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to be cross at DP threatening consequences I won't enforce on night waking DD?

(78 Posts)
JustCleo Tue 15-Mar-16 07:22:13

DD is 3 and in the process of being diagnosed with ASD. She has slept through the night a handful of times in her life and has an elaborate routine that takes at least 45 mins before she can drop off in the first place. She won't accept anyone but me doing it with her. When she wakes during the night (usually once or twice but sometimes up to five times) she's very upset and flapping but I simply lay her back down and rest my hand on her in silence and she'll calm and go back to sleep. I've explained to DP how I get her back to sleep a hundred times but he persists on doing it 'his way.'

Despite me explaining that the worst thing in the world to do is keep talking to and touching her when she's upset, he keeps repeating her name, telling her to be quiet and trying to cuddle her or get in bed with her. She then goes from light crying when he enters the room to absolute hysteria within a minute. She'd actually be less upset if alone. She screams like she's under attack and he keeps telling her to stop, saying she won't get to do whatever I have planned with her the next day, that she'll lose her pocket money, that she'll have to go and sleep downstairs, that she'll have her favourite toys removed the next day and so on.

Last night she woke as I was feeding baby DS at midnight. DP went to her and she was Hysterical within a minute. He mentioned all the above consequences and got her so upset that she ran into a corner of her room away from him and just kept screaming at him to go away. She is ill at the moment with a cold, ear infection and chicken pox so she has plenty of reason to wake other than ASD.

I somehow managed to settle DS despite DDs screaming and then went to DD but it took an hour to calm her down. She woke again and 2 and again he started threatening to put her downstairs etc and her upset increased hugely. None of us got any decent sleep all night but he can sneak a nap today in his office (self employed.) I, on the other hand, have two poorly children to care for on no sleep and he will expect me to back him up with removing her favourite toys.

Am I being unreasonable to think it's mean to threaten consequences in these circumstances, to not enforce them and to be really pissed off that he acts bewildered about why she gets so upset then Ignores me explaining how I avoid it?

mycatsloveeachother Tue 15-Mar-16 07:25:03

Obviously, he shouldn't be winding her up.

However I do also think her routine needs looking at a second time (and before anyone jumps down my throat I do know ASD --believe me--) but it isn't fair on you apart from anything else flowers

Sirzy Tue 15-Mar-16 07:25:55

Yanbu. Her sleep isn't something she can control so you need your calm approach to help her settle. I know it's hard to stay calm at the time but it has to be done for everyone sanity!

BrideOfWankenstein Tue 15-Mar-16 07:26:30


DoreenLethal Tue 15-Mar-16 07:27:50

Surely you don't engage in any conversation that takes brain juice near to bedtime anyway? Once he starts threatening things she will obviously get riled and start getting stressed. And not sleepy.

Is he an alien and not understand that this behaviour is just going to escalate the situation? And why can't he look after them on a day that he created a sleepless night and let you sleep?

This sort of thing right gets my goat. Selfish twat.

acasualobserver Tue 15-Mar-16 07:29:09

Why won't your DP listen to you when you explain how best to manage your daughter? Can he not see that his approach doesn't work?

OhShutUpThomas Tue 15-Mar-16 07:29:10


What a twat.

Surely he must see that his method makes things worse? What kind of dickhead keeps upsetting his child just to prove a point?

Bambambini Tue 15-Mar-16 07:30:24

If your way works so much better then he is an adiot and i would have lost it if he was costing this upset unnecessarily.

JustCleo Tue 15-Mar-16 07:30:30

I don't mind the long routine to get her to sleep but it does frustrate me that DP has never bothered to learn it. Luckily I had DS at home and could do bedtime otherwise I dread to think how dd would have been.

CocktailQueen Tue 15-Mar-16 07:31:20

Why does he think he knows best? How unsupportive.

Ikeameatballs Tue 15-Mar-16 07:32:07

Is he on board with the ASD assessment? Just to me they sound like such inappropriate strategies, though pretty inappropriate for any child, that it makes me wonder what he is trying to prove.

Costacoffeeplease Tue 15-Mar-16 07:32:18

WTAF? He sounds like a plank

Mistigri Tue 15-Mar-16 07:32:24

Is he this rigid in other areas of his life?

It sounds as if telling him not to go to her at all during the night would be preferable to the status quo.

Arfarfanarf Tue 15-Mar-16 07:34:45

Does he think that he can threaten a 3 yr old with autism into compliance?

Does he actually know anything about autism?
Or 3 year olds?

What he is doing is nothing short of cruel.

He can see how distressed she is yet he still does this to her. That's not ok.

