12 year old DD cannot sleep alone - exhausted!!

(14 Posts)
RobertaRivers Tue 15-Apr-14 14:04:23

My 12year old DD has always been a great sleep but began having problems last August, I though it was anxiety about starting high school but here we are 8 months on and its worse than ever.

A couple of weeks after the non-sleeping started we had a drunk trying to get into our house in the middle of the night unfortunately she was the one who heard him first and initially we all thought her was trying to break in, anyway we had to call the police to remove him as he wouldn't leave.

Ever since then she has hardly managed to sleep a night on her own. She can't explain why and denies that she is scared and is in fact in denial about the whole thing.

I have been to the GP who referred us to CAHMS but even then she played the whole thing down, they just suggested that I sit with her until she sleeps and not to give in and sleep with her, I have tried but to be honest I am so tired with the whole thing that I normally give in. She is becoming very selfish about it all and doesn't seem to care about the impact it has on me and the rest of the family.

I am at a loss about what to do next and wondered if anyone else had experienced this??

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Tue 15-Apr-14 14:11:52

Have you tried introducing a reward system? Up to you to decide what would work in your situation, but credits earned towards some kind of treat for nights when she's gone to bed and stayed there all night type of thing. You should start with relatively easy challenges - an hour reading in bed before you come up for lights out, or something like that, and build it up from there.

RobertaRivers Tue 15-Apr-14 14:18:51

That's a good suggestion, I like the gradual working up to a full night idea. I did say she could get her nails done when she slept all night but that had no effect, but I guess the thought of a sleeping a full night to too much but if I can even get her to go to bed on her own, then build it up from there.

I have approached it in the opposite way by removing her I-pad as a punishment almost but that had no effect as she didn't seem to care.

Will give this some thought about the first step and start tonight... Thanks for you response it has made me see this in a different light, baby steps all the way from now on.

rinabean Tue 15-Apr-14 14:24:02

She's in denial about her trauma because you think she is selfish for being traumatised. She needs her confidence back. Be supportive and support her to get counselling.

Stropzilla Tue 15-Apr-14 14:28:36

The whole thing sounds awful for everyone. Your poor DD must be terrified of going to bed! It doesn't seem as though rewards or punishments are going to work, as not much tends to help as you lie there in the dark, on your own as your imagination runs riot. Would someone sleeping in with her for a few nights for reassurance be an option? I know for my DD that would help a lot.

Stropzilla Tue 15-Apr-14 14:30:07

SOrry just read that in your OP. That's what I get for posting with a headache!

RobertaRivers Tue 15-Apr-14 14:30:43

Hi Rinabean, Your right, she does need to get her confidence back, its hard as we are all tired and grumpy!! I've not told her that I think she is being selfish but I guess she may know that's what I am thinking. I have tried to find a children counsellor but couldn't see anyone locally, that's when I went to see GP but he didn't know of anyone either and referred me to CAHMS, will go online and search again as I think it would really help.

RobertaRivers Tue 15-Apr-14 14:34:18

Hi Stropzilla, I have been sleeping in with her and she manages to get to sleep no problem when I am there, its just that its been going on for a long time now and I would love to sleep back in my own bed.... Hope your headache gets better soon.

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Tue 15-Apr-14 14:40:06

Would it help if she did a tour of the house with you before going to bed, to check that all doors and downstairs windows are locked etc? Would putting a lock on her bedroom door help (on the inside, not locking her in!). It would have to be something you could open from the outside easily, but she's not to know that (or perhaps it could be something with a code only the two of you know).

What is she like at other people's houses, for sleepovers, or when she has mates to stay over at yours? Is she OK then?

Springcleanish Tue 15-Apr-14 14:41:08

When my ten year old went through a phase of needing me with her at night, we set up the air bed next to my bed and she slept on that, rather than her getting used to me being in her room. Three nights in and rewards for going in her own bed for parts of the night (a new duvet cover worked wonders) and she didn't want to be on the floor anymore. We still have all doors opens and bathroom light on though. Good luck, and I hope you find a solution soon.

RobertaRivers Tue 15-Apr-14 14:54:14

I have tried to reassure her that the house is secure but might have another chat about it, not considered putting a lock on her door though and will see how she feels about that. She sleeps fine at her friends and also when her friend sleeps over here just not on her own.

Glad your daughter sleeping Springcleanish, I would settle for that even with all the lights on.

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Tue 15-Apr-14 15:40:30

Go for small steps and rewards. Up the rewards as the steps get bigger. Discuss with her what rewards she'd like, and appreciate that she might need help getting there.
Leave her to read for 30 mins and go down stairs. Promise you'll go back in 30 mins, and keep your promise.
Then lights out, and promise to go back again in 30 mins. Use an excuse like you want to catch up on some ironing or something. Keep your promise. Gradually, over a number of nights, extend this time, but always go back when you say you will. Huge reward when she's spent a whole night in her room. Even huger when she's done it for a week/month etc.

RobertaRivers Tue 15-Apr-14 16:49:25

Hi Youdontneed, small steps is definitely the way to go, starting tonight. I will discuss with her so she understands whats happening, I think if I pop in every 30 minutes to check her will help too. Thanks for your advice

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Tue 15-Apr-14 23:07:00

Good luck. let us know how you both get on.

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