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how to discipline a child who refuses to sleep without disturbing siblings?

(35 Posts)
tiamariaxxx Sat 21-Dec-13 20:44:10

Hi, im wondering if anyone has been in similar situation (please if you have no experience or helping advice please dont comment) Sorry if that sounds harsh or im been rude but i posted the question a while ago on another site and had some very un-helpful comments from so called "perfect children"

Basically my 5 year old and 3 year old sons share a room, my 5 year old has never been a good sleeper (eg waking through night for hours on end and generally not been tired for bed, surviving on 4-6 hours sleep and still been full of energy). Hes been like this since he just turned 1 we go through good and bad phases but hes never asleep before 10pm which is hard because my 3 year old is the totally opposite and is usually asleep around 7pm-8pm. My 5 year old isnt been naughty as such but hes just not tired as its saturday hes allowed to stay down stairs and you can tell hes not tired yet. I wake him at 6.30am on school mornings so he is actually getting around 7 and half hours these days.

Ive tried all sorts had loads of advice in the past from hv, family workers and most recently school nurse and nothing works, its getting to the point where hes getting upset because hes saying he cant help it and feels were been mad with him and sorry for waking his brother. Ive spoke to his teacher on numerous occasions asking if shes thinks hes tired and she said not particually but my youngests nursery teacher keeps making comments about him been tired, luckilly she taught my other so she knows the situation.

It has been suggested i get him checked by a behaviour person due to his hyperactiveness (we have cut out alot of foods since he was 3 to try kerb this but hasnt worked) the teacher doesnt think there is any need and hes just boysterouse.

What were doing at the moment is my youngest goes bed at 6.45 and he falls asleep when he falls asleep and we keep the other up until hes asleep and then i read him a story downstairs and we have a cuddle and usually he gets in his bed around 8pm but hes in and out until around 10pm and hes putting light on an messing around talking to himself and waking him up. This as though been the most succesful routine weve had but still not ideal. Sticker charts etc do not work lost cound number of times weve tried


RandomMess Sat 21-Dec-13 20:49:02

I would consider letting the younger one sleep in your room so he doesn't get disturbed.

Your eldest sounds a lot like one of mine who just didn't need sleep - she had too much adrenalin, we sorted it by using retained reflexes therapy which thankfully sorted it out.

Information here

If you live in south east our practioner was fantastic and much cheaper than the INPP ones.

TheGreatHunt Sat 21-Dec-13 20:52:09

Get him checked - it sound like more than him just being a bit boisterous. He sounds massively over tired. When my eldest doesn't settle, we sit with him until he does.

BackforGood Sat 21-Dec-13 20:54:07

I'm fairly sure he's not "refusing to sleep" - he's just not able to which is a pretty different thing, and not something you should be disciplining him for.
I do have experience - 2 of mine are like this, only one settles to sleep well, but I'm very aware it's not something they've 'chosen' to be like.

NK5BM3 Sat 21-Dec-13 20:54:32

They sound like my kids. Ds is nearly 6 and dd is just over 3. They share a room. Ds can go to bed but usually late (9? Like now, he's still wide awake). Dd usually is tired but wants to stay up with her brother. What we do is we put her in our room and try and get her to sleep. Ds will be read to or will read to one of us in his room then go to sleep. We only move her in when he's completely gone.

Otherwise they'll egg each other on and then start fighting.

tiamariaxxx Sat 21-Dec-13 20:56:00

Well we did have the younger 1 in our bed until a while ago until the elder was asleep but wasnt also working as i had the baby in my room too plus i have a nearly 2 year old daughter aswell im just glad theyre all good sleepers so far

RandomMess Sat 21-Dec-13 20:58:44

How about the other 3 in one room and the 5 year old in with you?

It may improve when he can read to himself - or perhaps he could listen to a story tape in your bed? Although still awake at least you get some without the DC in the evening.

tiamariaxxx Sat 21-Dec-13 21:14:01

I dont think it would work putting the younger boy with the girls we dont have much room anyway, its hard aswell because my OH needs to wake early for work so i cant habe the eldest in my room keeping him awake (not that hes a monster or out, he does his bit but hes not as calm as me)

We have a tv in the boys room but obviously once my youngest is asleep i cant have it on for the eldest even though tv actually sends him to sleep.

Its just so tireing as soon as he does go to sleep i should be going to bed but i wanna just sit and unwind and cuddle up to the mr if hes still awake, then i have to sort them out when theyve wet the bed and the baby has only just got out of her 11pm bottle its never ending sad

RandomMess Sat 21-Dec-13 21:16:43

Very tough times sad

Have you just 2 beds and 4 dc?

Sofa bed in the lounge? My aim would be for everyone to get as much sleep as possible tbh.

tiamariaxxx Sat 21-Dec-13 21:23:40

No i have 3 beds luckilly but dont want them in our room if can help it weve just got the baby in the other room with my other daughter, My oh has a very physical hard job so needs a good night sleep if possible. Hes dealing with all kids tonight though smile

Dont have room for a sofa bed either lol, have 3 beds but only a small house really

Sunnysummer Sun 22-Dec-13 09:02:43

As the others say, it sounds tricky to try disciplining him unless you are sure that this is behavioural rather than a medical issue or just who he is.

