How do you tell when it is a real fear and when you are being played?
Sam has never been a fan of the dark. For a while, he wouldn't even walk into a room that didn't already have a light on in order to turn one on. No light...no Sam. It was very frustrating and I'm embarrassed to say it happened during a time when we had little patience and we did not handle it very well. But now, at least, he will walk to the doorway of a room and reach an arm in to turn on a light. Honestly, I still do this myself some nights, preferring not to be surprised by a mouse scurrying across the floor of our old farmhouse...so I can't criticize too much. Yes, a mouse is different than the boogeyman, but I'm not going to argue details when the result is the same.
So that leaves us with our latest fun little twist in this game we call parenting. He is FINALLY not sleeping in our bedroom. He is temporarily sharing a room with his brother (he has his own room but "doesn't want Myles to be alone"...yeah...I KNOW). I suspect he would rather stay in our bedroom with us. But he's six and it's time (now that I've had a little taste of blissful slumber without a six-year-old elbow in my ear, I'm quite fond of the idea of having him in his own room).
So here's the problem. Last night, he cried and said, "I'm afraid of the dark." Now, I gauged it based on the fact that he was not sobbing crying...just your garden variety crying. And there are two nightlights in the room...so it's not exactly DARK dark. But I don't know. A fear of the dark can be very scary. And I don't want him to end up in therapy as an adult, blaming me for ignoring his childhood fears. But there is part of me that thinks he's old enough and smart enough to play me in order to avoid doing something he just doesn't want to do.