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bedtime behaviour

(17 Posts)
bmthgirl Thu 21-Aug-08 20:48:12

My son has recently started being really naughty at bed time.How can i make him go to bed without it ending in a fight.He is hitting out at me and keeps coming back in the lounge?Please help!!

Othersideofthechannel Thu 21-Aug-08 20:52:14

How old is he?

nell12 Thu 21-Aug-08 20:53:52

Stay calm
Take him back to bed straight away... no eye contact or talking.

Have a regular bedtime routine that you stick to (eg bath, bottle, story, bed)

Make sure that he is not over-tired at bedtime.

Is his bedroom a calm, restful place to sleep? No TV, bright lights, tidy bed, curtains/ blinds closed, toys tidied away.

Plenty of rewards the next morning if he goes to bed/sleep without a fuss.

Have a large glass of wine to celebrate when he does go to sleep grin

bmthgirl Thu 21-Aug-08 21:00:32

Oh sorry,thanx 4 the replys.He is 5.Everytime i get him to bed he just won't stay there n starts hitting etc.Its turning into a nightmare,feel like we haven't had a good bedtime in ages and don't know why hes started doing this all of a sudden.

Othersideofthechannel Thu 21-Aug-08 21:03:33

OK, so he's used to being in a bed. Perhaps he is just not tired at bedtime. My DS is five and can survive on less sleep in the holidays because playing with his little sister isn't as challenging on his brain as what his does at school. So he has a later bed time in the holidays.

nell12 Thu 21-Aug-08 21:06:54

He wants to control the situation. So you need to take control back.

Tell him before bedtime that tonight you and he are going to have a nice bedtime. Ask him what a nice bedtime is (hopefully he will say something along the lines of Happy Mummy, no fighting, no shouting etc)
Agree with him your expectations; he will go to bed and stay there. If he stays in bed then he gets a treat in the morning.

If he gets out of bed, he is testing you and seeing whether you will react to his behaviour. DONT just take him back to bed. Dont talk to him or look at him. You may need to repeat this 100 times (sorry!) but he will get the message.

Charliemama Thu 21-Aug-08 21:07:11

When we have this problem (as we seem to periodically do) we do everything nell12 said. Calm consistency seems to be the key with ours. DD feeds off any attention positive or negative so we have to patiently keep returning her to her bed with no talking or eye contact (she is 3.5). It is hard work but it works in the end. Good luck

bmthgirl Thu 21-Aug-08 21:07:26

Maybe i will try that then,how much later do u think is suitable?

bmthgirl Thu 21-Aug-08 21:08:09

I must admit it has only been recently during the school holidays.

bmthgirl Thu 21-Aug-08 21:09:26

Thanx everyone for the advice

Othersideofthechannel Thu 21-Aug-08 21:15:19

I would try to give him more control, especially as its the holidays. I'd ask him why he doesn't want to go to bed. Maybe he wants to stay up half an hour, maybe he would like to play Connect 4 one more time with me, maybe he wants to play in his room a bit. All of these things would be fine with me unless he seemed really tired eg he was having a meltdown every two minutes. DS usually has a good reason for not wanting to go to bed right away. Sometimes he wants to watch a feature length film at 7.30 pm so if the request was unreasonable I would suggest an acceptable alternative eg watch his favourite scene then go to bed.

Othersideofthechannel Thu 21-Aug-08 21:17:19

Of course, if he would have to then go to bed 'nicely' for this to work on following nights.

Umlellala Thu 21-Aug-08 21:32:13

otherside, I was about to post exactly that - that maybe he needs to feel more control (within your boundaries of course)... but I only have a 2yo so slightly different maybe?

Othersideofthechannel Fri 22-Aug-08 06:15:08

Yes, at 2 even if they are very verbal they might not be able to express why they don't want to do something.
A 5 yr old should be able to. It may not be that he is not tired. There may be something bothering him that is preventing him from going to sleep - a worry on his mind or not comfortable in his room. Especially as bmthgirls DS has only recently started playing up at bedtime.

Umlellala Fri 22-Aug-08 06:23:10

No, I was agreeing with you! grin It's what we do with my (admittedly v verbal) 2 year old if she has a weirdy bedtime - work out what's going on and ask her what she wants. so I can imagine a 5 year old could explain what they wanted and then you can work out a compromise/solution.

Othersideofthechannel Fri 22-Aug-08 09:30:11

I was agreeing with you too. Must be good to have a little one able to express herself so well. I should imagine it cuts down on the tantrums.

By the way Bmthgirl, DS still hits out at me occasionally when he disagrees with me so encouraging him to say WHY he disagrees also helps him use words rather than fists.

Umlellala Fri 22-Aug-08 10:47:55

It does - IF I am not tired and irritable and am not in perky How to Talk mood and instead yell 'oh just go to bed!' wink

OP I'm sure it'll go back to normal soon... kids like routine I think. We all go a bit odd in our house holiday time (we are both teachers so go 'off routine' too!!)

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