Parting with mom for the whole night means being alone with your fantasies and experiences, fears and problems … And therefore, learning to sleep alone is sometimes not an easy task.
Some adults insist that their child is excitable and too fragile, and every timid attempt to teach him to sleep separately ends up in tears of children, parental quarrels and a “broken” night for the whole family. That is why children in such families up to five or seven years old continue to sleep with their parents (or with one of them).
It is important to understand that by agreeing to a compromise, we thereby deprive the child of the opportunity to grow up: to independently seek a way out of a difficult situation, overcome fears, learn to create a cozy and comfortable space for himself.
Explain the situation to your son or daughter, but in a way that makes him or her feel that sleeping alone is a privilege, not a punishment
On the other hand, staying in his mother’s bed, the preschooler learns to control … the behavior of the parents: when mom and dad should lie next to him; how and in what place they should, in his opinion, sleep.
This situation is especially common in families where mothers are raising a child without a husband, or tensions develop between spouses. In this case, parents unconsciously project their worries and their own insecurity onto the child: his presence next to him satisfies their urgent need – to feel the warmth and closeness of a loved one.
When deciding to separate, act confidently and gradually. Agree with your partner that, for example, in a week you will transfer the child to a separate bed.
Tell your son or daughter about this, but so that he (a) feels (a): sleeping alone is a privilege, not a punishment (“You have already learned to eat on your own, play football. Now you can fall asleep in your bed”) …
Create a calendar on which you will work together to count down the days remaining until the significant date. Ask your child what kind of stuffed animal he wants to take to bed.
Be sure to establish a pleasant bedtime ritual: reading a fairy tale, gentle hugs, good night wishes. Be gentle, firm, and consistent in your actions. And good dreams to you!
Fragment from Madeleine Rosenblum’s book “I, you, our child – we grow up together” (CheRo, KDU, 2007).