To be annoyed at teacher(44 Posts)
My DS (9) doesn't sleep and never has done. As a baby he had chronic colic for six months, would not sleep in his cot as a baby, suffered night terrors as a young child and now just suffers from Insomnia for hours at a time. We have tried everything you could think of, nothing works.
His doctor has assured us there's nothing medically wrong and some children, like some adults, have trouble sleeping. He may grow out of it, he may not, he has gotten a lot better with age, at three he would perhaps sleep four hours over the entire night.
He gets about six on a good night and we make it work. However, since going back to school, his routine is struggling and we have had even more trouble with his sleeping.
School are aware of this and have encouraged and supported him throughout his time there. He drifted off in class today and we were called in after playtime by his new (to the school) teacher.
After explaining he has terrible trouble sleeping and that we are trying to settle back in his routine. She looked at with with a complete look of reproach and said 'Have you ever tried putting him to bed earlier? Or giving him some piriton every night?'
It has been four hours and I'm still fuming! A) at her tone and insinuation that's something so simple could rectify it (his bedtime at one point was half five) and B) to suggest essentially drugging him every night.
Wow, that is horrendous. You are right it is essentially drugging your child .
Whilst her suggestions is not helpful at all, and yanbu, I can't understand why your doctor hasnt prescribed melatonin. Some children don't sleep is a shit diagnosis. A sleep deprived child is never going to have an easy time of it in any aspect and it must be hard on you as a family.
Insomnia is hard but must be so difficult for a child. My DP has insomnia and has tried every drug going but as with piriton they only put you to sleep not keep you asleep and even then it is not a restful sleep. I know when the sleeping tablets wear off on DP as he twitches and gets jumpy and wakes himself up.
DP is now trying melatonin tablet and good night milk, a week in he is not sleeping longer but is definatly better anle to cope with the lack of sleep. Have ye tried it? We are hopeful it will have good results
She's not the devil, ok she said some stupid things but some people are idiots and have no idea what it's like to walk in your shoes. Don't get angry and start a witch hunt, just chalk it up to her being in-informed and keep trying what you're trying.
Gobsmacked at the suggestion of using piriton. You say it's got worse since going back to school, are there any issues at school , anything bothering your child? We had this with DD, turned out to be an anxiety issue. Also don't rule out the possibility of threadworms, they can cause night time troubles.
While I would be furious at the teachers suggestions I would be questioning why she was not better informed as this is something the school have been aware of for some time!
Oh my. That's right up there with, "make sure to take his screens away at a reasonable time..."
Yea no shit Sherlock!
I had a non sleeper. 'Helpful' suggestions made me murderous!
The kindest way of taking this is to assume she does not yet have children of her own???
Surely, no one who did would have made such bloody stupid suggestions?
I suggest you follow up the meeting with a letter:
Further to our recent discussion regarding dd's tiredness, I thought I would let you know we are doing everything in our power to help our soon to sleep. (Insert sensible bedtime hours, no screen time late at night etc, etc here).
Obviously, I will not be medicating my son with anything such as piriton unless it has been prescribed by a medical professional, but our gp feels there is nothing further to be done at this point.
I trust that you will continue to communicate with me if you have any further concerns. I will also let you know should any changes happen that might impact on ds's sleep.
I hope that you and I can continue work together to support ds in order that he can achieve his best at school.
Neutral enough for her not to be able to take offence, but also puts your feelings in a polite manner.
Oops, a few typos there - but you get the gist.
I have a non sleeper, waiting on referral to paediatrician but school nurse suggested melatonin. GP wouldn't prescribe it but kindly offered piriton. I declined.
He has been prescribed an array of Sleeping Pills in the past, including Melatonin, however, he desperately fights them and when they worked it was for a matter of hours until they wore off and he would wake up extremely agitated, crying, terribly clingy and just generally distressed and would not sleep any more, causing either DH or I to have to sit up with him for the remainder of the night.
We tried varying tablets over the course of about four years, along with different therapies, counselling, herbal remedies, changing his bedtime routine etc. Eventually, we gave up on the sleeping pills for the time being. We would have to force them to take them as he said they made him feel 'Like it wasn't in the real world and I don't belong. It doesn't feel like sleeping, it feels like going away. I hate it, Mummy,'
DH and I sat and talked and came to the decision it was not only seeming to make the matter worse but it was cruel as it distressed him so much. However, that was our choice and instead we have been getting by through trial and error and his sleeping has improved since coming off them in May. He's no longer afraid of bedtime.
