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Thomas Maples

Sleep-Felt Tidings

Put your thoughts to sleep, do not let them cast a shadow over the moon of your heart.

parent stress from kids making noise and disturbing mom working at home

Got Stress?

When you watch media of any sort, what do you see? So many think their rationally based thoughts, but so few are happy, let alone engaging at the moment. No wonder a billboard I read the other day while driving to my private psychotherapy practice read that one in three children suffers from toxic stress.

What the hell are we doing to the next generation, and for what reason?

This post came to me as I put my youngest son to sleep. He has had some problems initiating sleep lately, and to tell the truth, that is an all too familiar path that sometimes affects me. My first response was frustration. But, as I have sat with this, I realize maybe something is pointing to that billboard I saw driving to my practice the other day.

Eustress v. Distress

Simply put, eustress is good stress. It helps promote growth because it draws our attention to something that needs transitioning and keeps the attention long enough for effective behavioral change to occur. This differs significantly from distress, which can impede a person’s ability to initiate or maintain attention (boredom) or create an overwhelm where behavioral paralysis occurs.

What my son was going through was boredom-related stress. Bedtime equals winding down, and winding down was very different from the excitement he recently underwent watching others play semi-scary games on YouTube just minutes prior. His psyche was primed for anxiety, creating fear as he attempted to wind down and secondarily created difficulties initiating the tedious sleep task.

Now, my reaction was frustration. I will chalk this up for my parent of the year award, or lack thereof, for 2023. Sorry for the joke, but sometimes you have to make light of parenting to glean the true lessons present. But it also created space for me to reflect upon what is essential to a child’s development.

Reflection allows for growth, which in turn allows for love to flourish. At the time, I could only be in frustration. However, as I sat present with the emotion, it dissipated and showed the genuine primary emotion of a loving father who wanted to sleep himself as he assisted his child in learning how to calm an active mind to welcome Mr. Sandman to the room. Now, I am willing to bet that is love. What are your thoughts?

3 Simple Words for Love

Love and kindness. A daughter in need of her father's attention.
Good Night Tidings

Good night, sleep tight,
Don't let the bed bugs bite

We hold the key to our childre's dreams
Under the pillow of our own

A wise man once said, 
"Put your thoughts to sleep, 

do not let them cast a shadow
over the moon of your heart." (Rumi)

& never forget to say
The most important words of tender caring

The expression of Love
In three heartfelt words

To the ones
Who need it most. 


No person is perfect. No parent is perfect. But we can do our best, at the end of the day, to let those we love know that simple fact. What three heartfelt words come to your mind as you read this?

With gratitude, my friends. May your journey be blessed as you envision, chart a course, and advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.

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