Posting for traffic , clingy 7 year old

(26 Posts)
Dontforgetyourbrolly Sun 10-Jan-21 09:02:08

Morning all . Ds is 7 next month, I'm a single parent, good co parenting relationship with his dad , ds happy and adjusted. UNTIL LOCKDOWN. now hes crying and wailing over every tiny thing , especially school work. And he is not sleeping , he wont stay in his bed and is often crying at my door at midnight. Please dont think I'm heartless but I am exhausted. I work full time from home , hours are flexible but I work on commission so if I dont work I dont earn . This is a newish job after being made redundant due to covid .
I understand my ds is unhappy due to school and activities being closed, he is an only child and he is lonely. I could cope with everything else if only I could get a food nights rest .
He ends up in my bed fidgeting all night because he is over tired , no one is sleeping which sets up problems for the new day .
Every night there is a new problem " canf sleep/ scared/ scary noise/ someone in my room ...." you get the picture. He slept in his own bug boys bed in his own room from age 2 . I need the break in my bed alone so I can tackle the next day .
Ex dp cant have him overnight just now as he cares for his vulnerable mum who's on cancer meds, but he is coming today to play football in the park with him .
Please don't think I dont love him but I'm at breaking point trying to juggle this .
If I dont come back straight away its because I am trying to work! Thanks

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Dontforgetyourbrolly Sun 10-Jan-21 09:03:28

Sorry for typos , I'm shattered

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Snowbored Sun 10-Jan-21 09:05:47

Does he listen to audiobooks or music? This helped my DD(8) cope better with lockdown.

DonLewis Sun 10-Jan-21 09:14:14

Ah, that sounds tough.

Do you manage any proper one to one time with him? It might be an idea to set up a couple of sessions in the day where it's no work, no school, no tech, just you and him. Cuddling, chatting. Reassure him. Explain how things are so strange right now, but they won't be like this forever.

My 7 to had just got into reading longer books. So we have changed bedtime to read until you fall asleep. He's just devoured Kays Anatomy. He said it was very funny, and he was very proud of himself for reading a book with so many pages. So now I'm on the hunt for (second hand) new books for him to read.

He is also massively into drawing, so I've set up a drawing station for him and he can disappear off and do that quietly.

I've started taking the kids out on an evening walk. After tea. We do a minimum of 4000 steps. Gets him fresh air, exercise and because its before bed, he's pretty tired when we get in.

Don't get me wrong, my ds joined us in bed last night. He too is finding this lockdown more trying, and as long as its not every night, I don't mind the odd night of him sleeping with me if it gives him the security he needs. I had considered getting a single mattress and setting it up next to our bed, but it hasn't quite got to that point yet.

Hope things get easier for you both. flowers

balzamico Sun 10-Jan-21 09:18:30

Could you make some sort of bed on the floor on your room so he's with you but not actually on your bed?

LemonDrizzles Sun 10-Jan-21 09:23:01

Try to do 30 exercise in evening and then at bedtime, just lay on floor next to his bed and say you can stay in room if he closes his eyes. Also, try to get him to do stretches (like yawn stretches....) and deep breaths (like sleep breathing) just before getting into bed.

Also look up some bedtime relaxation routines with him to see if he likes any.

It's a tough time. Hope you and he get some sleep

Dontforgetyourbrolly Sun 10-Jan-21 09:48:59

Ok I am back, just reading the responses x

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Dontforgetyourbrolly Sun 10-Jan-21 09:56:16

Some good suggestions here .
We do try to watch a movie together or episode of his favourite show every day but then when I say its time for us to do something else he starts complaining and crying.
He loves yoga , that was one of his after school activities so we can do that every night before bed - good idea .
I appreciate your input regarding bed in my room, staying with him til he falls asleep but that is my time to be alone after having him glued to me all day , I need some down time so I am looking for ideas for him to sleep alone.
He has plenty of books and we have Alexa so an audio book is worth a try . It got to the point yesterday where I was trying to send a work email and he was climbing on me and pulling my arms, I dont expect this from a 7 year old with no special needs . We had just had a 3 hour walk together with lots of holding hands and chatting, all I wanted was 5 mins .

