Caillou: Wakes Up at Night
One night, Caillou wakes up frightened. He had a bad dream. Mommy gets up and comforts him. The next night, the same thing happens. Now Caillou wakes up every night and each time he is comforted by Mommy’s loving arms. Caillou’s parents need their sleep, so they come up with a solution.
Bad dreams are common among young children. The child believes in them, and his fear is real because he cannot distinguish between dreams and reality. At the same time, parents need their sleep.
The text emphasizes how important it is to identify what makes some children wake up crying in the middle of the night. "You had a bad dream", Mommy tells Caillou.
Once parents decide to comfort their child whenever he has a nightmare, the child will soon realize his advantage: whenever he screams and cries, he gets attention.
Instead of rocking a child back to sleep, parents need to give him the means to console himself. Security objects such as teddy bears can be useful.
One night, Daddy gets up. Instead of picking Caillou up, he gives him his teddy bear and persuades Caillou to take care of him. As he consoles his bear, Caillou comforts himself. Teddy becomes a transitional object and recreates the mother-child bond. Caillou and Teddy protect each other. In this way, Caillou learns to cope with being alone and goes back to sleep. By doing so, he becomes more independent.
Caillou wakes up at night emphasizes the importance of a father’s presence in "cutting the umbilical cord", to use a popular and descriptive expression. The father plays a major role in the necessary separation between mother and child. Such a separation is essential for the child to develop positively and enter the wider world.