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Suitable consequence for 5 year old please. Bedtime

(13 Posts)
messybessie Tue 21-Jun-11 21:48:56

We always have problems with DS going to sleep. He really struggles to switch off and is often up until all hours, making him tired and grumpy as well as very hyperactive.

At the moment he is exhausted from a long school year (he's in reception) and his behaviour is declining as a result. Far more tantrums, far more aggressive behaviour than normal.

He normally has swimming this afternoon but he cried on the way and said he didn't want to go as he was too tired. Sobbing and about to enter complete meltdown.

I stopped the car and asked him if he was genuinely too tired for his lesson. He said that he was. I then told him that if that was true, and we went home, then he would have an early bath and bedtime and go straight to sleep. I made him promise and told him that if he wasn't telling the truth this time, I wouldn't believe him in future etc etc.

So I brought normal bedtime forward a little and said goodnight at around 7:30. Needless to say he was still wondering around upstairs at 9:30.

I just don't know what to do. I feel like he runs rings around me at the moment and feel an idiot for not making him go swimming.

I really need to get through to him that he is tired because he won't go to sleep - but he just doesn't get it.

I had told him that if he went to bed well on school nights he could stay up on a Saturday a little later with me and watch a film - this is something he really wants to do but so far hasn't managed it.

But I feel like this needs a stronger consequence. I was going to say no TV tomorrow but would like to think of something more relevant.

I need to tell him that I mean business but at the moment I know I'm not being consistent and can never think of appropriate consequences for the behaviour I don't want.


lorisparkle Tue 21-Jun-11 22:13:24

My ds1 sounds very similar to yours. I too would love an answer! We have tried rewards for being quiet at bedtime but these only work for a short time. Part of our problem is that he shares a bedroom. One night he woke up both ds2 and ds3. I will follow this thread with hope!

thisisyesterday Tue 21-Jun-11 22:17:39

i don't think that rewards at the end of the week are that easy for a reception age child to stick to tbh. because that might be nearly a whole week away, and small children live very much in the " now" and it's really hard for them to fully comprehend how they will feel in 6 days time when they don't get the treat they've been thinking about
I am not sure you can really punish a child for being unable to fall asleep tbh...

all i would say is that at the same age my little boy was going up to bed between 6.30 and 7pm. it could well be that your son is just overtired and is then getting a second wind. my eldest is like that, if he doesn't go to bed BEFORE he gets too tired then he gets completely manic and just cannot get to sleep

so i would suggest an even earlier bedtime, all the time, not just on tired days. and once he is upstaitrs just chill. if he plays for a bit that's ok, if he's being a nuisance then just go up and tell him to calm down and stay in bed.
he'll get used to it, and i'm sure he'll start falling asleep earlier

piprabbit Tue 21-Jun-11 22:22:17

I second the idea of moving bedtimes to 6:30 - 7pm on a semi-permanent basis.

I'd also try the rapid return approach. When he get's out of bed, swoop on him, tuck him back in and leave - very little talking. Not grumpy, just making getting up very boring for him.

Finally, you could try having some story CD's playing very softly in the background. Listening to the story will give him the chance to get warm, comfy and relaxed in his bed and then he will hopefully just drift off.

messybessie Tue 21-Jun-11 22:25:54

Thank you all. I do think we need his bedtime to be earlier. Trouble is, DS2 is 2 and DS1 wants to go to bed later than DS2 (understandably). So it would mean moving DS2's bedtime forward too which would then mean that DH wouldn't really get to see them.

However, maybe if this coincided with DS2 dropping his nap, he would go to bed earlier too

(strokes chin)

Jas Tue 21-Jun-11 22:27:07

Marking my place in the hopes of finding an answer to this problem.

My ds is 5, and still awake....
As usual. sad

I also have the bedroom sharing issue which makes it worse, but nothing I do seems to help. He is very tired and will sleep until 10am if not woken up, but just can not get himself to sleep.

piprabbit Tue 21-Jun-11 22:31:28

How about bathing/PJing your DCs together and then let DS1 stay up late listening to his CD because he is such as a big boy wink.

