1 of 2
Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News
Ashley Richins created "I'm Not Afraid Monster Spray" and "Once Upon a Dream Fairy Princess Potion."

OREM — Whether it's conquering the monster under the bed or the monstrous pile of clothes on a child's floor, two Utah County entrepreneurs have created products designed to empower kids and relieve parents.

The shiny metal can of "I Am Not Afraid Monster Spray" gives kids the freedom to spritz away monsters lurking under the bed, rug or in the closet.

"As a mother of three, the need to sleep is very important," said Ashley Richins, an entrepreneur from Pleasant Grove. "If my kids aren't sleeping, I'm not sleeping."

She said the idea for the spray started when her monster-fearing children, ages 5, 4 and 1, began ending up in bed with her and her husband.

Knowing there had to a more believable way than water in a squirt bottle, Richins invented the Monster Spray — essential oils of lavender and vanilla in an easy-to-spray canister, which scares away monsters and helps promote a restful sleep.

"They're conquering their fears, because they can spray it themselves," she said.

Helping kids take control of a situation is also the goal of the Rewarding Kids Responsibility Kit, created by long-time parents Merrill and Linda Dastrup of Orem.

"I think all children ... like to be accountable (and get) positive reinforcement," Linda Dastrup said.

The job charts, showing pictures of jobs such as taking out the trash, cleaning the bathroom or brushing teeth, are lined up with corresponding boxes for each day of the week. If completed, the child can get a sticker for that job. But unlike the average chart, this chart also includes a "happiness" evaluation.

"It combines self-esteem with attitude," said Merrill Dastrup. "Why wait to get into the work force to learn you can be happy (working)?"

Unlike Monster Spray, which has only been around six months, millions of charts have been sold over 21 years.

The company's newest kit, released in August, contains additional reusable job stickers allowing parents to customize chores.

The Dastrups believe their product is so effective — without technology's buttons or batteries — because it's a visible sign that lets everyone know what's going on.

No only will it help motivate children to get as many stickers as their siblings, but it will allow parents to know what their kids have done and then congratulate them accordingly. It also lets children know what is expected of them.

"Stress comes when we don't know our parameters," Merrill Dastrup said.

"And this way, parents don't have to constantly be saying, 'Do this, do that,"' Linda Dastrup added.

For more information on the job charts visit www.creativechanges.com.

Parents looking for restful, monster-free sleep can check out the Esscential Solutions Web site at www.monsterspray.us.

"We're looking for new ideas, (saying) what problems can we solve," Richins said. "This is just the beginning."

E-mail: sisraelsen@desnews.com