Discovering Self Confidence at Night
Dawn Meehan, Mother and Author
“Can I sleep in your bed, Mom? I’m scared,” is my son’s nightly request. I know I should’ve made him sleep in his own bed right from the start, but in all honesty when bedtime rolled around, I was just too tired to battle with him. So, night after night, I continued to let him crawl in my bed, disrupting my sleep, for many, many months. Until one day, after being kicked in the back all night by my squirmy son, I decided it was high time he learned to sleep in his own bed.
That night, we sat on his bed and talked about why he was scared. “There are monsters in the dark,” he replied. I thought for a minute, and then told him I’d be right back as I went to the kitchen. I returned with a flashlight and turned off the lights in my son’s room. “Now, where are these monsters?” I asked him. He trembled, pointing to a shadow in the corner. I shined the flashlight in that direction, illuminating a stack of toys and books that were creating the “monstrous” shadows.
We played this game for a while. He’d point out scary “monsters,” and then we’d shine the flashlight to discover what was really making the shadow. “See?” I told him, “You don’t have to be scared anymore! You can sleep in your own bed tonight and any time you think you see something scary, use the flashlight to see what it really is!”
He gave me a tentative smile. I could tell he wasn’t sure about his ability to sleep in his own bed all night, but he decided to be brave and give it a try. Within minutes, he was fast asleep, flashlight clutched in his little hand. He discovered that he was braver than he thought. And I rediscovered what it was like to get a full night’s sleep without a little one squirming and kicking me all night.