Re DD and our shambolic bedtimes?

(61 Posts)
WinningTheThread Tue 13-Apr-21 21:33:05

DD is 11 and has ASD. She is emotionally very immature but frankly I feel is taking the utter piss at bedtime (unintentionally but still so very infuriating!).

I’m to bed early each night myself as I have to be up early for work so I have a limited amount of me time ... which she keeps taking up each and every night. I have had enough!

She wants me to get in her bed every night to cuddle . I don’t mind this and do it but sometimes I’m just too bloody knackered and I just want to go to bed myself.

She repeatedly asks for hugs and kisses. Repeatedly! She has me back and forth like a damned yo-yo giving her kisses and hugs. When I point out that she’s already had a hug and a kiss , she goes on and on, cries, shouts the house down and it goes on for hours.

Or she will shout for other things that she “needs” right that second. Again, it drags on and on if she doesn’t get it.

She will shout of me to come up again and when I’m clearly cross she will say “it doesn’t matter... you’re angry anyway “. I’ll go back down only for her to shout again because she needs me to do what she originally shouted of me for!

She then starts the same process with DH.

Last night I had already given her two hugs and kisses , about 15 minutes apart and as I had got in to bed she shouted again. I said no that’s enough and an hour later she was still screaming about it . When she’s upset she becomes volatile and tells me I hate her or that I’m ruining her life (I get this and more , daily) I ended up leaving DH to deal with it and went out for a drive .

She suffers with bad anxiety so this upset her more but I was about to blow my lid so I wanted to just get out for a bit . This is every damned night!

WIBU for not just giving her the kiss and hug? I’m so torn between anger and guilt I can’t work out if AIBU?

Please be gentle. Life is very tough at the minute sad

OP’s posts: |
lollipoprainbow Tue 13-Apr-21 21:43:20

Same boat but my dd is 8.5 and I'm a single mum so we co sleep as it's a lot easier, I know this can't go on forever though so will be like you tearing my hair out I expect !!

Thatwentbadly Tue 13-Apr-21 21:46:07

That sounds like hard work. Would she like a weighted blanket?

Hankunamatata Tue 13-Apr-21 21:50:58

Perhaps prescribed Melatonin. Mine like a warm bath before bed, we do a story and then leave either audio book or sleep stories.

Luckily I have two together in a room as my asd one needs a warm body in the room.

Ilovemaisie Tue 13-Apr-21 21:51:25

My 13 year old also has ASD. Sleep and bedtimes have always been a nightmare. We ended up getting her a double bed so there is space for me to lie with her while she settles. Sometimes I would read, sometimes doze while she chatted away. She mostly doesn't need me now. She will sometimes ask me to lie with her but then chucks me out because I am "breathing to loud" hmm

PumpkinPie2016 Tue 13-Apr-21 21:51:30

YANBU - that sounds really tough flowers

If she is quite young for her age, would she respond to a reward chart? You may have to do it so there is a small reward each day, building up to a bigger one if she manages to not shout all week.

Would something like a radio/CD of calm music playing help her? Maybe she doesn't like silence but perhaps can't express it any other way apart from shouting.

UhtredRagnarson Tue 13-Apr-21 21:51:57

What about doing a story picture thing (I can never remember the name of them!) where it shows her bedtime routine and include one hug and one kiss. Perhaps laminate it and give her a dry wipe marker so she can tick off each step of the routine as she does it and can see she has had her hug and kiss.

Hankunamatata Tue 13-Apr-21 21:52:03

Does she do it to same extent with dh

RubyFakeLips Tue 13-Apr-21 21:53:18

This sounds hellish.

I don’t have a child with ASD and so am probably not best placed to give advice.

Have you successfully implemented other rules and boundaries for her? Can you apply the same process to this?

Or can you and DH take turns each night, so you both get time off? Is it just that her bed time is too early for her?

Feckfeckfeck123 Tue 13-Apr-21 21:54:09

Could you reach a compromise, that she gets x amount of hugs and kisses and you will read to her for 10 minutes every night. Then that's it. If she keeps on and on you won't be reading to her.

It's very hard. My ds (also 11), has anxiety and there are periods when it peaks and I have to sit with him until he falls asleep. He doesn't scream or shout if I say no but will sob quietly in bed and it's just hesrtbreaking. Counselling sessions have really helped.

There is an app called smiling minds which was recommended by the psychiatrist, it helps relaxation before bed. Try that with her, it's worth a shot. Hope things improve, OP.

WinningTheThread Tue 13-Apr-21 21:57:27

We have tried every trick in the book over the years. Weighted blankets , white noise , calming sounds, sensory lights etc. It never changes.

I’ve had enough now so I’m going to crack right down on this nonsense. (I’ve tried many times to crack down!) . A social story ! Yes, I’ll make one tomorrow to start the cracking down!

She has melatonin already, it does help but the shouting continues until it kicks in.

I can’t co sleep with her as she also has younger siblings who will want to be in too.

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Tue 13-Apr-21 21:59:58

Is she going to bed too early?

My 11yo DS is currently say next to me on the sofa. He's going up to bed in 2 mins (10pm). Granted, it's a bit later 'cos it's school holidays here. But even school nights, it's around 9.30pm bedtime

TwoBlueFish Tue 13-Apr-21 22:01:35

My son likes a tick chart for his bedtime routine. Could you do that so maybe list everything
Teeth
Water (and whatever else she shouts for)
Bed
Story
Cuddle
Kiss goodnight
Lights off
Sleep

Explain before these are all the steps and once they are ticked off then it’s time for the next step. If she shouts after that be very calm but disinterested so she’s not getting the attention.

WinningTheThread Tue 13-Apr-21 22:02:28

She goes to bed around 9pm. She doesn’t sleep well and is usually awake by 5am for the day. She really can’t deal with going to bed later , especially on school nights or she completely loses the plot the next morning out of tiredness .

OP’s posts: |
UhtredRagnarson Tue 13-Apr-21 22:09:31

A social story !

Yes that’s the name I was looking for.

Beamur Tue 13-Apr-21 22:14:22

That sounds really tiring.
Can you draw up a schedule for bedtime which sets out clear timings - including lots of time for chats and cuddles?
My DD is a poor sleeper but has found a weighted blanket very comforting.

babypinkelephant Tue 13-Apr-21 22:17:22

Out of curiosity @WinningTheThread did you find any behavioural changes in your daughter after she went on the melatonin? My two year old is on it for sleep deprivation/epilepsy and it's been five weeks with an increase half way and it's don't shite all for her sleep but she's changed in herself. I don't know if anyone else who has had a child on it and certainly not as young as mine

An0n0n0n Tue 13-Apr-21 22:18:01

Fuck that shit.

I'd be sitting her down and saying this shit is over and from now on youll give a countdown to bedtime (3 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour etc) so she needs to start thinking about what she needs.

I'd be telling her you expect her asleep by X time and if it takes 2 hours for her to go to sleep then bedtime is being pulled back 2 hours so she can get to sleep at the expected time. When she shows she can get to sleep 'on time' or within 15 mins of getting into bed then she can go to bed later.

If i had to go back in id be laying down the law...
You can have X but that means losing Y.
If I have to come up again then you're losing X privilege.

I mean seriously I'd be so fucking cranky if I was dealing with that every night. Take care of yourself so you can look after her flowers

SunshineLollipopsRainbow Tue 13-Apr-21 22:20:35

I've seen a method used, I haven't used it myself as my child is too young but it might help.
Give her 3 'call back passes so that's 3 times she can call you back for whatever she wants. When you go back you collect one of the passes and if she uses all 3 you don't return. In the morning see how many passes she still has. Set a prize for her holding onto x amount of passes. You'll probably find she uses them all to begin but the aim is that she calls you less so she holds onto her passes to win prize.

LabiaMinoraPissusFlapus Tue 13-Apr-21 22:21:58

My kids respond really well to being told in advance what will happen. Eg "from now on, when you go to bed in the evening at 9pm, we will have two kisses (or whatever is to be done!) and then you will lay down, tell yourself a story if you can't sleep, but you are not to get up or call me as I need to have a cup of tea and go to bed". Then later in the day, remind them of this, and again pre bed time, and then again at bed time ("remember what is happening from now on..."). I may even tell them a consequence if they don't do as planned. My children with ASD, ADHD and the ones who haven't got any diagnosis respond well to this approach.

GrumpyHoonMain Tue 13-Apr-21 22:22:23

Could you try giving her the melatonin earlier so it kicks in by 9pm?

UhtredRagnarson Tue 13-Apr-21 22:22:44

An0n0n0n

Fuck that shit.

I'd be sitting her down and saying this shit is over and from now on youll give a countdown to bedtime (3 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour etc) so she needs to start thinking about what she needs.

I'd be telling her you expect her asleep by X time and if it takes 2 hours for her to go to sleep then bedtime is being pulled back 2 hours so she can get to sleep at the expected time. When she shows she can get to sleep 'on time' or within 15 mins of getting into bed then she can go to bed later.

If i had to go back in id be laying down the law...
You can have X but that means losing Y.
If I have to come up again then you're losing X privilege.

I mean seriously I'd be so fucking cranky if I was dealing with that every night. Take care of yourself so you can look after her flowers

The child has ASD. It’s not just messing around!

Scratchpostkitty Tue 13-Apr-21 22:25:14

DD is 12 and I recognise this behaviour completely. I have put up with it for years. My DD also gets anxious and I am aware she seems to need to control everything to feel settled. I like the idea of a list by one poster. I don't know your daughter, but I would suggest against 'crack downs' if she is anxious. It's likely she isn't just doing this to be a pain, she is probably trying to control stuff in order to overcome the anxiety. I think try to include her in the creation of a routine and check list of how it will go. I might try this!

Stormwhale Tue 13-Apr-21 22:29:05

An0n0n0n

Crikey, that seems a pretty harsh approach for a child with asd and suffering from anxiety.

I get that this is hard op, my ds is an awful sleeper and I haven't had a full night's sleep in years now. Bedtimes are a nightmare, then he wakes again and again through the night.

I still think you should handle this compassionately. Clearly your dd is very anxious and struggling to settle. Could you just lie with her, perhaps reading, with the rule being that you don't chat etc, that she needs to settle down for sleep quietly. Maybe that may be enough to calm her down.

I get that you need me time, I really do, but she needs comfort from you. It isn't her fault, and unless you truly believe she is being manipulative rather than genuinely needing help, I would try to comfort rather than punish.

Aprilshowersandhail Tue 13-Apr-21 22:29:35

Can you access information on how vital sleep is to grown ups and dc.. Tell her you need peace and quiet after she goes to bed so you can feel fit and well for the next day. Maybe some repercussions for you being knackered.. No park /trip out /activity etc.. Tough love. No home /family can function well suffering from lack of sleep.

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