Thank you all for the support, it has certainly been difficult, however, he is the one with the problem and we will continue to do everything to help. Sadly, in his case, tablets are not the answer.
I am considering going into school tomorrow, should I let this lie or pursue it, DH says to leave it as she is new but he's
not in mama bear mode not as hot headed as me.
It's angered me especially as she said this in front of DS and deeply upset him because 'she thinks I'm doing this on purpose, she doesn't like me anymore,' I appreciate she is new but to make such callous comments about a child who she knows very little about has put me on the ceiling. If they found out I dosed him with bloody adult antihistamines every night they would be calling SS.
17 year old DD has had a lifetime of sleeping issues, which I blamed myself for. Melatonin has helped her (I can see you've tried it), because tests found that she doesn't product it naturally. There is an answer out there for your ds, but sadly it might take years to find it.
The previous posters suggestion of a polite note to the teacher would be good.
What a stupid cow.
"I'm sorry, I wasn't aware you went to medical school as well as your teacher training. Oh wait - you didn't"
"I don't ask my GP for advise about homework, so please don't feel offended that I won't be taking your advise about medical matters"
My GP recommended piriton as a first try for dd1 when she had insomnia as a 8yo following a bad bout of illness.
He's a very canny doctor who is always inclined to go the non-medicating route if possible, so I don't think it's a suggestion that's deserving of derision.
The fact that the suggestion from a teacher instead of a GP is a huge difference. Particularly when joined with the other flippant CV moment and the fact that school are aware of the issues.
Not appropriate at all. And Piriton is no longer a favoured medication.
I think that if he is only sleeping 4 hours a night then you should probably have made the school and his class teacher aware of his sleeping issues so that they could support him best. Agree that recommended piriton wasn't a good thing to say, she probably needs to learn to thing before she speaks.
Personally I would go into school for a meeting and tell her that you didn't like her insinuation that this was somehow yours or your son's fault. That you have been to the GP, tried a range of treatments and that you will let her know if a throng changes. But that you expect her to take this into account as a condition he currently has that is receiving medical attention.
I would do this because a) I'd be worried that she would start testing my son badly and b) because she needs telling what's what quite frankly.
I had insomnia for two years. It was horrendous. I think you're right to bring your son off the pills. All of that will only contribute to him feeling anxious. You are right to go down the route of making him as relaxed as possible.
Good luck OP
Insomnia in children is so very, very hard, OP. I suffered from it myself as a kid, and now my own dd has the same problem. She is 11, and had never slept well, but some phases are definitely worse than others - there are some nights when she has gone through the whole night without sleeping at all. She is amazing at covering it up though, and nobody realises that she is so chronically sleep deprived unless we tell them.
It is really annoying when well meaning people try to help with their "suggestions", but they just don't get it. I've lost count of the number of times that people have advised me to get dd into a good bedtime routine. Yeah, like I'd never have thought of that!
It's brilliant that your ds has got over his fear of bedtime, at least for the time being. I think that can be the greatest hurdle, as there's no way they can get in the right frame of mind for sleep if they dread having to even get into bed. It sounds like you're doing all the right things, but it's exhausting, I know.
The teacher didn't mean any harm, she just doesn't know anything about childhood insomnia, obviously. It's your chance to educate her. I think a follow-up letter along the lines of the one suggested above might be useful.
So your going to bite her head off because she is new and doesn't understand
got in depth knowledge about your son and his sleeping problem, and what pills/stuff you have tried and failed with.
she is a teacher not a doctor try explaining the situation, and how about taking it up with the school as well they should have passed on his details to her she aint a mind reader
And asuitablemum, the OP started in her first post that the school was already aware.
It probably depends on the age of the teacher - if she is young and has no kids then it's unlikely she would have any idea about children's sleeping patterns. Just because she is a teacher and works with kids, something like sleeping issues isn't something she would be trained in. An older teacher with kids or grand kids would probably be more clued up.
Most teachers are just human beings who do say the wrong thing sometimes. The majority have the children as their focus and would not intentionally upset either a parent or a child. It is also hard at the start of term to remember every detail about 30 different children (or for secondary school more like 150 children)
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.