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Monsters-Inc-StartQuestion From Lynn: Looking for your ideas….my dd has decided she’s afraid of shadows and doesn’t want to stay in her room when we put her to bed at night.  So we’re back to staying with her until she falls asleep, and even then, she comes into our room during the night if she wakes up.  Showing her what a shadow is has not changed her mind about them.  She won’t be disuaded that they can’t hurt her.

Noble Mother Responds:

Hi Lynn,

There does seem to be an ebb and flow to bedtime fears. Try getting rid of the shadows by leaving her light on.  We leave the kids’ lights on and then turn them out before we go to bed.

I think the goal is to help her feel safe in her room – leaving lights on, music, special toy – sometimes these rituals help.  A really clever technique that works beautifully for ours is sitting in the rocking chair while they’re falling asleep when they are particularly freaked out and then I’ll say, “Oh, I’ll be right back I have to get the laundry out of the dryer.  You go ahead and lie down and I’ll be right back.”  I do this for about 5-10 minutes and they are usually fast asleep by my 3rd trip.

We also talk about God always there to protect them. We have a special protection prayer that they both know and we tell them that saying the prayer will help them fall asleep and bring their protection angels to them.  I have a picture of 2 children walking along a path and there’s a guardian angel hovering above them. I had it on my wall when I was little and now they have it.  They like that.

We’ve also built into our credit system a way to earn gems when you stay in your bed all night.  It’s a great incentive!

What I’m learning is that the more tools I provide for them to create their safety and security, the better.  If I allow their safety to be only about being with me, in my bed, then that becomes a crutch.  However, I’m a big believer in following your intuition.  I follow my gut some nights when I know that staying in their room reading or working on my laptop until they’re asleep is just what they need to feel secure.

I’d love for other moms to respond as well.  If you have great bedtime tips for Lynn, please share!