The Ultimate Parenting Challenge: Getting our Middle Daughter to Sleep Alone

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This is about as close as Briani would like to be to sleeping alone in her own bedroom.

This is part of a compensated campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Huggies.  However, all opinions expressed are my own.

One of the biggest parenting challenges I’ve encountered has to do with an innocent mistake my wife and I made when our middle daughter Briani was born.  Our mistake was letting her get in bed with us – and then staying there.

I’ll be honest with you.  At first I was not happy about this because I didn’t think it was healthy for our daughter or our marriage.  A couple of years ago I wrote a blog about this very situation and the fact that my brother, who still sleeps with his wife and my 9-year-old niece, convinced me that it was something I would grow to love. Five years into this experiment, the results were failure.  Briani would not go to sleep in her own bed under any circumstances and when she slept with us she would not go to sleep until very late because she would calibrate her sleep with ours.  Now that she’s a kindergartener and that school work actually counts, my wife and I decided it was time to change this situation.

Instead of just moving Briani to her room and hearing her scream through our bedroom door, which is what we did at first, I decided to calmly talk to her about the situation.

First, I told her, you need to sleep in your room because your room is a special, beautiful castle that we made for you and your sister and mama and papa have their own castle.

Second, your little sister Naomi is not afraid so neither should you. “But I’m afraid monsters are going to get me,” said Briani. “Well, let me ask you a question,” I said to her.  ”Do you think Papa loves you?”  Yes, she nodded.  ”Do you think Papa wants anybody to hurt you?”, I asked her.  ”No,” she said.  ”Are you sure Papa doesn’t want somebody to hurt you?”, I asked.  ”Yes,” she said.  ”Well, you’re right.  If Papa tells you that no one is going to hurt you, you shouldn’t be afraid because Papa and Mama both love you very much.”

“But I’m afraid of monsters,” Briani said. I told her that I too used to be afraid of monsters too but that I had a big secret for her.  Children love “secrets.”

“Do you want to know what the secret is that helps Papa not be afraid of anything?”, I asked her.  She nodded again. “Papa Dios (Jesus).  Papa Dios is not only in the house but he has all these invisible angels all around our house every night to take care of us because he loves us,” I told her.  ”Papa Dios is way bigger than anybody and anything so we don’t have to be afraid because He is the biggest and He is on our side.”

That night, the tide began to turn.  Oh, Briani still tries to manipulate her way into our bed and she still thinks that she owns a piece of that land but we no longer live under the tyranny of her feeling that she must sleep with us.

Our parenting challenge is not over because she’s now choosing to sleep alone in the living room sofa (who understands why) but at least we’re getting closer to her sleeping in her own bedroom.

In parenting there’s never a dull moment – it doesn’t matter who you are.

Fortunately throughout this challenging time, our baby Naomi was using Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers with New SureFit Design that provide up to 12 hours of leakage protection so we didn’t have to worry about leaky diapers. They also feature a unique flexible waistband for all-around fit meaning that they stayed on despite a very active 16-month old.  Thanks to Huggies we were able to focus our efforts on trying to get Briani to transition into her own bed!

We all experience many of the same challenges as moms and dads! Huggies created a series of Spanish–language webisodes featuring former Miss. Universe Zuleyka Rivera in which she talks about her own parenting challenges with her son Sebastian. You can view the third episode here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D03WqoH5Cdc Grab a pack of Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers with New SureFit Design and Huggies Natural Care Wipes with New Triple Clean Layers and join Zuleyka as she puts Huggies to the test. You can also visit Huggies.com/tuprueba for more information on the new Huggies products or join in the conversation on Twitter at @Huggies and #HuggiesLatino.

What’s your most recent parenting challenge?
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