Halloween is just around the corner and now is the time when a lot of our children’s fears become a reality, in their minds at least. Halloween can be scary for kids because of the costumes and television that comes with it.
Now is around the time of the year when kids will start to fear the “Monsters under their bed” more than ever because of all the spooky activity going on around them. These monsters can appear anyway, under their bed, in their wardrobe or coming through their window, you just need to know how to prepare for this fear coming to light and how to react to it. So what exactly are these “Monsters under their bed”?
Understanding “The Monsters Under the Bed”
The first thing to understand is, it’s perfectly normal for children to have fears. Any strange sound, a scary character on a TV programme, animals and more can send children into a state of panic. This is mostly because they don’t understand them.
Take a vacuum, for example, they know the job it does and that it cleans up dirt, but they don’t know that it won’t suck them up as well. Fears often stem from one previous experience that scars them. You just need to understand how you can help them overcome these fears.
With that in mind, when they head to bed at night, it’s a similar feeling of the unknown. They don't quite understand that the space under their bed is just that, space and not the home of a scary monster.
You may remember the John Lewis Christmas advert in 2017 that told the story of a little boy who befriended the monster that lived under his bed, you can see the video below that brought a light-hearted take on the fear:
Fear of “Monsters under their bed” is more commonly known as Teraphobia. It’s extremely common in younger children but what triggers them?
What causes Teraphobia and how can you spot the early signs?
The signs should be quite easy to spot. Your child will start to ask you to check under their bed or check their wardrobe to make sure no one or nothing is in there.
They fear that the darkness holds something malicious because they can’t see what’s there when in reality it’s just a coat or blanket. This, coupled with mysterious noises like the radiator or sounds from outside give them this fear. Their fears can also be caused by stories they’re being told by their friends or even from what they hear on TV (the news/TV programmes etc). Kids will often share their theories about urban legends and this can cause your kids to overthink them when they’re by themselves. This naturally develops into Teraphobia.
Your child will often not be scared of your stereotypical monsters like Frankenstein or a Vampire, it’s a fictitious monster they’ve created in their own imagination. It might be worth getting them to draw the monster as it may help you to understand where the fear started. It may allow you to limit their exposure to whatever it is that’s causing them to have this fear.
How can you help your kids overcome Teraphobia?
There are some quick and simple ways you can help your kid to overcome their fear of that imaginary monster under their bed. As we mentioned above, the first is to limit their exposure to the cause of the fear if you can work out what the root cause is.
You need to have an understanding with them and encourage bedtime routines to help to soothe them and calm them down before bed. You can also try distraction techniques like reading them a positive bedtime story to help to distract their mind and take their attention away.
Another technique is to reward them for being brave. Your kids will instantly be aiming for your bed because that’s where they feel safe; with you. If you offer them a form of reward for staying in their bed then this not only gives them a sense of pride but also slowly helps to remove their fear. This can be in the form of stickers on a chart or an edible reward the next day.
How are other parents helping their children?
We spoke to some parent bloggers to find out how they help their kids overcome their fears of monsters and the dark.
Hollie, Pretty Big Butterflies
"Our little one has just started the whole monster talk at bedtime. So we have started talking about monsters in a fun way during the day. We also talk about the dark during the day. So getting up in the morning we'll talk about how it's dark outside but we can still see. We'll talk about how the moon comes out so we can still see. Generally, we make the scary stuff seem a little more friendly by talking about it at different times of the day and never talking about it in a negative way."
Becky, Cuddle Fairy
"I teach my children the beauty of the dark, that there is so much goodness there and nothing to be afraid of. But when they are young this can be difficult to understand, so each child has a little flashlight beside their bed to use if they get up in the night. This provides reassurance for them and it's enjoyable to get up in the dark rather than scary."
Daniel, Zippy Electricals
"My kid used to disturb us in the middle of the night because of teraphobia. He was nine at that time. We assumed that it was because of the horror movies he used to watch with his older brother so we started to forbid such a genre in our home.
After that, my wife and I tried to introduce to him some animated monster movies like the 2001 movie, Monster Inc. It helped a little but the continuous exposure of our kid to such movies helped him to see his fears as something “funny” (I remember him saying it after tons of movies).
Also, we gave his room a make-over to make it more appealing even when the lights are out. We put a lot of glow-in-the-dark stickers in his room. There were stickers on the walls and on the ceiling. After some months, he was able to conquer such phobia!"
What do the professionals suggest?
Anastasia Gavalas, Education Specialist & Advisor
"I found the best way to help children with the fear of monsters under the bed is to validate their fears and also empower them. Children need to feel heard and safe so, I created the idea of giving children “Monster Spray”. I suggest parents use a large spray bottle with water, label it as Monster Spray, and add a few drops of lavender oil (or any other calming essential oil). Have their child leave it right by their bed and whenever they feel scared or “sense a monster” they spray it twice. Since monsters don’t like smell of the spray they will leave. Putting the power back in a child’s hands is the best way to help them overcome Teraphobia."
Sarah, Mini Me & Luxury
By following the most basic principle of Serenely Sorted (the system that helps busy people get tidy, sorted for life) of End Homes, parents can help their kids clear their under-bed clobber and clear their minds of fear – because they will know there is nothing there.
Teaching the kids about End Homes early on (mine do it at six and seven) also means you are setting them up for good habits into the fearfully messy teenage years.
So: for each of the Monstery Mess Makers under the bed that you find together, allocate it an End Home e.g. a basket for dolls/soft toys, a desk drawer for the pens/pencils, etc. Then each night before bed, check for Monstery Mess Makers and send them to their End Homes, so that the kids KNOW that the Spooky Surface under their bed has been Ghost Busted and Safe to Sleep Soundly."
How can we help?
At Bed Guru we’ve created a solution to your kids monster problems. Just in time for the scariest time of the year, Halloween, introducing our brand new Monster Proof kids bed.
This bed comes fitted with a cage contraption that traps monsters under their bed, preventing them from escaping. The mattress is infused with garlic and wolfsbane to ward off vampires and werewolves. Don’t worry, it’s odourless to the human smell but will ensure that the vampires stay away.
We’ve also fitted anti-vampire UV lights to reinforce the protection around your bed. The frame is fitted with a silver lining, the bright colours are notoriously bad for monsters and the salt lined around the frame will keep away demons and ghosts. All-in-all this bed is your ultimate anti-monster solution. It also comes with salt, free of charge, to ensure you won't be bothered by any demons and ghouls whilst you try and sleep in peace. The bed comes as a single bed as standard and the monster trap cage is included within the cost of the item.
Our beds have been reviewed by a number of people who have been affected by monsters under their bed, here you can see their thoughts:
Peter Venkman 5* - Impeccable ghost extermination
I bought this bed for my son who was being haunted by ghosts and despite my best efforts I simply couldn't exterminate them! I bought him this bed and thanks to the salt lining he hasn't had any issues since - would recommend!
Sam and Dean Winchester 5* - this bed is brilliant!
Ever since we purchased this bed we've found warding off demons and capturing monsters has never been easier! The wolfsbane and garlic-infused mattress has meant we've had no issues with those pesky werewolves or vampires - we'd definitely recommend to all parents.
If you’d like to enquire about our Monster-proof bed feel free to get in touch with one of our team who will be able to help you with your enquiry and answer any questions you may have.
Please note this product is not real and, therefore, is not for sale so please don't attempt to purchase the product.