Sleeping With The Beast Of Terror
The Beast of Terror forms his strategies in the day and attacks the child at night in the secrecy of the dark bedroom where he lurks under the bed, in the closet, upon the shadows undulating against the pane of the bedroom window.   But for some children, the Beast of Terror has no nocturnal solace, no playground to romp his wiles into the mind of a child.   Parents of Sleeping Vigilance stand guard next to their children, protecting them from the Beast.   Find out how they do this.


Wednesday--January 15, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 490
Sleeping With The Beast Of Terror Creates Dreams of Vigilance

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Jan. 15- The Beast of Terror's domain is the dark.   It rules most ferociously at night, when the child's bedroom door is shut and the shadows of the night dance unctuously over the mind of a vulnerable child, reminding him or her that danger lurks just a shadow away.

The Beast of NightTerror is always hungry

      But there is a growing number of Parents of Vigilance who are denying the Beast access to their children.  They are sleeping with the Beast of Terror, holding up Shields and Swords of Vigilance to ward off the Beast's freedom to attack the child in the nefarious night.   They challenge the Beast's right to own their child when the demons of the dark swallow the light of security.

The Closet Monster preys nightly

       According to a federal survey released this past Monday (Jan. 13) by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, children under 8 months old who slept with their parents had more than doubled in the past seven years.

        In 1993-94 the survey found that 5.8 percent of parents slept with their babies.  The 1999-2000 report, which asked if their infants usually shared an adult bed, jumped to 12.5 percent.   When questioned if their babies spent at least "some time" sleeping in an adult bed in the previous two weeks the number soared to nearly 50 percent.
        Jan Hunt, director of the Natural Child Project ( , lauded the study as an example of closer bonding between parent and child.  Experts suggest that parents who sleep with their infant children create a deeper psychological relationship with them, reducing the "generational gap" that leads to misunderstanding, alienation and often child abuse.

        While the study noted there were vast ethnic differences in the number of parents sleeping with children, the increase overall was consistent.   For example, black infants were four times as likely as white infants to share an adult's bed.  Asians and Latin Americans were more prone to sleep with their children than other ethnic groups, and consider the idea of separate bedrooms for a child psychologically harmful.
         The study noted, however, that while white adults ranked low regarding the numbers of parents of other ethnic groups sleeping with their babies--4 percent in 1993-94 study--that number of white parents more than doubled to 9.6 percent in the 1990's, sustaining a trend among all ethnic groups to seek closer bonding with their infants.
         Dr. James McKenna, head of the Mother-Child Sleep Lab at the University of Notre Dame, advocates mothers and babies sharing beds.   He suggests the comfort and closeness babies get from sleeping with their mothers makes them "more independent and able to deal with stress better."

The comfort and closeness babies get from sleeping with mothers help them deal with stress later on

        While the study did not delve into the psychological motivations of the parents, or the impact upon a child of sharing a bed with his or her mother and/or father at night, other studies show that bonding between mother and father with the child is increased when the child shares the bed during early development.
          One of the major factors of sharing a parent's bed  is enriching a child's psychological armor.  When babies sleep in separate rooms, the child is isolated, cleaved from parental security and left vulnerable to the night, researchers say.

Waiting for the attack by my Beasts of NightTerror

        As a Child of Terror, I slept in a state of constant angst waiting for the Beast of Terror to attack.   In my case, my parents were constantly fighting and arguing, and their Voices and invectives swirled under the cracks in the door as poison gas might clog the air one breathes.  Their constant battles, usually induced by alcohol, stung and smarted my sense of  security.  I lay rigid until the fighting and bickering stopped, or fell asleep coiled like a spring, ready to leap out of bed and run as fast as the wind to some unknown sanctuary where I might find safety even though I knew there was none.
        Thousands of other children suffer similar tensions, many far worse than mine.  A friend of mine related to me the horror of waiting to hear her father open her bedroom door so that her Beast of Terror could enter her personal sanctuary and molest her night after night from age 7 to 14.   When the night fell, her world became a dark torture chamber.

