Nightmare or Night Terror?

Waking up to a screaming child can be traumatizing. Your heart races as you try to figure out what’s going on and then it’s gone as quickly as it comes. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between a full blown night terror and just a regular nightmare. Here are some tips to tell the difference and how to respond when dealing with them. Night terrors usually happen within the first hour or two of sleep, while nightmares tend to happen much later at night, during the second half of sleep. During a night terror your child’s eyes may be … Continue reading

When Nightmares Attack

I’ve always had rather vivid dreams — or at least been very good at remembering my dreams. Sometimes, this is a good thing. A dream inspired my first published piece of fiction. Sometimes, this is a bad thing… like when I have a nightmare that makes me turn on all the lights, afraid to go back to sleep. According to the National Library of Medicine, nightmares are more common in childhood than in adulthood. (So are night terrors!) However, as much as fifty percent of adults (mainly women) still experience occasional nightmares. Tips to help prevent nightmares: Make a bedtime … Continue reading

Night Terrors vs. Nightmares

I’ve always had vivid dreams: happy ones, sad ones, nightmares, weird ones, dreams that eventually got turned into stories. But every once in a while, a dream leaves me in an absolute panic. I wake up in a sweat, heart pounding, afraid to move and even more afraid to go back to sleep for fear of being back in the dream again. I had one of those last night. While I used to think nightmares and sleep terrors were basically the same thing, they’re not. What’s the difference? Night terrors tend to happen within the first few hours of falling … Continue reading

Accepting Our Children’s Pain

As a parent, I know that there is nothing more difficult and upsetting to me than when my children experience pain. I want to stop it; do anything I can to keep them from suffering and feeling pain and it can be incredibly hard to be present, listen, and be compassionate without getting angry and wanting to jump into revenge mode. In order to be able to be truly available for our children, however, we may need to be fully present and accept their pain first. It can be especially hard when we have done something that has caused our … Continue reading

When Your Child Won’t Go To Sleep

If your child has difficulty falling and staying asleep, it can be tremendously frustrating. That’s because if your child is awake during the night, you will be, too. If your tranquil evenings are constantly interrupted by a child who gets out of bed, cries, or insists on sleeping with Mom and Dad, things can get miserable fast. Special needs children are especially prone to sleeping difficulties. Here are some tips to help your child get to sleep: 1. Don’t allow your child to have sugary foods or drinks at least two hours before bedtime. If your child has bedwetting problems, … Continue reading


When I was little, I used to sleepwalk. I have always been pretty active during sleep. That may sound ridiculous, but it is true. I would sleep walk as a child, I have had many lucid dreams (where you are aware in your dream that you are, in fact, dreaming), and even now, I have very busy dreams. But, that’s for another blog. I remember my mother telling me once that our dog stopped me from going down the stairs one night when I was sleepwalking by barking until my parents woke up. One night not too long ago, I … Continue reading

Single Parenthood for the Rich and Famous

Isn’t it nice to know that Madonna struggles as a single parent too? Excuse me while I go in the other room and scream! I may be a little bitter about it but if I hear one more extremely wealthy woman complain about how hard it is to juggle single motherhood and her career I think my head is going to explode. I wonder how many nights Madonna has walked the floor with a teething infant or been woken up multiple times by a toddler with night terrors and then had to take that same tired, cranky child to daycare … Continue reading

The Early Years: How Much Do They Really Understand?

The age of your child at the time of your divorce has a profound impact on the way they respond to the changes in their life. Don’t expect them to understand everything that is going on, but be aware, they may know more than you think. Here is a guide to gauge how much your child comprehends the split during the early years and how to ease that transition on them. From birth to 18 months children can feel the tension in the home, but don’t understand the reasoning behind it. They may begin to show some signs of separation … Continue reading

Mommy I Need You

Last night my three year old had his first full blown night terror. I’m not sure if it was more traumatic for him or me. My heart about leapt out of my chest as I woke to my baby’s terrified screams. I rushed to him as he reached out his arms to me and cried, “Mommy I need you. Save me.” He spent the rest of the night wrapped in my arms, protected from whatever his three year old fears may be. As a parent we want nothing more than to protect our sweet little children from the evils of … Continue reading

Getting Enough Sleep Should Be a Priority

Meeting the needs of children with medical problems or behavioral disorders can be exhausting. A child who must be checked and re-checked throughout the night, or one with sleep disturbances or night terrors can leave parents frustrated and overwhelmed. And if we’re not careful, we can become accustomed to getting very little rest and almost forget what a real night of recuperative sleep feels like. When we’re sleep-deprived, we’re more likely to feel like we’re incapable of handling everything we have to accomplish in a day. Problems seem so much bigger. We’re irritable without knowing exactly why. Sometimes sleep-deprivation makes … Continue reading