Now that we no longer have toddlers, I fully expect to sleep until my alarm wakes me up in the morning. And yet, the sleep is becoming elusive. Our youngest daughter, who just turned ten, has begun having trouble sleeping through the night.
She hears things. She gets paranoid by the things she hears. She feels the need to come wake us up and ask if she can sleep on our floor. Some nights there’s no issue. Some nights, like last night, she wakes us up at least three times.
And I cherish sleep. I value those six hours. I NEED those six hours. I have so much running through my head with my new business that if I’m woken up after falling asleep my brain turns on and begins filtering through all the things I need to do, should be doing, should have already done. And it’s not all bad, but it’s WHILE I SHOULD BE SLEEPING.So, I’m not very friendly when she comes to wake us up. My husband is so much better with her. He’s willing to walk her back to bed and ease her fears. And yet, even though we both tell her, do *not* come back into our room for the rest of the night. She feels ok disobeying us to wake us up.
I was actually praying last night once she woke me up. I needed a better way to handle her and figure out this situation. And God led me to realize why she’s so afraid and upset that she would feel ok disobeying us.
She understands some evil in the world that she previously did not know.
Back in the beginning of January, we went out on a date night and told the girls we’d be back at a certain time. We ended up coming home several hours early without telling them. While we opened the garage door, parked the car, and walked in, they were freaking out and hiding themselves in the pantry. Ash was physically shaking and bawling when we found them. She truly thought someone was breaking in!
Fast forward to the end of January when they were visiting grandparents. She was awoken by someone making noises downstairs! She tiptoed to Grandma’s room to tell her there was someone in the house. It ended up being Grandpa who was taking the dogs out for midnight relief. But to her, it was another example of someone breaking in and invading her safe space.
So now, she feels like this breaking in is a reality that definitely could occur, and she is sensitive to every noise she hears at night. Even though she knew it was technically a possibility before, after these experiences, it’s more of a reality to her. Even though, in both cases, the noises ended up being reasonable and nothing to worry about.
I’ve figured out the problem. But I still don’t know the solution. God didn’t reveal that to me. We can’t allow her to lock her bedroom door at night. We need to be able to get in quickly in case of a fire, etc. We can’t lock our bedroom door–she’d just bang on it until we answered. We’ve got to get her to realize that there really is nothing to be afraid of at night. She can just lie in bed, read even, until she falls back asleep.
Sleep. Please, I need it.
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