Thursday Morning Quickie #16

[Note: The following text was taken verbatim from the “M Men-Gleaner Manual, Love, Marriage, and You” used in 1956-1957. Previous entries in this series can be found here.]

Lesson 24

Talking With Your Children

ONE NIGHT little Timmy, age four, awakened about two o’clock in the morning. He was screaming, “Mother, mother, come here, a bear is chasing me!” The mother awakened and went into the room. The boy was still screaming, sitting up in bed. What did she do? She handled the situation very well. She took the boy in her lap and calmly said, “Tell me, Timmy, what you saw.” He began immediately to settle down. He screamed a little more, but pretty soon said slowly, “Well, the bear is gone . . . I guess I have been dreaming.” The mother just let him talk about it, did not chastise him, did not tell him to be quiet, and in a few minutes he was off to dreamland. Some parents, faced with this same situation, might have done just the opposite. They might have come in-of course it is difficult to be accepting and loving at 2 o’clock in the morning with a scream getting you out of bed-and said, “Now, Timmy, you be quiet. It is two o’clock in the morning…. Now you shutup!”

Quickie Questions

1. How would you have handled the above mentioned situation?
2. Is it important for children and youth to be able to talk with their parents?


Thursday Morning Quickie #16


  1. John Scherer says:

    1. How would you have handled the above mentioned situation?
    -Much the same. Of course, I sleep in a bear costume so the result may be different.

  2. Peter LLC says:

    and in a few minutes he was off to dreamland.

    Where he was promptly eaten by the waiting bear.

  3. JT in Chicago says:

    Ahhhhh… how ’bout them Blackhawks! Sorry, I had to get that out of my system.

    My kids wake up in the middle of the night with all kinds of strange requests (read: demands) while in a dream-like trance, such as “where is my baseball mit” or “can I have cheesecake?” We’ve learned to play along to some degree. My wife and I usually have a good belly-laugh about it in the morning.

    Gosh, isn’t having kids great!

  4. When I was much younger, I shared a bedroom with three of my older brothers. Quite regularly, my dad would rush into the room in the middle of the night, yelling and screaming, with fake blood all over him. Sometimes he would put on scary masks, too. In fact, I think that this Simpsons’ clip was based on my dad:

    Don’t get the wrong idea, though – my dad was (and is) heaps fun. Personally, I find his approach much better than that in the story.

    I was kind of hoping the story would say, “…and in a few minutes he was off to dreamland, where he was once again being chased by a bear.”

  5. I’d run in there screaming, “Shut up, you fool, the bear is attracted by sound! For your own safety, feign sleep!”

  6. Dave P. says:

    In one of Bill Cosby’s early albums he perfectly illustrates how different parents would handle the same situation. His own parents, anyway.

    For a mother:
    “Mom! Monsters!”
    “You get out of here! Leave my son alone!”

    For a father:
    “Dad! Monsters!”
    “Good! Let ’em eat you up!”

  7. I would have yelled.

    Get your lightsaber and chop the bear in half!!! Then I would have handed him a lightsaber that glows and makes noise.

  8. My son wakes up from nightmares yelling all the time. If we say anything to him, he doesn’t respond. Just goes back to sleep. And then he doesn’t remember it in the morning and gets mad at us for laughing about it.

  9. 2. Is it important for children and youth to be able to talk with their parents?


  10. Aaron B says:

    I would’ve sat Timmy down and explained to him that the bear was hungry, that the Christ-like thing to do was to feed it and care for it, and that God gave him an extra arm when he only needed one because He wanted to see if Timmy would do the right thing and feed one to the bear.

  11. Fletcher says:

    John Scherer wins the thread in the first comment.

    First thing I thought of was Dwight Schrute’s Rules about bears:

  12. 9 You forgot the part about handing him a hack-saw and a morphine pill.

  13. I thought that’s what earplugs and sedatives were for. Me, not the kid. I’m not advocating drugging your kids. Well, not in all situations. Well, maybe certain kids……
    Really, when my kids wake up in the night now, it’s usually to vomit everywhere, so that’s a lot of fun, too. Will bears eat vomit? Now I’m just being gross. Must be the sedative I took last night.

  14. MikeInWeHo says:

    re: 7
    Would you like a referral to a good child psychologist? You’re going to need one…..

  15. MikeInWeHo says:

    Oops, the numbers changed. I was referring to Susan M’s comment (now #8) about laughing at her son’s nightmares.

  16. Chelsea says:

    These comments are awesome. :D

    Fletcher (11) My 5 year old son sings the “Learn Your Rules” song all the time and thinks it’s hilarious. Maybe he won’t anymore if he starts having bear nightmares…

  17. “Of course, I sleep in a bear costume…” Win.

  18. Mike: My son’s 16. And the reason he gets mad is he doesn’t believe he had a nightmare or woke up from one. He doesn’t remember any of it.

    My kids are the heaviest sleepers around. My oldest once rolled out of the top bunk bed and landed on some toys on the floor and never woke up. Another time he started on the top bunk and woke up *underneath* the bottom bunk.

    He also once slept walk into my niece’s room (she was living with us at the time) and peed in her closet.

    Nighttime is like an adventure in our house.

  19. britt k says:

    I have so many nightmares and did as a child. So I always take them seriously. My serious and somewhat distant dad learned to humor me (perhaps out of desparation) I was once having a nightmare about that scariest of all shows the wizard of oz. The flying monkeys were coming to get me…at my insistance my dad jumped all over my room getting all the monkeys and scaring the rest away-at which point I went back to sleep. I learned to go to sleep thinking of butterflies-harder to warp those than it is the stay puff marshmellow man.

