The Chatterbox

The Chatterbox

News and views from the staff of FamilyEducation.



Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

Our two-year old has gone from the content one-year who quietly fell asleep on his own in his crib to a kid who will NOT stay in his bed without me and takes so long to fall asleep, almost never on his own. I struggle with the choice each night, whether to just lay with him (even though it does not speed up the process of going to sleep) so that he's not sad, or to take my one-two hours of free time and make him lay alone (crying, whining, not sleeping). Each night seems a little different, since I'm not very consistent with my own reactions.

I remember when Brenna made the connection (about a year ago) that she would still be younger than me when I'm old and it's time for me to die. It was scary for me to think about and it took me a while to come up with something that would make us both feel better. We base it on our faith and our beliefs in heaven, which is comforting and even then a little scary. The main thing that made her feel better about it was saying that it was a good thing we don't have to worry about it for a long, long time.

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I'm sorry you're having sleep struggles, Omaha--it's tough to know what to do!

You're so right--I think there's no real way to make the concept of death and dying comfortable or acceptable to kids, but I do think they learn to live with it, and that it's our job to point them in the direction of the tools they need to cope with the knowledge.

Tough stuff, though...this parenting business!

Sweet Pea Chef's picture Sweet Pea Chef

R is turning 5 in two weeks. Must be developmentally appropriate, because he has been asking these sorts of questions too.

I think the pull between wanting to nurture and protect your child through these difficult stages and knowing they need to grow and be challenged and supported is one of the most difficult things about being a parent.

This too shall pass...

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

You're right, Sweet Pea--there are some very distinct *mental* developmental milestones as well.

Ah yes, this too shall pass--how we cling to that phrase sometimes! Last night was a particularly bad night--poor T.

Lilianpw's picture Lilianpw

Do you remember my Kelvin and death post? I later returned and added photos of his face during the conversations we had later that day. Here's the link, if you want to revisit it. And then there's this other almost heartbreaking bedtime conversations about his fears here. (I hope the links work!)

I think it was quite early for him to have those questions (3 years old), but we had to face the issue of death because of the neighbor's niece falling out of the second floor window. I don't think it'll be easy at all to talk to Linton about these issues, and he's going to be 5 in May... (I haven't even read your five post yet. I hope I do not cry...).

Anyway, I'm just so thrilled that I can recall these conversations, blogging is great for "baby book" purposes as Dawn (Friedman) says. Gotta go to bed. Expect tons of comments from me as I catch up.

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

Thanks for the links to your post, Lilian--I had forgotten all that heartbreak, and it will be so helpful to have another frame of reference.

These are the dark and painful parts of parenting, I think--but we parents grow a little more as we face them.