I have an 8 year old DD. She has always been a good sleeper, though she is a very light sleeper and we have several waking/crying episodes during the night, this has always been normal (though annoying) for us. I would like her to be in bed and asleep by no later than 8.15/8.30pm. She needs to be awake no later than 7.30am so I'm figuring that being asleep by 8.30 at the latest will give her adequate sleep.
Lately she has been a nightmare to get into bed. She shouts, screams and generally is a madam. We have a good routine, she's ready for sleep in my opinion but she just likes to push it and push it until I loose my temper with her. My neighbours must think I am murdering her with the amount of screaming she does. I have never met such a stubborn and defiant child -not sure where she gets it from-.
We have tried her loosing 'rewards' Brownies, craft club etc but nothing works. I cannot physically lift her up the stairs and into bed. My DH works shifts so I am often alone for the evening routine. This coupled with my long work days is destroying our family. We are constantly on tender-hooks. DD is like a volcano waiting to explode. Someone only has to look at the wrong way and she throws a mega strop. She slams doors, screams, hits, throws things, the works. Half an hour after the tantrum she is her lovely self again. She often write me 'sorry' notes, though childishly I struggle sometimes to take them from her -I know, I'm horrid-.
Please someone tell me it gets better, I'm completely at a loss of what to do. Are other children like this?. Has anyone got any practical advice regarding bedtime?. I feel like a complete failure, no one told me it would be this difficult.
Sorry to hear that you're having such a hard time with your 8 year old. I was wondering about a couple of things - firstly, is there anything going on at school that might be upsetting her. I only ask because my DD began to be a real nightmare about getting up in the morning last year and eventually, after a LOT of probing etc, we found out she was being bullied at school. If your DD is having a problem at school she may be using bedtime as a way of "acting out" especially if it's a time when she can get your undivided attention (however angry!). Secondly, have you tried a "reward" system? Instead of punishing her, you could try giving her stars for good bedtimes which could add up to a treat on the weekend (like special time with Mum). Hopefully other people will have other ideas!
Thank you Cathan, I never thought about problems at school. She's generally a really happy easy going little girl. She's had the general fallings out with her friends, but maybe I should look further into it. Thank you again.