I've been doing this for the last couple of years with my eldest and she still hasn't twigged.

lorisparkle Tue 21-Jun-11 22:36:16

We have similar issues with the bedtime. We have tea at around 6pm then DS2 goes to be first at around 6.30/7 (have tried putting them to bed together - what a nightmare!). He is 3 and does not have a nap - goes off quickly and easily (usually!) Then I try and do DS1's homework - it really is the only time I can find to give him undivided attention and even then DS3 is often around trying to get attention. Then DS1 and/or DS3 go up at around 7.30pm. I keep trying to look around the timings and have tried him soon after 7pm but he just messes around for a couple of hours. We have tried the boring calm rapid return approach and this does not work. He lies on the bed kicking the wall, gets out of bed and prods DS2, fiddles with curtains, night lights, toys, etc. Even when he is quiet it can be later than 9pm when he eventually goes to sleep. The other problem is that he will wake early even if he has gone to bed late. Nightmare.....

MovingAndScared Wed 22-Jun-11 12:35:27

if he doesn't want to go to bed at the same time as his brother then maybe that is the consquence?
We sometimes do bath together and then DS1 also 5 comes down and watches a bit of tv before bed while younger one is settled
then he alway has a story and I sing to him - I only sing to him when he is lying nicely in bed
I think promise of treat in the morning might work - think we did this at some point
I think as the end of a long year it does get some kids like this
and yes agree overtired so don't keep them up just so DH can see them - more sleep for everyone is going to be better and once its sorted they can both stay up a bit later to see him
and what does your DH - mine has a very firm go to bed voice seems to help! and maybe you could try getting your DH to do bedtime completly some days

dikkertjedap Wed 22-Jun-11 19:31:55

I think that one of the problems might be different bedtimes during week and weekend. I would consider one bedtime for all the time so he gets used to a routine and adjust his sleeping patterns. This will not be overnight! My dd goes to bed at 19.00-19.30 at the latest. She reads a story, then I read a story and then I switch a CD on if she wants on quite low volume (story CD). She then drifts off and usually wakes up at 7.30. To establish such a routine might takes a little while and it is important to persevere, I think a nice story CD helps as well because then he won't have a reason to come out of bed and after a little while just drifts off (I use the same CD for weeks on end, so must be pretty boring by now ...). I think it is important to sort out especially with him starting year one in September (mind you, you have a whole Summer Holiday ahead of you). Good luck.

WowOoo Wed 22-Jun-11 19:37:26

Crikey, I hear you!
Ds is 5 and in reception also and has bags under his eyes.

We have started earlier bath and bedtimes and was working until dh came early tonight and suggested he do the baths. They are both still up!

Try a TV time clock. Draw a clock. Every time you hear any nonsense you colour in 5 mins/10 mins whatever. This means he has say for eg 20 mins knocked off TV time. And stick to it. 'You can't watch that prog bc of your sillyness last night' .

Will also watch for top tips. Argh!

lorisparkle Wed 22-Jun-11 21:02:34

I love your tv time clock!!!

We certainly have a very calm bedtime and DS1 sits beautifully and calmly in bed to hear his final story before we put on the lullaby music. We leave him calm and snuggled in bed before going downstairs. Then the nonsense starts. He knows that he has got us over a barrel as we do not want him to wake up the other two. If we had a CD player in the room he would definately get out of bed to mess around with it and DH winds them up so that would not work.

I will try the TV time clock and hope some more ideas follow!

messybessie Wed 22-Jun-11 22:38:11

Lori, it is exactly the same in our house. Lovely calm bedtime, nice stories, gentle song and then as soon as I go downstairs he wanders around.

Tonight, I played our old baby Mozart on the iPod, then plugged the iPod dock in his room. Told him he could listen to Horrid Henry on condition he lay down and didn't get out of bed. After 20 minutes I went in and he asked me to turn it off as he was tired and wanted to go to sleep grin. An HOUR later he was still going.

I give up!

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