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Dontforgetyourbrolly Sun 10-Jan-21 09:59:51

@balzamico he wouldn't just go to sleep he would be fidgeting chatting and trying to get my attention . If I am not alert to him he just shouts mummy louder and louder .
I'm making him sound awful but he was a different child 3 months ago .
He's so bright and funny and he used to be so independent. His dad has just arrived so I'm going to try to get on with some work x

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MyNameHasBeenTaken Sun 10-Jan-21 10:00:00

Get him involved in planning your day.
Write down things that need to be done, things that would be nice to do etc.
Make a "diary page" with 2 columns on.
Yours and his
I am assuming a similar comprehension level to my 7 year old dd here.
Before bed, give hom the empty day planner and the piles of tasks for the next day.
Get him to sort them on to the day planner.
Eg both have breakfast 8:00 until 9:00.
This is a "together" task.
He pours cereal, you pour milk. You wash dishes, he dries.
Then 9:00-10:00, you can work at the table, so can he. Work for him could be reading, drawing, PC task. Whatever.
10:00-10:30 break and snack time.
Doesn't matter what the snack is, but you do it together.
Play a short game together. A couple of rounds of os and xs
Or read him a short story.
Split the whole day up like this.
Don't expect more than an hour of him working alone without a break.
But praise him for doing well on his own. Tell him you appreciate the time to do your work
He is sitting with you, so he knows you are "there".
And he knows it's always "only a few minutes" until he has your attention
It doesn't need to be much, but for 10 minutes out of every hour, you concentrate on him. Work is off, for 10 minutes
Then as he knows what the plan is for tomorrow, he should be less stressed at bedtime
Let him snuggle up in his bed, with some kind of audio book or child relaxation thing playing. Audio only, no screens
Bribe him to stay in bed. Reward him when he does stay in his bed.

Dontforgetyourbrolly Sun 10-Jan-21 10:20:49

Thank you , that sounds like something we could try . I'll give it a bash tonight to plan our day for tomorrow

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newbie987 Sun 10-Jan-21 11:34:02


*@balzamico* he wouldn't just go to sleep he would be fidgeting chatting and trying to get my attention . If I am not alert to him he just shouts mummy louder and louder .
I'm making him sound awful but he was a different child 3 months ago .
He's so bright and funny and he used to be so independent. His dad has just arrived so I'm going to try to get on with some work x

Sounds similar to my ds5, except he is all for daddy, until recently I was a sahm so did everything with him, daddy walks in the door and ds is glued to him. DH can't move without being followed. Ds won't go into a dark room by himself, won't go upstairs to get a toy etc by himself, he manages to coax ds4 with him. I don't know what to do about the being scared part except keep reassuring him he's safe, doors locked, houses make noises etc. I think some of his behaviour has been aggravated by the virus but I don't think it's fully to blame. Neither of my ds's settle very well for my DH - I get to play bad cop at bedtime - once stories are read, I sit on the floor by the door, I tell him not to talk, I usually take something for me to do so I can use it as an excuse for me needing quiet, eventually hoping to move in to the landing - we did it before whilst weaning him off us at bedtime and he kept coming out to check but eventually was them being able to go straight downstairs.
We get so frustrated with it but keep reminding ourselves that they are only little things are scary for them as we have all told them how bad the virus is, talking about people dying from it etc, we are all a little worried about it - keeping grandad safe (FIL is part of our support bubble), one minute daddy is working, the next he's home, then he's suddenly back at work only to be off for a month. It's a lot for them to process, it's a big scary world for them at the minute. My heart goes out to you doing it alone - I was glad for dh to walk through the door some evenings!

Dontforgetyourbrolly Sun 10-Jan-21 12:35:55

Yes I know , they are so little and it is a very scary world right now .
I'm angry at myself for not showing enough understanding but I feel like everything is on my shoulders. Last lockdown I was on furlough so it's very different this time.
His dad brought round a star wars night light so hoping that will help tonight .
He was fine from aged 2 but now all this. Hard to cope with having never gone through it when he was younger

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Clymene Sun 10-Jan-21 12:47:33

Could he sleep with you for a bit? You might actually get more sleep if he's there, sound asleep, when you go to bed

MinnieMountain Sun 10-Jan-21 12:59:19

Have you tried explaining that Mummy needs her quiet time and he needs to sleep in his own bed sometimes?

