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Is Your Child Afraid of Sleeping Alone?

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:

  1. Ignore his fear and force him to sleep alone.
  2. 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.

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My Strong-Willed Boy

When my son was born I spent hours staring at him and would often wonder if I should’ve taken parenting courses.

As time passed I realized that becoming a mother meant that I had to become a teacher, but not just any teacher, THE teacher. With that role I recognized that I had to be patient and embody patience because raising a life is an entire process in itself.

I also realized that I was going to play a key role and be a main witness to my seeing and guiding my son through the motions of many new learning experiences. All which require patience and embrace.

I also recognized that the only pre-parenting courses that I had received were my own experiences with my parents.

As I traced back all the memories of my interactions with my parents I remember the good and the bad. The good was that my mother was a sweet, patient woman and that my father was also loving and was an excellent provider. However, I lacked a lot of attention and reassurance.

I learned early on in my childhood that…

If I spoke back I was automatically labeled as disrespectful.

If I didn’t say hello to adults, I was automatically viewed as rude.

I had to agree with what my parents said or believed, if not I was considered rebellious.

I felt like a robot.

I HAD to respond the way my authority wanted me to respond VERSUS having the freedom to react and express myself as I felt at the moment.

As a child I wasn’t entitled to possess a mind of my own.

Now as a mother I didn’t want to make the same mistake with my son. Granted, my parents did with my sisters and me what they had learned. They did not know any better.

Now as a mother, God has helped me see things differently.

Via my relationship with God I’ve learned many things about how a child views the world.

As parents we must always evaluate our action and the way we respond to our children because our reactions are not always the right ones and the way we punish our children is always accompanied by motives.

Our disciplining style must be questioned.

My son is only 3-years-old and I realized that I was demanding things of him simply because I felt he was mine and he had to do what I wanted him to do at the moment that I decided was right. My demand was tied to my need for power and authority over his life.

I also noticed something powerful… I wanted to break and bend his will.

Boy was I WRONG for this.

I would get angry if he got angry at me, which makes absolutely no sense because anger is a normal emotion and a normal reaction.

At times I have demanded that my son sit still because I wanted him to remain still.

But notice this, I wanted him to sit down therefore I alone created a power struggle simply because I was being led by my capricious behavior.

I was not taking into consideration his desire to play and experience the world. On top of that it is unrealistic to expect a 1, 2 or 3 year old to remain still for more than a 1 minute.

I wasn’t empathetic to his needs as a child and instead got myself into power struggle that led me to become physical with him, spank him because I wanted him to comply with my unrealistic demand and in the process I would tried to break his will and prove who the boss is.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!

Through these many power struggles I realized that my son is very strong temper and is strong-willed, therefore, if I continued to spank and demand unrealistic expectations then I knew I would be brewing hate and resentment in my son’s heart.

Through my son’s strong-willed personality God showed me the following:

  • We must be empathetic to a child’s needs.
  • We must understand that a child’s experiences are new and they possess a high need for exploration.
  • We must understand that their anger and frustration is a demonstration of a need not being met and we must guide them through their anger and teach them how to positively respond to anger.
  • A child’s temper tantrums are nothing more than there immature responses to unpleasant experiences. Such experiences may not be unpleasant to us, but in their own little-big world it’s a big deal and of grave importance.
  • We must teach our children how to respond appropriately to struggles and undesirable circumstances via our own reactions. We need to model what we want to see in our children.
  • A child’s very nature is that of immaturity. Therefore, WE CANNOT EXPECT mature responses from children who are supposed to be at their prime of immaturity.
  • A child who has strong-will, will tend to be set on what he or she wants to do and what he believes is right. THIS IS NOT REBELLION, this is NORMAL.

As a matter of fact strong-will in combination with positive and respectful discipline can encourage a child to be determined and set on his dreams and goals. If guided appropriately a Christian strong-willed boy or girl will be able to stand firm his or her faith and won’t be easily influenced nor shaken.

It’s time that as parents we understand how a child views the world. Most importantly we must empathize in order to understand our child’s needs especially throughout the toddler years when they need to feel the most safe to express their reactions without punishment, but rather be guided lovingly.

Parenting requires that we work on facing and healing from our past. It requires that we grow and evolve as people. It requires change on our behalf. Our children are not the problem, WE ARE.

There is no such thing as troubled children, there are only troubled because they are being raised by troubled and broken people.

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While in Las Vegas…

My husband won a trip to Las Vegas for meeting each quota every quarter in 2016. What was amazing to discover is that he makes part of the one percent of successful sales associates in T-Mobile.

T-Mobile gave us the opportunity to experience amazing shows and entertainment while we were in Vegas. There were many gifts provided as well as a Visa card with funds for us to spend on whatever we wanted.

My husband my son and I had a blast!!! Best experience ever.

However, I know that Las Vegas is known as sin city and I got to see a small glimpse of people that reflected how damaging this environment can be especially for young people.

Till this day I had not seen so many young homeless both guys and girls.

One thing that I did witness and brought such sadness to my heart, was witnessing 5 young people exchanging a syringe and shooting up their bodies with what may have been heroine. I also saw a young man on the strip balled up in fetal position right on the sidewalk completely obliterated by the effects of whatever is it he consumed. I also saw yet another young man hallucinating and talking to himself on one of the walkways, asking for money to eat.

This was saddening and heartbreaking. I asked myself, what drives these young people to become these lost and broken young adults.

Many reasons crossed my mind, but the one thing that I kept asking myself was, where are their parents?

I recognized that our role as parents is more important than we care to accept.

It’s up to us to raise children that will not be broken adults.

It’s time to raise children whose emotional needs are met throughout childhood.

It’s up to us to raise emotionally intelligent children who will grow up to be adults that know how to manage their emotions.

It’s up to us to raise little girls whom are confident and do not need to seek for love in other men later in life.

It’s up to us to raise little boys who respect and honor their parents through respectful discipline.

It’s up to us to raise the next generation of people who will be living adult lives thriving and achieving dreams, rather than adults who are recovering from childhood pains, neglect, insecurities, abuse and indifference.

The time has come to grow as individuals and be better parents.