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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Night terrors

The most recent adventure we have begun with our toddler is night terrors. This is made even more fun with a 5 month old baby sleeping in the room right next door. Talk about sleepless nights on so many levels!!

Sleep terrors are horrible to experience as a parent. There is nothing you can do to help your child in the midst of the terror. You have to sit back and watch it all unfold before your eyes. Watch your child scream from fear. Watch your child shaking from fear. Watch your child crying and wanting to be consoled without actually being able to be consoled. Wondering when it will all be over and you can finally comfort your poor baby.

While they say these are not a cause for concern, try telling that to a parent in the midst of an episode while their little one is screaming and there is nothing you can do. Talk about feeling like the worst parent in the world! Then there is the "calming" words to let parents know not to worry, your child will most likely outgrow this in adolescent years. That is reassuring when the terrors start before age 3. Sure, my child will outgrow this, but it will probably be part of your life for the next 10+ years. That means for all of youth!

That makes regular childhood fun difficult. Sleepovers will probably be rare, and if they do occur, they will have to be at our house so we are there to watch over and help the friend(s) understand what is happening. Does that mean after the friend(s) experience the night terror for the first time, that will be the last time they want to attend a sleepover? Will we have to expect this from all our children as they tend to run in families? Is there something I have done as a mother/parent that has caused this to happen to my poor innocent child? So many questions run through my head and I am not sure I will ever have the answers, or at least as many answers as I feel I need.

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