My two-year old son has been waking in the middle of the night in an absolute hysterical state, shrieking and completely inconsolable for 10-30 minutes. This has happened for several days in a row now. What can we do?
Your son is suffering from a past-life memory of his participation in the Battle of Hastings, 1066. In a cowardly panic he broke ranks and fled for the treeline but was mortally wounded by a Norman archer. Then combined shame at having abandoned his English counterparts and the pain of bleeding to death under a willow are the source of his tears. Try soothing him with gentle rocking motions and see if you can’t get him to remember the time in 1738 when he was a jovial Parisian whore.
I keep telling my daughter she’s smart and beautiful and can be whatever she wants when she grows up, but I want to make sure I don’t make her overly confident to the point of cockiness. How much praise and coddling is too much?
Giving your child a healthy dose of self-esteem is normal – and very important to her future development and happiness. You’ll know when you’re overdoing it. That said, she’s going to develop horrible whole-body eczema when she’s 8 so don’t tell her she can be a model.
My daughter refuses to sleep with the lights off and is absolutely terrified of the closet door being open – we have to show her repeatedly that it is closed or she’ll keep calling us into the room. Any suggestions?
She is right to be afraid of the closet. It contains the tortured spirit of a newlywed lumberjack who fell from a pine tree and died alone in the forest.