Being too Loving ... can actually hurt your little one in the long termApr 23, 2001 Write an essay on this topic.
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Dealing with sleep problems can be one of the hardest issues a parent deals with.
My son, who is now 10 years old, was a great sleeper as a little infant. As he grew older, his sleeping got worse. He is a very loving child, always eager to give a hug and tell you that he loves you. So how as a parent could I turn him away at bedtime!
I thought that with time and age he would develop better sleep patterns. What I didn't realize was that I was hindering this process by making excuses for him.
Every night around midnight until two in the morning he would come into our bedroom with some problem. Either he had a bad dream, felt sick or forgot to tell us something very important. I didn't feel comfortable sending him back to bed because I always worried what if he really was sick or had a bad dream. Eventually we created a little bed on the floor because I was so exhausted from being woken up each night. So my son would come into our room every night between 12-2 am and stay until morning.
This took its toll on my husband and I, we got no privacy and we were constantly being woken up. After much disagreement, we decided to see a social worker so that we could reach a compromise. Well we only had to see the social worker twice and the problem was solved.
We were told to watch my son and see how he acted during the day. If he wasnít bothered by his bad dreams or discussed any feeling about being afraid during the day then was we were dealing with strictly a separation problem. It was pointed out it me that if me son was afraid to go to school would I let him drop out (No!) or if he was afraid of cars would I move to a desert Island (No!). What would I do, I would teach he how to cope with his fears.
I had been validating that my son should be afraid of sleeping alone by not teaching him how to confront his fears. What we finally did, was tell my son that on his birthday he was going to get a special present, he was going to be allowed to sleep like a grown up. We took away his ďbedĒ from our room. We discussed for about a month prior to this big event, how he was so grown up. We talked about what he could so if he felt lonely. We read books about nightmares.
If my son had a nightmare in the middle of the night, we would get a piece of paper and draw the nightmare. Then we would take it into the bathroom sink and burn it so it could never return. His teacher made a dream catcher with an Indian poem attached to it. He still recites it every night so those bad dreams are pushed away and good dreams come through.
My son made the transition to sleeping alone with no problems. He never cried to come into our room, in fact he was happy and proud of himself.
It has been three years and I canít believe I waited so long to handle this situation. I donít believe I could let a smaller child cry itself to sleep. I think there a many ways to manipulate your child into wanting to sleep alone. Perhaps just not letting the late night experience be all that fulfilling. If all else fails, donít be afraid to ask the advice of a professional.
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