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Mentors:I have three kids. Last night I slept in the bed with my son while my wife slept in the bed with my other two children. This is kind of a re-occurring thing. Has anyone else had this problem? How’d you break them?

-Anonymous

 

Dear Anonymous, 

Hindsight is 20/20, but as you see, this should have never started.

Certainly our children may have bad dreams or accidents that awaken them at night. In those cases of fear, try the following to comfort your children:

  1. Pray with them
  2. Sing praise songs with them
  3. Tuck them back into their own beds and return to yours

To break the sleeping habits you have started won’t be easy. Knowing the ages of your children would be helpful since different suggestions would work for different ages.

Here are a few tips to get started:

  1. Inform your children. It is important for your children to know mommy and daddy are together in their own bed. This will bring comfort to your child emotionally and psychologically whether it is apparent or not.
  2. Expect Emotions. Know that your child will cry as you break this habit. You and your wife must be in agreement to follow through on this, or it will fail.
  3. Admit your mistake. Tell your children mommy and daddy made a mistake by not having them sleep by themselves in their own bed.
  4. Follow Through with Plan and Consequences. Tell your children that beginning tonight after you read the Bible, pray, and sing, they must stay in their bed unless there is a problem. If they get out of bed they will get a spanking (or whatever consequence you choose).
  5. Be Consistent. You must be consistent and not give in as parents. This may take several nights, but it can be resolved.

 

Dr. and Mrs. Britt McCarty


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