It’s been a crazy journey trying to get my son to sleep in his bed and I can tell you that the journey is far from over lol
I’ve tried it all and I feel that nothing has worked, but I also refuse to force him and have him cry it out when I know that his issue about sleeping alone is his fear of the dark.
Multiple times when I have asked him why he doesn’t want to sleep in his room he tells me that its dark and he scared of the monsters. Knowing this, I can do one of two things:
- Ignore his fear and force him to sleep alone.
- Acknowledge his fear and help him through it.
I have chosen to acknowledge his feelings.
Through this process I have realized that as a parent we are not called to force our children to outgrow certain stages in their lives.
I have learned that as parents we have to be able to be empathetic to the fears that our children face, especially when we are referring to toddlers and preschoolers.
I’ve learned that there is a time to help our children face and overcome their fears without forceful action, and their is a time to help them get through it by accommodating their needs.
Since my son refuses to sleep alone in his room, I grabbed one of his mattresses and placed it right next to our bed so he is now sleeping right next to me, but on his mattress. The funny part of all of this is that almost every night at around 4 a.m. my son climbs up to our bed and grabs my arm or my face to make sure that I’m there. Those little gestures are indicators that my presence is important to him and my job is to fulfill that need.
It’s a bitter-sweet feeling because although I feel loved by my son, I also know that these moments are nothing more than memories.
Which is why I urge parents to think about the fact that our children are only children for so long and it’s important that we consider their feelings, and help them through their processes.