Parenting Monday

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By Rebecca Teti

Monday: Parenting

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

Terrible toddlers? Trying teens? Something in between? This weekly forum is the spot to share your questions and struggles about all things related to parenthood.

Please join us!

Rebecca Teti


  • Happy Monday! I said a quick prayer before getting out of bed this morning! My husband returns to work after being off on Christmas/NY break---it was so nice to have him home. I prayed for extra patience with my 2yr old. :)

    Posted on Jan 7th, 2013 at 6:20 AM by Avk

  • My 9-year old is being bothered by unwanted thoughts. I think it's just a psychological thing that will pass, and both my husband and I sort of remember going through something similar. It's mainly focused on evil and the devil. He tells me whenever he thinks these thoughts, and it makes him feel better. For instance, he'll say, "I accidentally thought I love the devil." He doesn't feel that way - in fact it's quite the opposite. It's just a contradictory thought that pops into his head. We've encouraged him to say short prayers when this happens, just Jesus' name or a prayer to St. Michael. I also try to help him keep his mind busy. Any other suggestions on how to help him overcome this?

    Posted on Jan 7th, 2013 at 7:49 AM by Carolyn A

  • ..hmm...can you help him create a silly visual image? I had something similar when I was a child, my grandmother passed away & once in awhile I would just start screaming that my heart had stopped & it would freak my poor parents out. I think I was 5 or 6. I remember going to a Dr. though & got to draw a silly picture of a happy memory of my grandma. Every time I had this scary thought pop into my head I would visualize this silly memory/picture. I think that helped & time passing too....

    Posted on Jan 7th, 2013 at 8:07 AM by Avk

  • ...& just constant reassurance that he's perfectly normal & the brain does weird things as we grow up! :) I hope this phase passes quickly for your child!

    Posted on Jan 7th, 2013 at 8:10 AM by Avk

  • You son is normal. Please make sure he realizes this!! It is thinking he's "the only one like this" or is somehow "bad" for thinking these things that will (in my opinion) produce the worst fruit. We cannot control the thoughts that pop into our heads. When I went through a similar phase as a child, a priest told my mom to have many crafts and other projects for me to turn to. When a thought I didn't like would pop in, I would say to myself, "I don't want that!" and start on an enjoyable project or fun craft. Please, please let you son know he is NOT sinning by these thoughts ,though. I thought I was and spent years confessing them (and feeling like a very evil person) before realizing that everyone has thoughts they don't like at times.

    Posted on Jan 7th, 2013 at 9:06 AM by anon

  • Thanks Avk and anon. Good suggestions. I've assured him that he's only responsible for things he wills and told him it is not sinful. And that his dad and I recall similar things happening. He doesn't seem to be bothered by a sense of scrupulosity as far as it is concerned, just that it is happening. It's certainly worth reminding him though that he's not responsible for things that just pop into his head.

    Posted on Jan 7th, 2013 at 9:57 AM by Carolyn A

  • Friends, I am plagued by guilt about putting my 14-month-old to bed in his own room, in his own crib. In the past I have always co-slept, but this little guy did not sleep well in bed with hubs & I, so we got him a crib. For the first 12 month he LOVED it, loved the peace-and-quiet of his own room, etc. But lately he's started crying his heart out when I leave him in his own room at bed or nap time. And I just don't know what to do! Lately, he's been waking up at LEAST once an hour, and I'll nurse him for a few minutes and put him back in the crib... but then he does it again the next hour. My heart is heavy, particularly since I was hoping to wean him soon... but THEN what do I do when he wakes up crying?? Just ignore him? With my other kids, I gave them extra snuggles at night instead of nursing during the weaning time... but this little man isn't in my bed so I can't snuggle him. I don't know where or how to begin weaning him, or what to do about him crying in his crib. Has anyone else dealt with a crying crib-sleeper? What did you do and *particularly* what did you do when he/she woke up crying and you were choosing to start weaning??? I'm at a loss.

    Posted on Jan 7th, 2013 at 11:05 AM by Jen

  • Jen, I know this isn't what you want to hear, but your son is old enough to sleep through the night, and I think you need to let him cry a little bit and try to calm himself down. I think it's unlikely that he's waking because he's hungry--he probably just wants the comfort of having you with him. You mentioned that you would just give your other kids extra snuggles during this phase, and that's certainly an option here, too (without nursing, since you want to wean), but it won't result in him sleeping through the night on his own. What worked well for us (and what resulted in less guilt for me) was to let my kids cry at short intervals and then checking on them. Start with 5 minutes, then check on him, then 10 and check, then 15. My kids--even the most difficult one--never cried for more than an hour, and it took less than a week to get them all sleeping through the night. Since you're also concerned about weaning, you might drop one feeding at a time (that is, let him cry the first time he wakes, but then nurse the other times), but since I don't think he's waking out of hunger, it might be easier in the long run to go cold turkey. Hang in there! It's never fun to hear our kids cry, but it will be such a victory for him when he learns to calm himself, and it will mean more sleep for you, which is sooo important for the whole family.

    Posted on Jan 7th, 2013 at 12:44 PM by MR

  • Thanks, MR! Actually what you wrote is *exactly* what I wanted to hear. Since co-sleeping hasn't worked for our little man, I just wasn't sure if it would be torture to wean him and leave him all alone in that room by himself, crying. It is so encouraging to hear that you have done this (checking at intervals), and you (and your kids!) have survived to recommend the method! It is just not something I've ever done before, but I'm ready to try. Question: what did you do/say when you checked on your baby at intervals? Holding? Rocking? Saying goodnight? Kisses? Etc.?

    Posted on Jan 7th, 2013 at 1:01 PM by Jen

  • Jen, The advice my doctor gave me about this was not to say or do anything at all--just to check on him to make sure he was ok (which was more for my benefit than his). I couldn't do nothing, though, so I would pat him on the back and say something soothing. I wouldn't pick him up, though, because that would defeat the purpose of having him learn to calm himself down. He'll just learn that if he cries long enough, you'll pick him up--and that's sort of where you are now. I hated doing this with all of my kids, but I couldn't believe the relief I felt after a few days when he was finally sleeping. Good luck!

    Posted on Jan 7th, 2013 at 1:06 PM by MR

  • Some of you from the old F&F live may remember that about a year ago I asked for prayers for my son, Alexander, as he went in for an MRI, then (later) surgery. Well, both procedures went well, but he has a follow up MRI on Thursday and I'm back to ask for your prayers again! Not just for the procedure itself (which includes complete sedation and intubation during the MRI), but also that we get an all-clear and no news about tethered cords, expanding syrinxes, or other nasty possibilities!! Thanks, ladies!!

    Posted on Jan 7th, 2013 at 1:07 PM by Jen

  • Agree with MR! You'll all be sleeping soundly in no time....I'll put Alexander in my prayers. Tests/procedures are very scary & playing the "what if" game is so heart wrenching....have strength & faith! :)

    Posted on Jan 7th, 2013 at 4:24 PM by Avk

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