    If you have visions of how to morph a butterfly into something bad…keep them to yourself.

  20. Stupid kid gets what he deserves for not paying attention during scripture study. It’s wrong to mock bald people.

  21. The Other Brother Jones says:

    We had the opposite problem. When my daughter was 1, we lived in a small town in the forest. The trees started about 10 feet from our back windows. …And there were bears. For a few days we even had a bear trap set up in our back yard.

    My daughter started to be afraid of bears and could not go to sleep. She was worried that they would come into the house. We told her that bears are not allowed to come into the house. We would not let them or else they would be in big trouble!

    It worked!

  22. mapinguari says:

    Well, I sure as heck wouldn’t go running into a room that potentially has a bear in it. I’d send my wife in first.

  23. Steve G. says:

    He began immediately to settle down. He screamed a little more, but…

    I’m still stuck on figuring out why he screamed a little more after immediately settling down. Is this some part of the settling down method? Personally we prefer counting.

  24. Michael says:

    My kid once had a night fear of “aliens”. I told her about the episode of The Simpsons where Kang and Kronos get chased away by Moe. He had a board with a nail in the end, and chased the aliens, and they got in the spaceship and left.

    So, for a while, the kid kept a board by her bed. No nail needed.

    A few years later, it was vampires. Not the sparkly, stalker type – the evil, foul, undead kind. I calmly got a bottle of garlic from the kitchen cupboard, and we put it on the bedpost. Problem solved.

    With little kids, any solution you come up with will work if you just sound like you know what you’re talking about.

    Now, my only question is “Why are they talking about children in a Love, Marriage and You manual? We all know that you’re not supposed to have kids if you’re an M-Men or Gleaner, and if you do, you’re supposed to give them up for adoption to a good LDS home as part of your repentance process.”

  25. The Other Brother Jones says:

    re #24: Now, my only question is “Why are they talking about children in a Love, Marriage and You manual? We all know that you’re not supposed to have kids if you’re an M-Men or Gleaner”

    Michael. You have it almost right. You are not supposed ot have kids as an M-men/gleaner couple, but you’re supposed to get married immediately after and start having kids immediately. It’s a preparatory thing.

  26. Gwenydd McCoy says:

    “Well, the bear is gone . . . I guess I have been dreaming.”

    what four year-old talks like that? lucky for me this situation would never happen because we would have just keep sleeping

  27. He went off to deamland and imagined himself as Patrick Kane scoring the winning goal in overtime to claim the Stanley Cup for the Chicago Blackhawks!

    (I will need more than that to get it out of my system.)

  28. “Well, the bear is gone . . . I guess I have been dreaming.”

    what four year-old talks like that?

    I imagine it is the same kind of four-year-old that calmly approaches his mum in the afternoon and says, “Dearest mother, I desire nourishment. Pray tell, what shall I be eating this afternoon?”

  29. Latter-day Guy says:

    Tangentially related: We used to go to sleep listening to Old Testament stories on tape… narrated by a freaking terrifying old man’s voice. The tapes were designed to go along with picture books, and the sound the tape made when it was time to ‘turn the page’ was identical to that weird clanging noise in the old Joseph Smith video when he is set upon by the devil.

    And that is why I hate the scriptures.

  30. living in zion says:

    Off on a tanget, but #29 reminded me of my childhood. When I was a kid my mom bought a set of children’s illustrated stories from the Book of Mormon. Can’t remember anything about them except the story of Ammon, the dude who cuts off the bad guys arms and then takes the arms to the king. The color pictures were awesome. The first was the bad guys with stumps for arms, dripping blood with looks of horror.

    The second picture was of Ammon opening a sheet full of bloody arms in front of the king throne, arms spilling out across the floor. That series of books, sold to my mom with the promise of building our testimonies, gave me nightmares. And it was the Word of God on top of it. I have a testimony in spite of it, not because of it.

  31. CS Eric says:

    Greg J,

    Your posts stress the assumed point that this story must have taken place in Chicago. Certainly, no child living in any other city with an NFL team would be afraid of Bears.

    Well, maybe Detroit….

  32. philomytha says:

    18 – Sounds like my kids! For a while one was sleeping in a trundle bed next to the other’s bed and twice the kid on the higher bed fell off and landed on top of the one in the trundle bed. Both times only one kid woke up.

    Though I think my kids would notice if they fell off a top bunk… That’s extreme!

  33. The first couple of times I woke up screaming in the night (spiders coming down from the middle of the ceiling toward my face) my husband leapt out of bed, “What! What!” all worried that something terrible was happening. On the rare occasions it happens any more, he just rolls over and pats me on the back or the shoulder and says “Shh, shh.” I don’t know if it even wakes him up. But the spiders hardly come at all any more.

  34. Mompowers endow one with the ability to banish bears, aliens, and spiders from the house. Or from the room for those with little faith. They even work to banish sleep paralysis for children with Lyme neuroborreliosis. No other actions are necessary besides extending one’s mompowerz.

  35. Fortunately, mompowerz are ot limited to moma. Dadz can haz dem too. Also Huzbinz.

  36. Stephanie says:

    Is the TMQ series over? I miss my TMQ.

  37. I got distracted/bored. I should probably put the rest up, though. We’ll see.

  38. Stephanie says:

    Please do! It’s a highlight of my week. (Which might just prove how pathetic my life is, but I do really enjoy them)

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