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I am going to pack DS (6) bedroom up and put it in the loft this weekend. Anyone got a better idea?

(64 Posts)
NotSoRampantRabbit Thu 08-Sep-11 15:22:40

DS has never been good with scary films/TV programmes and for that reason we don't watch any. He has occasionally seen bits of scary films at friend's houses and therefore knows he doesn't like them.

Recently he asked if we could watch the first Harry Potter film, and after a long chat about it I agreed (like an idiot!). We watched it together and he enjoyed it a lot, but not the bits with Voldemort in. After the film, predictably, he refused to sleep in own bed. This was 4 weeks ago and he simply will not go to sleep in his own room, or if he does he will wake in the night and come into us and we all end up bed hopping so that he doesn't start screaming and wake up DD.

I am sure that initially he was genuinely scared. We have always been happy to sit with him while he falls asleep but this hasn't been enough this time. I now think that this is simply about getting his own way and controlling bedtime. I really don't think he is that scared anymore. I have seen him grinning as soon as he gets his own way etc.

So we are at wits end and there is far too much losing of tempers going on. I have started a sticker chart with the reward being tickets to football (he is obsessed), but so far he only has 1/10 stickers and he got that because friend was having sleepover. We have done a lot of talking and reasoning but he simply refuses to even try.

This morning, after a horrendous bedtime and bed-hopping at 4am I told him that, since he doesn't use his bedroom I would give it to DD, turn her room into a study, and he could sleep in our room on blow-up mattress. He can chose one small box of toys and books to take with him. The rest will go in the loft.

Feel as though I am losing already scant marbles.

What would you do????!

NotSoRampantRabbit Thu 08-Sep-11 15:49:10


PottyRefusnik Thu 08-Sep-11 15:50:24

How old is he? TBH I wouldn't because once he is officially in your room, he is in. When will you get him out?

Can you put the blow up mattress on the floor in his room and sleep alongside him until he gets his confidence back again. Maybe take him and let him choose a nightlight/torch to use or maybe a little CD player so that he can (quietly) put on some music to fall asleep to if he is scared?

PottyRefusnik Thu 08-Sep-11 15:52:35

Sorry, just seen that he is 6.

mh85 Thu 08-Sep-11 15:52:55

How old is he? TBH I think i'd be inclined to let him cry as much as he wants at this stage - when he comes through pick him up and put him back in his bedroom, keep the door closed and he'll get the picture.

Alternatively, you could get a poster of lord V in your bedroom???

PottyRefusnik Thu 08-Sep-11 15:55:38

Or story books on CD, I used to listen to books on tape at night when I had nightmares when I was a child (7 and up) and it worked well.

NotSoRampantRabbit Thu 08-Sep-11 16:01:03

mh85 - ha - was just talking about doing that with friend from work. Make my room into a temple of Dark Lordyness.

I know what you mean about once he is in our room he is in, but he is in anyway. At least this way he will hopefully see that he has lost a lot by refusing to try and sleep in his own room.

Re rapid return. He is big and strong and his bed is a cabin jobbie and he just giggles and finds it funny. It is so infuriating I feel as though I will lose my cool completely.

I don't want to be cruel to a child who is genuinely scared (although not convinced he is) but I do want bedtimes back to normal and an hour in the evening to myself.

Maybe one of us should move into his room, but am not sure that would stop him screaming until he got into our bed...

He has always been a great sleeper. I am at a total loss.

PottyRefusnik Thu 08-Sep-11 16:05:43

Could you let him swap with his sister, let him choose some posters for his new room and try to get him excited about his new room.

Then once the new room is his, explain that he can't come in your room anymore but that he can have nightlight/torch/music/whatever he wants as long as he stays in his new room?

Ormirian Thu 08-Sep-11 16:08:07

Forget the sticker chart - try more direct bribery. 10p each night he sleeps in his own room. I find it's the only thing that actually works with DS2.

lisad123 Thu 08-Sep-11 16:11:49

I would put blow up bed in his room on the floor and rapid return him to that. Leave him a night light of course.

Dumbledoresgirl Thu 08-Sep-11 16:14:39

It does sound as though he is taking you for a bit of a ride. If that is the case, I would be sympathetic (just in case I misjudged the situation and the fear was real) but firm. I would not allow him to stay in my room. He has to be told he is too old to spend every night with you.

When my youngest was about 3 - 4, he sometimes woke up and called out for me. I used to go in, (stops him coming into my room) be sympathetic but in no way condone getting out of bed. I would then find his favourite teddy and say "Look, X is here, X is going to look after you. Give X a cuddle and try to go back to sleep". It sounds unlikely - an inanimate toy being the protector - but it worked for my ds.

witchwithallthetrimmings Thu 08-Sep-11 16:16:36

my ds (6) has also regressed a bit at bed time, I just think it a stage. He is no longer a little boy but still needs to be reassured that big boys can get hugs and cuddles if they need/want them. We establish that our bed is out of bounds until 7 am though but one of us (usually me) will usually climb into his bed in the middle of the night to calm him if needed. I think that in a few weeks or so this stage will pass

Remember that it is not the norm over history and across the world for people to sleep by themselves; this does not mean that they shouldn't but that we should not think there is anything wrong if they need hugs in the middle of the night

NotSoRampantRabbit Thu 08-Sep-11 16:17:59

Potty - thanks for ideas. I don't really want him to have DD's room as it was decorated beautifully by my mum with lovely woodland creature decals and the like. I want him to stay in his room (which has blue wall and space decals).

Ok. Plan. Have told him room swap will happen at weekend, so he has 2 nights to stop it happening. Will go for direct financial recompense (thanks Orm) and see if that works tonight. If not tomorrow will try rapid return to blow up bed (which is already on floor under his bed for sleepovers) - as is Friday no need to worry about late night/school etc.

If neither work am going for it. I have my limits and this is it...(wibble).

seeker Thu 08-Sep-11 16:20:02

I would justnlet him come into your bed until he gets over it. The less attentionnis paid to the situation the better.

Just think, mumsnetnis always having threads about women who hate to sleep alone when their dps are away- but we expect children to do it!

NotSoRampantRabbit Thu 08-Sep-11 16:23:20

I don't mind hugs and reassurance in the night, but this is different. If he doesn't get what he wants (our bed) then he loses it. Wakes DD. Entire household deranged with tiredness and grumpiness.

Will try (through gritted teeth) to be super reassuring and sympathetic but firm tonight (with bribery at forefront of strategy).

Maybe will get a new night light for him on way home (he has old lava lamp at moment but loves shiny new things - might help).

NotSoRampantRabbit Thu 08-Sep-11 16:26:14

Seeker - what about the having to sit with him while he falls asleep? DH rarely home before 7.30pm so I do it on my own. DD really tired and needs to get to sleep. I feel that he has me over a barrel. Am basically having to wait for DH to get home before can settle exhausted, screechy 2 yr old, whilst DS leaps around house in that manic, crazed 6 yr old way that they have.

I get what your saying, and have never had a problem with him sleeping in our bed as a rule, but this feels different. Like he is manipulating us and making life very difficult for all...

witchwithallthetrimmings Thu 08-Sep-11 16:31:40

on the nights when dp is not in, we do stories with both dd and ds and then I leave ds in his bed with books telling him that i will come back and give him a good night cuddle only if he stays in bed. This calms him down - a bit. So dd 2 gets bf cuddle and then I go into ds and give him a cuddle. For the next half and hour or so I pop in and out of their rooms sometimes getting into bed with them, sometimes just talking. Eventually they both fall asleep. I know its not ideal but hey it works

NotSoRampantRabbit Thu 08-Sep-11 16:34:50

witch - that is exactly how I used to do it pre-Voldemort. but now DS won't let me leave him alone in room. He screams and cries and follows me into DD's room, which disrupts her quiet feed and is just rubbish for everyone.

We had bedtime so sorted but a month ago. Have never minded doing it on my own as DS so brilliant and helpful...

Maryz Thu 08-Sep-11 16:36:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nicky1968 Thu 08-Sep-11 16:39:40

We went through a really tiring stage where our 4 year old kept waking up in the night and crying and wanting to come into our bed. We'd be up and down several times a night and when we did let her in our bed we'd have her elbows or feet in our faces or backs. In the end, we put a camp bed up in our room and said that if she woke in the night she could just come in and sleep there. That has worked fine, at first she would come in every night (but quietly so didn't wake us up) and now it is just now and again, depending on whether she's woken up in the night. That's fine by me.

HerdOfTinyElephants Thu 08-Sep-11 16:42:22

Actually, I think there's genuinely something to be said for turning your room into a Temple of Voldemort. I suppose you and your DH getting Death Eater tattoos would be too much? (actually, I don't think they come in until a later book/film, so probably a waste of effort)

Carrotsandcelery Thu 08-Sep-11 16:59:44

Rabbit do you have any pets? Our ds has trouble at night and this has been massively improved by letting our dog sleep in his room.

I second the idea of a personal cd player in his room and some audio books from the library. Our ds uses these to help him drop off and if he wakes during the night or early in the morning.

fallingandlaughing Thu 08-Sep-11 18:52:28

I got really scared by a horror film (nightmare on elm street) at about that age. It helped for my mother to explain that Freddy Kruger was played by an actor, Robert Englud, and look, he is in other films too, here he is in an intervie etc. Could you do the same, start off with JK Rowling writing the words, then look at something else Voldemort is in (is it Ralph Fiennes - I must be the only person in UK who hasn't seen the films). If it is Ralph Fiennes you could watch Maid in Manhattan or something.

NotSoRampantRabbit Thu 08-Sep-11 20:02:24

Well bedtime (still going on) a spectacular failure. Sat him down beforehand and explained that he needed to go to sleep in own bed (with DH sitting with him) and that if he did he would get a sticker towards his football tickets and 30p to spend in shop after school tomorrow. Put blow up mattress in our room and told him that if he was scared in the night he could come and get into that.

He had stories happily in his room, but the minute DH stopped reading he started crying, screaming and climbing out of bed. After a few mins of this I said that he could sleep on mattress in our room but that would mean no sticker/money. He got into blow up bed and then started screaming that it was too bouncy (this is NOT about being scared imho - it is about sleeping in our bed). By this time DD crying as she can't get to sleep. In the end I told him he could sleep in my bed but that he would lose his bedroom on Saturday unless tomorrow night different. I have taken away all computer priviledges/no footy on Sunday/no McDonalds with granny next week/toys will be put away along with bed etc on Saturday.

What the f**k can I do? I am going about this all wrong somehow.

sad angry


NotSoRampantRabbit Thu 08-Sep-11 20:05:07

Carrots we have a feral cat! She is a reluctant parent to say the least...

DS has asked for a pet mouse (after watching Charlie and Lola)...maybe an option...

falling - thanks that is a good suggestion. Will look at some Ralph Fiennes images with him tomorrow...

Really at wits end. Feel like crap parent at moment.

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