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7 Yr old dominates our relationship! - anyone had a similar experience?

(10 Posts)
JALG Mon 11-Jul-11 14:09:24

I need some help here peeps - my daughter (7) has sister (18) has had consistent issues with sleep. Cannot get self off to sleep. There is nothing we have not tried. Currently under paediatrician and taking low dose melatonin to get her off to sleep. Still wakes 3-4 times a night, shouting and insisting she is scared, needs light on and makes sure she always gets at least one of us up and out of bed. Nearly always ends up with her sleeping in my bed and dad in spare room. Does not respond to any form of punishment. Have even taken every single toy out of her room one day and told her she had to earn them back, she just withdraw and got worse and started having tantrums during the day. During day when mum and dad home together she is generally good but constantly dominates. (on a 1-1 is fine) Ensuring she has the main handle on the conversations, talking constantly in the car, one thing after another - so I cannot spend time speaking to hubby. We are both professional parents ( I am a teacher) we spend plenty of time with her, she has plenty of time with me after school doing lovely fun stuff, and is very bright but maybe emotionally immature (as her sister also is). My hubby and I have now had 6 years of this and it has driven him away (he has had an affair). We have had no time to ourselves and no time for sex as she has been up and fighting off sleep until 9/10 at night and then we are to knackered and in too bad a mood. We are trying very hard to re-build our relationship, but you cannot tell a 7 yr old to give it up! We love her dearly, and tell her so - but she is wearing us to the bone. I have just returned from 2 days in a hotel where I had my first 2 nights undisturbed sleep for years!! We have no other family who can step in? Has anyone else experienced this in their family? The doc wants us to wean her off the melatonin by Xmas - I can only see a divorce on the cards as I cannot see our relationship surviving !

holyShmoley Mon 11-Jul-11 14:24:48

this is going to be brief, but has it been considered that there may be a psychlogical element to this and that she is picking up on the distress in the household and this is her teaction to it.

Would it be possible for you/her to get a referral to a play therapist?

JALG Mon 11-Jul-11 14:31:07

I understand what you are saying, but this has been an issue really for many years, my husband has only had an affair which has come to light in the past year. The problems with her behaviour were going on before this happened - we had other issues going on then, he lost his job and things were a bit rough, but we were solid and very happy. The paediatrician feels she is an anxious child, and that is it! But my concern is that now the affair has come to light, it will dominate and it will be used as a reason for her behaviour, when actually, it was happening, well before - does this make sense?

holyShmoley Mon 11-Jul-11 14:55:49

yes, i see what you are saying. but... In my first reply i meant distress generally and on her terms (e.g. Picking up on your reaction to her not going to sleep). If the paed thinks she is anxious in her disposition i would be stronger about getting her psychlogical support i think.

JALG Mon 11-Jul-11 16:28:30

Thanks for this - have just looked up info on our nearest Play therapist and rung them. They seemed really on the ball and certainly felt that they could help with anxiety issues. I am going to meet up with her next week. Thanks again.

myBOYSareBONKERS Mon 11-Jul-11 21:39:39

what happens when you tell her to just stop talking? Our boys always try to talk over each other and in the end I tell them both to stop.

cory Mon 11-Jul-11 21:52:13

I was terrified of the dark for many years of my childhood- or not of the dark exactly, but having a very vivid imagination I was scared of what would happen when I relaxed my conscious grip on it. The one thing that enabled me to hold it together most nights and not make a fuss was the knowledge that if it got too bad I could always come in with my parents and nobody would blame me. Don't know what I would have done if anyone had punished me instead of trying to help- think I might really have panicked then.
I wasn't doing it to be naughty any more than an adult with a phobia is being naughty on purpose.

Dd is also an anxious child, whereas ds sleeps like a log.

Sorry, I know this doesn't really help. But I think you should discuss with your daughter- and possibly with a paed- ways of helping her.

mathanxiety Mon 11-Jul-11 22:03:39

I second the play therapy idea. Something is amiss.

This book might be worth a try to do together for sleep problems but maybe wait until you talk with the play therapist before doing it. Since she seems to feel she needs to fill in silence (in the car for instance) with endless random conversation then I think there is a lot of anxiety and insecurity that play therapy would help identify and work through.

How does she behave in school though? What do her teachers report about her?

LeninGrad Mon 11-Jul-11 22:52:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JALG Fri 15-Jul-11 10:26:45

Thanks for your comments and support - I have a play therapy consultation booked for Monday and have ordered the book! I feel better for having actually done something about it. It was ten o clock last night and she came in twice. We are having sep beds tonight so she can come in for a cuddle if she needs it and we can all get some sleep. Desperate measures!

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