There’s a Monster Under my Bed!
Most parents face this ‘monster under my bed’ at some time or other. Preschoolers around this age sometimes find difficulty sleeping alone thanks to the phantom monster and an overactive imagination. Children often experience anxiety when separated from their parents and with night time fears of the dark and monsters. Parents’ frustration does not help in this area; it just makes the situation worse. Instead of getting frustrated, try these things out with your preschool child and you might help them overcome their fears.
#1. Lights On
If your child is afraid of the dark and monsters lurking in their closets or under their beds, simply leave a light on. Check the closets and under the beds with them and tuck them in and let them sleep with the lights on. Tell your child that if they wake up in the middle of the night, they can always come into your room and look for you. This simple assurance usually makes kids less anxious.
As a parent, your role is to understand your child. Their fears are real and you discounting them or laughing about it will not help. It will make your child even more anxious because they will not know who to turn to with their problems. Never scold your child for having these fears. Get them to calm down and talk them through it.
#3. Night lights
Once your child seems calmer sleeping with the lights on, switch to a smaller night light. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be quite fascinating. Let your child pick out one they like and encourage them to turn it off when they are ready. It is completely alright if this takes longer time.
#4. Hunt for monsters
Young children have a tendency to trust adults, especially parents completely. Plan a hunt for the monsters and look in every corner of the room for them. After the hunt, declare the room monster free and see how your child will be calmer. Notice the type of TV programmes your child is watching as these could be a contributing factor to the monster sightings.
Talk to your child as often as possible about their feelings and fears. Talking always helps.