We have a similar issue with our 7yo but at least there’s 2 of us. He sometimes listens to that.

Or make his bed more of a “nest”. Discuss it with him.

Dontforgetyourbrolly Sun 10-Jan-21 15:33:25

Hes been sleeping in with me since march but the time has come for my own sanity that I need a few hours on my own overnight.
I have explained this to him and today we have moved his bed around so that there are less hidden corners at night!
We are snuggled up on the sofa watching return of the jedi ( snooze time lol)

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Clymene Sun 10-Jan-21 15:50:47


Hes been sleeping in with me since march but the time has come for my own sanity that I need a few hours on my own overnight.
I have explained this to him and today we have moved his bed around so that there are less hidden corners at night!
We are snuggled up on the sofa watching return of the jedi ( snooze time lol)


You said he'd been sleeping on his own since he was 2 in your first post confused

Dontforgetyourbrolly Sun 10-Jan-21 16:55:55

Yes , until the first lockdown happened and school was closed the first time .
Since aged 2 he was in his own room every night in the dark, sleeping through in his own bed . Then lockdown and just a deterioration since then . The first lockdown I was on furlough so everything was more easy going, now I've started a new job the days are like a pressure cooker with home learning too , so just need a bit of down time to decompress and be the best that I can instead of an exhausted mess .
His sleep has become a lot more disturbed lately so even if he is in with me he will want to chat , wake up early , and fidgets all night.

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Dontforgetyourbrolly Sun 10-Jan-21 16:57:30

@Clymene theres no need to be like that, I'm just tired and exhausted and might not be explaining myself properly, just wanted a bit of support.

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Clymene Sun 10-Jan-21 18:05:10

I'm not being unkind but you implied that this is a new issue when he's slept perfectly happily on his own before. Instead you have decided to make him sleep in his own room during a new lockdown which is presumably connected to him being unhappy and wanting to come back into your bed.

I'm sorry, I know it's hard. I'm a single parent with a very demanding job and no ex so I never get a break. I'm just not sure now's the time to implement the new regime when everything is so bloody difficult.

I would say though at his age that I'd focus on your paid work and make him watch Bbc bitesize lessons which start tomorrow. You cannot possibly wfh and do home ed with a child that age.

I hope though that he has a good night back in his room.

Dontforgetyourbrolly Sun 10-Jan-21 18:21:08

Thank you . I am a little over sensitive I guess

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Clymene Sun 10-Jan-21 18:35:29

There's a reason sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture thanksthanks

Dontforgetyourbrolly Mon 11-Jan-21 08:57:38

Ok so last night went much better . We did yoga before bed , then a story. Settled him with his night light at 7.45 and he played for a short while with his dinosaur torch then went to sleep on his own in his bed yay . I checked on him about 9pm he was fast asleep.
He came in to me at some point but just went straight to sleep which didnt disturb me at all . I managed to get a nice evening to unwind ( did more yoga! ) . Work in progress. I just have to try not to be shouty teacher lady today !

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Clymene Mon 11-Jan-21 09:22:41

Hooray! Excellent start smile

MyNameHasBeenTaken Mon 11-Jan-21 14:23:58

For sleep, my dd has always had an old tee shirt of mine to cuddle.
Find an old, soft one from somewhere .
Back of cupboard, charity shop, supermarket, whatever.
Get it a bit grubby, faded, lived in...
Wash it. Wear it (indoors is fine) and make it smell like you.
Your sweaty pits/deo. Your perfume 9n the neck.
Then pretend it's an old favourite, that you really love. 'Reluctantly " let him have this "special" bit of rag. He can put it on his pillow or cuddle it. And be reassured by your smells.
But he has to be a big boy to get your favourite top.
Or whatever 0phrase he goes for

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