My friend's childhood innocence and her power were devoured by  her NightTerror Beast = her father

       I can only relate my experience to the emptiness of the bedroom, to the sense of being locked in a Cell of Terror, waiting for the Beast to burst through the door.  Today, I vividly recall crawling deep under my covers and hiding at the foot of the bed in hopes the creature would mistake me for a lump of blankets and move on.  In my mind, I had no protection.   My parents were the Beast's disciples, at least in my child-Terrorized mind.
        My wife's and my older daughter found herself in our bed almost every morning until nearly six years old wondering how she'd gotten there.  Her unconscious quest for comfort moved her to the warm, cozy and loving bed of her parents.  We encouraged her to find solace with us if she was ever frightened and her door was always open.
        Even without abusive parents, children sleeping in darkened rooms with doors shut, are isolated from the security of their mother's or father's protection.   Often bedrooms are used as "punishment cells," when parents say:  "Go To Your Room!" as though it were a dungeon, a cellblock commanded by the "evil demons" who sneer and laugh and torture the mind of the child remanded to the dark or loneliness of a room filled not with love but with Terror.
       I found the federal study revealing in many ways.   It suggested strongly that if a Parent of Vigilance seeks to build a lasting Trust Bond with a child, then sharing the family bed was a key to bridging any gap between the infant and adult.   Parenthood ultimately boils down to being the child's protector--not only its physical protector, but its emotional one as well.
       Infancy is the prime time when the child's psychological chemistry is formed.  The mind is most vulnerable in this formulative period. Left unguarded and unprotected, it can easily construct legions of Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies--the Triads of Terrorism.   Conversely, a child who is close to the parents' protection and support, can be imprinted with the Trinity of Vigilance--Courage, Conviction and Right Actions.

Vigilant Dad starving the NightTerror Beast

      While these attributes of Fear versus Courage, or Conviction versus Intimidation and Complacency versus Right Actions may not be cast in concrete in a baby's mind, the foundations for their growth are being dug.  Alone in a separate room a child is isolated and easy prey for the Triads of Terrorism.   Children have feelings even though they haven't been fully formed, and isolation is one that a baby intuitively recognizes.   That's why they cry--to be held, touched, to know the warmth of their parents.  They cry out of Fear, Fear of loneliness and abandonment.
        In World War II during the German blitz of England, hundreds of orphan children were put under the care of the state.   The overcrowded conditions and understaffing made it difficult for the caretakers to give adequate attention to the babies on an equal basis.
       A social researcher Dr. Rene Spitz, documented  studies of  children who had been left homeless and motherless and fatherless by the bombings.   He noted that children in cribs near the main traffic areas close to the nurses seemed the most active.  They were touched and held more because of the proximity of the health care providers.  They seemed to thrive despite the absence of their parents.

Child wrestling with the NightTerror Beast

     Conversely, children in the far back dark corners of the room received the least contact.   Many were rarely held or attended other than feeding.   Essentially, they were isolated, disenfranchised from the flow of humanity.   Infant deaths among this group soared, according to Spitz.   He made the assumption that handling and touching an infant, and being close to him or her, provided a life force.   While children who were denied that energy had little fuel to want to live, and often just died for no reason other than lack of contact.  Their "will to live" was not fired.  There was no "Vigilant" imprint.
       Dr. Spitz is an advocate of "emotional imprinting," and promotes that either the "dark" or "light" can be embossed upon a child.
       The recent Federal Survey regarding the increase of U.S. parents sleeping with their children suggests a trend toward more Vigilance between parents and children.   While there are no hard facts presented in the study that such "bonding" is fruitful for the child, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the difference between a child being left alone in a dark room or cuddled next to its mother.  One has a far greater chance of integrating into society than the other, and doing so without a wall of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency keeping it from embracing the world's limitless opportunities.

Parental bonding with the child blossoms into vigilant family trust

      Vigilance is about teaching a child Courage in the face of Fear, Conviction when the shadow of Intimidation falls upon them, and Right Actions when the quagmire of Complacency sucks at his or her feet and tries to keep him or her inactive or unresponsive.   To keep a child from the arms of the Beast of Terror takes an understanding of loneliness and despair.   If a parent thinks about a child waking in a dark room, alone with only the shadows of the night for comfort, it doesn't take much imagination to see the power of sharing a bed with an infant as a solution to protecting the child from the Claws, Jaws and Claws of the Beast of Terror. 
       Bonding--imprinting a love for a child in the formative months of its existence--can only further solidify Vigilance between the two.
       For millenniums, humans and their children have slept together.  It is only in recent modern times that we have separated ourselves from our children when they sleep.   Hopefully, we are heading back to the days when a child and parent became one in the dark of the night.   If we are, then we are moving toward more Vigilance and away from Terrorism.
       The more we sleep with our infants, the more we create trust and love with them, the farther we drive the Beast of Terror away from his playground--the dark, isolated room of a child.
        Become a Parent of Vigilance.   Sleep with our infant rather than let the Beast of Terror sleep with him or her.
       And, if your child is grown, invite your child for a sleep-over.  Throw a bunch of blankets on the floor of the living room or den and enjoy a slumber party.  It's never too late to remind yourself or your child that you love them both in the sunshine and the dark of life.

        Jan. 14 -- Sending An SOS For Vigilance--The Titanic Of Terrorism

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