess before you turn out the lights. Talking about their fears will help them to understand their fears better and overcome them more easily. Just remember to take them seriously! To them monsters are real, so avoid disregarding comments or chuckling. They’ll know that you care if you listen and help them to come up with ideas to chase those monsters away!
Here are some ideas taken from the links below:
- Monster Spray: Just like insect repellant, only all you need is a spray bottle, some water or Febreze, and one of the cute printable labels below!
- Light Sources: As Dumbledore says, “Happiness can be found in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” There are so many unique nightlights out these days: lights that make music, reflect patterns on the ceilings, or are shaped like your child’s favorite animal. A little light is a great way to chase away fears of the dark.
- Monster Traps: Get creative and crafty with your child and make a monster trap that can stay under the bed (see printable below). You will be able to check it before bedtime and in the morning for monsters.
- Introducing Friendly Monsters: Find a kid-friendly book or video about monsters (Monsters Inc., Where the Wild Things Are, Go Away Big Green Monster, etc.). Have a monster party or a monster dance.
If you support your child in the little things they’ll be more likely to seek help from you for the big things. And maybe the little things are big things to them! No matter which idea you try out, focus on making it a fun bonding experience for you and your child. Help them to feel like they can conquer their fears and that their mom or dad will always be by their side.
For more ideas and information, click the link.