Sparkletastic Tue 15-Mar-16 07:34:58

Is he feeling disempowered as a parent because she relies on you so much more? Even if he is though I wouldn't do much more than acknowledge that and confront him with the clear evidence that his approach is failing.

cathpip Tue 15-Mar-16 07:42:46

I would be furious, I bet he's only doing it his way because he thinks he is right and dosent like being told otherwise......personally if he were my dh I would be ripping him a new one. Bullying a three year old with extra needs who can't help what she's doing, and a lot of children wake in the night irrelevant of the ASD is so very wrong, how you are dealing with it is perfect. Why would you knowingly frighten the living day lights out of your own child for waking up!!

HSMMaCM Tue 15-Mar-16 07:42:53

He needs to learn to just put his hand on her to settle her, like you do. Being unable to self settle should be supported not punished. You are helping her to learn to stay calm, he is not.

We have a rule that whoever threatens a punishment has to carry it out. This has worked since DD was little and dh initially tried to get me to carry out his consequences and still works now she's 17.

Bambambini Tue 15-Mar-16 07:43:39

I missed the long routine bit, does he think your way of exact same long routine is causing part of the problem then and is unnecessary?

GeorgeTheThird Tue 15-Mar-16 07:49:00

What a nightmare. You need to talk to him. If you can manage not to shout, so much the better, but he's being a complete arse.

MartinaJ Tue 15-Mar-16 07:54:42

He is very unsupportive. You should sit him down and explain to him that this is not a pissing contest about how to calm down DD and your DD doesn't wake up in the night because she wants to disturb you but because she's a small child and night terrors are typical for children that age, even with no condition.
I'd be genuinely livid but if I believe if you want to persuade him, you need to stay calm with him instead of showing how angry you are.
TBH, he acts like a prick.

RubbleBubble00 Tue 15-Mar-16 07:57:27

Has he been on any asd parenting courses? They could open his eyes and give him a genuine understanding

LumpySpacedPrincess Tue 15-Mar-16 08:05:28

Surely he realises that he is making things worse. confused

TooGood2BeFalse Tue 15-Mar-16 08:05:59

My son has just turned 4 (mostly NT as far as I know, but some speech delay and fine motor issues) and used to have night terrors when he was younger. He would go to bed like an absolute dream, literally running to his bedroom when asked and would even turn off the light and settle himself off to sleep.

But then about 90mins later, he'd be screaming hysterically like a banshee and it was actually quite scary. I, like you, realised words were useless and it was best to just hold his hand and let the storm pass. This would only take about 10-15 mins on average but felt like hours.

My DH reacted similarly to yours, but without the threatening/consequences. (I do think that's a bit mean of your DH, it's hardly a 'game' for your DD)

He would actually panic and get upset seeing DS cry, and would start randomly promising him anything from chocolate to soft play to get him to stop, which just caused everything to escalate. I would tell him repeatedly not to say anything, nor to grab DS in a pointless bear hug as it just made things worse but he didn't seem to listen.

I tried to understand his POV, that he hated seeing DS distressed etc. but it was just so bloody annoying that I would literally sprint to get to him at any night wakings just so I knew it would be dealt with minus the drama.

Eventually, I lost my temper and said that as I dealt with DS the wide majority of the time, he needed to STFU and do as I asked (no, not my finest or most mature way of communicating blush ) as tbh it was really making things more stressful for all of us. He did really try, but luckily DS grew out of it a little while later.

How is your relationship in general? Are you able to sit down and maybe talk about your strategies in managing your DD? This sounds really tough and I seriously empathise, my DH and I probably spent the past 2 years arguing over how best to parent our little man, and it's actually impossible to 'talk about this kind of thing before you have kids' because none of us know exactly who our kids will be and what challenges we face!!

ricketytickety Tue 15-Mar-16 08:15:19

Well, threatening any 3 year old child who is distressed that they will have their toys taken away is cruel, ASD or not. Why is he interacting with her at all if he can't cope? Surely he knows he is winding her up?

Is he doing it on purpose right from the beginning when he first goes in? Any child who woke up in the night is going to find having their name spoken over and again a distraction and irritating when all they want is to go back to sleep. It's a very odd thing for him to do all round.

The whole thing sounds like a nightmare! Can you just put your foot down for you dd's sake and say you are happy to sort her out each and every time and he can stay in bed. That would be the best thing for all of you.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Tue 15-Mar-16 08:18:04

yANBU but he is not entirely being consciously U as lack of sleep is very stressful and can make you feel involuntarily angry. Plus he might want to try other methods too.

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