Yesterday, we were visiting with my family. SS, who is six, saw a show about ghosts (I think it was called The Haunted) and begged DH to watch it.
DH finally told him that he could watch it if he wanted, but even if he got scared, he'd still have to sleep alone in his room (which is upstairs on the landing). He watched less than ten minutes of it before he asked us to switch to cartoons.
DH has been out all day enjoying the holiday with my family. I went by to see my family, and DH was sound asleep (partly due to beer, sun, and his 60 hour work week). I got DH home and he was asleep before his head hit the pillow. I got SS in bed, but as soon as I got downstairs he started calling for me.
He said he was scared and asked me to get DH. I told him that DH was already asleep. He started wailing that he watched a scary movie and now he's scared.
I told him I was sorry that he was scared, but reminded him that he begged and begged and begged to watch the show. I reminded him that we told him he would have to sleep in his own bed. I turned on his closet light, gave him an extra stuffed animal, and turned on the hall bathroom light, but he started crying again when I came downstairs.
I feel bad for leaving him alone when he's scared, but we did tell him that he'd still have to sleep alone. What would you do in this situation?
ETA : *I* did not let him watch the show. DH made that call.
You guys make me laugh. You act like I told him, ‘by the way there's a soul sucking demon in your closet ... Sweet dreams!' No. I made sure he was comfortable, I gave him extra stuffed animals to sleep with, and I made sure he had plenty of light. I didn't cruelly say, ‘tough shit kid, deal with it.' However, I did remind him that it was a tv show that he thought he could handle and next time he would need to remember how those kind of shows make him feel.
For everyone saying that I should be pissed at DH, I don't see why. While I personally would have been more adamant that he not watch the show, it was a decision that was left up to DH. I love SS, but raising him is a job left to DH and BM. I will enforce their rules and follow their punishment, but I leave decisions making up to them - especially when it's a controversial decision.
For everyone saying that they would never give into their children, it must be wonderful to be a perfect parent. Since you've never given in to begging, not even once, we should give you all an award. Personally, I believe kids should be given some freedom. Why fight and argue all evening? Why put SS in timeout for arguing and deal with an upset kid for the rest of the evening? SS was the only person having to deal with the effects of watching the show and if he thought he could handle it, why not let him give it a try?
I think you guys are selling your kids short. You don't let your kids take any chances and you try to justify it by saying ‘they are x age'. SS may be six, but he's a sharp kid. He knows the difference between tv and reality. I don't ever think children are ever too young to learn that actions have consequences: eating too many strawberries will make you sick, sliding around on the hardwoods in your socks can cause you to fall, and watching a scary tv show may keep you up at night.
For the record, SS was asleep in minutes. He didn't wake up in the middle of the night. He didn't have nightmares. He woke up this morning and is doing wonderfully.