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DS (3) keeps calling me stupid and running out of his bed and generally being horrid DH and I are pulling our hair out

(15 Posts)
hereidrawtheline Wed 07-Oct-09 22:42:58

he goes through phases of not being able to sleep and has got some SN issues still undiagnosed along the lines of anxiety, control issues etc.

we've been trying to get him to sleep since 8 and tried the tactic of taking a toy away for 24 hrs if he didnt get back in bed, this previously worked very well. 4 toys in it had no effect so we did the thing where you just lead him back in without saying anything. Then he started shouting stupid at us. Which I cant even work out where he knows that word as I know we have certainly never used it to him and I sincerely hope no one else ever has angry we told him it was a hurtful word to say to us and if he said it again he'd go in TO. So he did. TO for 3 mins, back in bed, now he shouted "you're stupid" at us again and is back in TO. We are getting nowhere. What do we do.

footballsgalore Wed 07-Oct-09 22:46:48

Sounds like he has worked out that calling you names ensures he gets some time out of bed...exactly what he was after in the first place. Can you close the door and ignore him? If sleep is the main objective, maybe he will get bored with shouting if there is no response?

hereidrawtheline Wed 07-Oct-09 22:47:02


hereidrawtheline Wed 07-Oct-09 22:47:33

he opens his own door and there is no gate or anything on it. thank you!

footballsgalore Wed 07-Oct-09 22:48:29

But if you ignore, what will he do? come down? sit on the landing?

hereidrawtheline Wed 07-Oct-09 22:51:05

we're in a bungalow so my bedroom is across from his as are all the other rooms. so he runs around our feet, shouts, screams, demands attention, plays with toys etc

footballsgalore Wed 07-Oct-09 22:57:17

Oops! Thats a toughie. Its getting really late and you must be feeling desperate by now! Could he be feeling under the weather and unable to tell you?
Do you want to make a stand or is it at the point of getting him to bed no matter what?
If the latter, why not go in and lay with him. Maybe say something like...Well if you're going to talk nicely then i might come and help you get to sleep. (Covering your back for future episodes!!!) wink

footballsgalore Wed 07-Oct-09 22:57:41

Or turn off all the lights and go to bed yourselves!!!

hereidrawtheline Wed 07-Oct-09 23:01:14

well he has had a cold but is coming out of it. DH is talking to him quietly in bed at the moment hopefully that means good things. I cant believe it is flipping 11pm and my 3 yo is still asleep... I am about to go to sleep!

footballsgalore Wed 07-Oct-09 23:02:50

Yep! I thought the days of going to bed before the kids were a while away yet grin.
Hope you get some sleep!

hereidrawtheline Wed 07-Oct-09 23:04:15

thanks for talking to me

footballsgalore Wed 07-Oct-09 23:07:19

No worries. smile

slowreadingprogress Wed 07-Oct-09 23:38:12

If he has anxiety problems I think the kindest way round for all of you is to try a system where one of you stays with him while he drops off. We did this with my son - who was extremely anxious and upset about being left at bedtime.

We made it clear we would only stay with him while he was quiet, as long as he lay in bed etc. I or DH used to sit and read a book or similar by DS nightlight.

I really did not want to fight this bed time battle. I did not want to go down the road of returning him a zillion times or punishing him

And no it hasn't been a rod for our own back. DS at 7 has for some time now settled well alone (though he wants the reassurance of a visit or two!)

It doesn't have to be a power struggle, bedtime.

cory Thu 08-Oct-09 07:55:36

Dd had anxiety problems and I more or less did what slowreadingprogress did. She is now nearly 13- and of course she is able to get herself off to sleep. Even rods for your back don't last forever.

But I have realised in retrospect that a lot of her anxiety was to do with her joints feeling uncomfortable at bedtime, so have probably saved a fortune in painkillers. I would not punish a child for being anxious, however inconvenient it is to the parents. Punishment to me is about genuine naughtiness, like kicking and biting people, not for getting out of bed.

cory Thu 08-Oct-09 07:56:36

I was terrified at bedtime well into junior school. I remember lying there staring into the dark for hours. But at least I knew that I could come to my parents if it got really unbearable.

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