Advanced search

My DC's WILL NOT do as they are told, or asked, ever!

(14 Posts)
LonelyLinda Tue 13-Nov-12 19:48:10

I really do not know what to do, I am at the end of my tether. They will not go to bed, will not go to sleep, drag it out for hours and hours end up knackered and irritable the next day but then will still not go to sleep.

i really do not know what to do and it is making me and dp tired, irritable, snappy at each other, snappy at the dc and in a vicious circle.

DCs are 3 and 5. The 3yo had some medication about a year ago which caused nightmares so understandably was scared of bedtime. medication was stopped straight away but I think there is that fear at the back of their mind or maybe im just making excuses.

I have tried reading bedtime stories but then they stay up wont go to sleep, tried letting them play for a little bit then they wont get into bed and want to play all night. Tried letting them have a tv player and watching tv to go to sleep to but then they want someone to sit with them and if Itry to put them to bed they just wont go, will come down time after time after time. DP and I have given up trying to have a meal together because it is continuously interupted and it's so painful it makes us so unhappy.

I really could do with some friendly helpful advice or experience from anybody.

spyinglife Tue 13-Nov-12 19:55:20


What time do you start trying to put them down and when do they usually finally drop off?

Do they share a beedroom?

LonelyLinda Tue 13-Nov-12 20:01:42

Hi, thank you for your response, they don't share a bedroom, but their rooms are next door to each other.

I usually put them to bed approx 7pm. They have their evening meal by 4.30 usually and then play, sometimes watch some tv, get into pyjamas, clean teeth etc to aim to be in bed by 7. They just shout down, wont settle and want to play in each others room or sometimes ones shouting keeps the other awake. If I tried it at 8pm or 9pm it would usually be the same. I think that the youngest doesnt need much sleep at all and maybe this is one of the main problems.

If I went to bed at 7 (which I don't) and I let him sleep with me in my bed (which I dont) he would go to sleep straight away. I think he doesn't like being on his own maybe.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 13-Nov-12 20:01:44

Have you tried putting them in their beds after storytime (do do that - its a lovely end to the day once it is the end of the day - prob best limit to one story), and then sitting in the room - don't talk to them, just put them back in if they get out. Might take both you and your DH to tackle the pair of them (eat before you start).

Chottie Tue 13-Nov-12 20:03:48

I'm just wondering how they are in the morning, do you have to wake them up? You sound absolutely exhausted { }

spyinglife Tue 13-Nov-12 20:08:20

This is just what I would do, for at least three or four days in a row to see if it makes a difference

Feed them later, 5.00 or 6.00, and move the whole bedrime routine on a bit. Aim for bed when they are tired at 8.00 ish. Then each into their own room and sit with them in the dark (one each for you and your DP or swap between the two). Stay as silent as possible and as little interaction as possible. Sit with your phone in the dark.

Establish the habit that once lights off that is it. They stay in their room with no noise even if it takes you being their continuously to enforce it. Stay until they are asleep. Don't get stressed that you are missing your evening, dinner is ruined. Have eaten already so you are not hungry/stressed to be missing food, relax and enjoy sitting in the dark for a bit!

Then slowly spend less time in the room.

LonelyLinda Tue 13-Nov-12 20:11:21

My youngest is up and awake long before I want to be, he always tries to get into our bed during the night and I have to take him back to his. My eldest wakes about 7am or sometimes I wake them but they aren't irritable in the morning they are wide awake which is why I think the youngest doesn't need much sleep.

the one story doesn't work, they want more and more and then to do something else, then to come downstairs or play. My dp is getting over stressed with it I think but it is a good idea for us to eat first and then tackle it together head on. Maybe say 2 weeks of hardcore stressful bedtimes could set patterns perhaps, that is definitely worth trying. They just get so clever and when one of us is settling one and the other settling the other the children start asking for the other parent aaarrgghhh!!!

LonelyLinda Tue 13-Nov-12 20:20:00

Spyinglife, thank you, that sounds like really good advice. I think that perhaps I havent been able to see the wood for the trees and that your advice makes perfect sense.

when the children were young we did control crying which did work extremely well. I think we have got so busy, so stressed that we havent thought about going back to basics.

Your advice is perfect! I will start this on thursday (dp away tomorrow) and hopefully report back to you positively. I know that you speak perfect sense but I think that i have been so busy trying everything else I have forgotten to go start at the beginning.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 13-Nov-12 20:29:42

Yes - wait till your DP is back, discuss it with him and agree your strategy. You need to work togther to regain your authority.

One story works if you do it once they're in bed and say, right, we're having one story before lights out, which one then when its done and they ask for more calmly say,'no, you've had your story, its bedtime now'. Kiss, lights out. When they want to do something else, you say 'No, its time to sleep now'.

Anything you say after the light is out should be firm and boring.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 13-Nov-12 20:32:26

Oh, the asking for the other parent thing:, 'You've got me tonight. Daddy will put you to bed tomorrow.'

You know lots of their tricks - think up answers that you and your DP can apply consistently beforehand.

Good luck!

LonelyLinda Tue 13-Nov-12 20:34:09

Yes, thank you, that's what we need to do - regain our authority. It's making us so stressed and unhappy and at the end of our tether when we are normally such happy chilled and relaxed people it is making us not us iyswim.

I really needed this advice and it has helped me enormously.


I need to get rid of all of the crap, the games, the toys, the tvs and concentrate on quiet, calm and sleep and nothing else.

Journey Wed 14-Nov-12 15:07:21

We do the same as spyinglife. It is the only thing that seems to work for my ds.

AmandaCooper Wed 14-Nov-12 17:36:29

I've used Spyinglife's method on a whole dormitory full of excitable girl guides. It does work! grin

Bumpsadaisie Wed 14-Nov-12 18:06:37

Mine (3.5) has issues with not wanting to stay on her own and go off to sleep. It got to the point where we were spending quite a while sitting with her while she drifted off, fidgeting etc. It drove me mad, at the end of a long day I was desperate to get downstairs and get everything done I hadn't yet been able to get done, then relax in front of the TV.

DD has responded brilliantly to sticker for every night she goes to sleep by herself in her room. Three stickers and she gets a little treat. She has a little notebook in which we write all the days of that week and stick the stickers by them each morning. The problem has literally vanished overnight! smile

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: