My Confession: I gave my son nightmares.
Last week my son woke up at least eight times between 8:30 pm and 7:00 am. If he were 7 weeks old or 7 months old, I might understand. But he’s 7 YEARS old. And it was my fault. Here’s the story…
My problem started the summer of ’09 when Mark won a Scooby-Doo DVD. He was so proud of his prize, he came home waving it in the air like it was a million dollar check. Up to this point, my kids had never set eyes Scooby. I’ll admit it…I’ve always been very conservative about TV and movies. Too much research out there about the impact of television on kids. So I was very hesitant to dive into something I’d avoided for so long. But, both boys begged to watch it. Mark had the plastic wrap off that thing before I could say ZOINKS! So, I gave in. And it wasn’t so bad. Before I knew it, a couple weeks had passed and Scooby-Doo had become a regular on the viewing menu. Then the nightmares started. Three nights in a row of being jolted out of bed with blood-curdling screams. If I had been hesitant about Scooby before, now I was convinced. He was banned from our house. That was two years ago.
Fast-forward one year. My son, now 6 years old, begged me to give “the gang” another chance. For some reason, he has a fascination with the fake monsters and those meddling kids. He insisted that he was no longer scared and he wouldn’t have nightmares. So, I let him break down my resistance and I tried again. But 2:00 AM came and again he stood at the side of my bed screaming. A surge of guilt-laced adrenaline flew through my system and kept me awake long after Mark went back to sleep. I made my vow again, “No more Scooby-Doo!”
Fast-forward another year to last week. More begging and pleading for yet another chance. Mark explained that he’s “a big boy” now and things like that no longer bother him. No nightmares in months, maybe even a year. Somehow, I let him convince me (AGAIN) that it would be okay. And it was…at first. Several nights went by without a scream, without being woken up at 2 AM. But then came the infamous sleepless night – every dream punctuated with “Get me out of here, Scoob!”
My Conclusion: When I do things like this, I always pay the price. I guess it’s a dilemma that all moms face. We want to please our kids, to make them happy. So we give in when we shouldn’t. We let them break us down to avoid the fight or to have peace. Sometimes it’s okay. But usually, it just makes for bigger problems. It’s just not worth it in the end.
Besides, a friend reminded me that in this case, there is a greater lesson to remember. Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
No judgment is being passed on the “Scooby-Doo” movies, television shows or characters. Daphne, Fred, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby are beloved by many a child the world over;-)