Have you taken your 5 yo to the GP or paediatrician, in addition to the nurses and HV? While all children vary in how much sleep they need, 4-6 hours is incredibly little, and coupled with the hyperactivity (which could be caused by the sleeplessness or be a symptom alongside it), I'd really want to have a check.

AllDirections Sun 22-Dec-13 09:23:59

The problem isn't that your DS won't go to sleep but that he's waking his brother up. Can you put a small lamp by his bed and make sure that he's got quiet things to do, books to read, colouring stuff, jigsaws, etc? I would not be impressed with him doing things that wake his brother, like putting the light on or messing about. Be very clear on what he is and isn't allowed to do in the bedroom.

I would use a bribe for nights when he hasn't woken up his brother. So each morning when he's managed this the night before I would give him 2 smarties or similar. But then I can achieve almost anything with the promise of 2 smarties grin

RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 11:12:15

Can you put him on his own in the smallest room and give the other 3 the largest room to share and you have the middle room? We too have a very small 3 bed and this is what we did. Including having the rubbish sleeper in the small bedroom for everyones sanity grin

If you get referred to a consultant there is a possibility that they will pescribe melatonin which is a hormone people naturally produce to help us sleep at the right time. A lack of production can cause the issues you describe.

RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 11:14:38

Story tapes (well cds) on very quietly is a good one too, hopefully won't disturb other sibling and he'll be interested enough to lay still and at least he will be relaxing. You just need to pop up before it's finished so he then doesn't get out of bed afterwards.

tiamariaxxx Sun 22-Dec-13 11:16:54

All directions we have a night light on for him, we drill it into him about waking his brother but he does it, he dopesnt do it intentional he will say to his brother sorry Lucas dont tell daddy and mummy then gets upset under his duvet. Bribes dont work at all been trying for years sad

Sunny summer i have mentioned to the gps a number of times but again they dont seem concerned they just arranged for the hv to see me.

I forgot to say in my first post aswell i had family support from the local children centre when he was 2 but they signed us off as at the time he was going through a good phase she didnt feel there was anything else she could help us with but if i felt i still needed support she would refer me to someone else but i declined as he was been good at this point and i had the new baby (his brother to look after). I then got family support again after my daughters birth in Feb 2012 for around 6 months but that was more to do with my depression and anxiety i suffered, it wasnt the same lady but she knew our case as she was from the local centre she was really surprised i was still having trouble with him she gave us a bedtime routine to try out which was ok for the baby and youngest son but not elder 1, she more or less said well least he sleeps through now (which he does) he just cant physically sleep

Well i think after xmas i will go gp and try to see if there is anything medically i think i will stand my ground, my brother had adhd but school are adamant he hasnt got this his dad was also very hyperactive by all accounts. Last night was terrible was 11pm he was just crying that everyone hates him was horrible, i tried explaining i dont hate him buyt me and daddy are tired we just want some alone time, he finally got to sleep and he wet the bed (we are under childhood incontanence for this and pooing issues) the specialist we saw witnessed him been hyperactive aswell in the session she asked if hes always like it and i said yes so maybe i will have a chat with her next month at our follow up

tiamariaxxx Sun 22-Dec-13 11:19:07

im not sure story tapes would work, we tried when he was little was given some by family worker and he kept turning it off he was only 2 so guess could be worth a go. Would anyone suggest childrens head phones? Just thinking because his dad needs music to sleep so often sleeps with his ipod on

RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 11:33:51

Please, please look at the link - it will help with incontinence issues and ADHD too. If you live anywhere remotely south east the practioner I used is very affordable (unlike INPP itself - but that is only one "company" offering that type of treatment)

I know you can get a walkman type thing with dc headphones as they mentioned a volume limiter so they don't damage their hearing?

RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 11:36:12

Volume limiting headphones,default,pd.html#q=headphones

rumbleinthrjungle Sun 22-Dec-13 11:49:29

Have a look at this organisation, there may well be HVs or Childrens Centre staff trained in your area if you contact them.

You might also want to Google melatonin, or talk to your GP or community paediatrician about it, I've known a few children who found that helpful short term to get into a better sleep routine.

rumbleinthrjungle Sun 22-Dec-13 11:49:53

grr, link fail.....

tiamariaxxx Sun 22-Dec-13 11:55:06

Thanks ladies youve all been very helpful will have a look at them sites when i get chance just cracking on with dinner. While the big and little boys are out playing smile

Well least i will get some peace tonight because the in laws are having both boys so that me and daddy can crack on with xmas wrapping once the little princeses are asleep anyway as you can imagine we havent had much chance to get on apart from while their at school

HotheadPaisan Sun 22-Dec-13 12:04:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 12:09:09

5 is not old to be wetting through the night - again it's hormone related, if it's just not being dry and night they don't usually refer until they are 8 as it often just takes longer for some to produce enough of the hormone to concentrate the wee enough.

HotheadPaisan Sun 22-Dec-13 12:14:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oblomov Sun 22-Dec-13 12:19:02

I have this. Ds1(10) needs very little sleep. Ds2(5) needs a lot.
I let ds1 stay up late. He has the bottom bunk and a flexible light, to read, that doesn't disturb ds2.

You are fighting this. But ds1 is not naughty, not in trouble at school, and just not tired.
I can only see the answer as just accepting.
Some people need a lot of sleep. I do . I can sleep for England. Ds2 is like me. Ds1 like dh. Only more pronounced.

Realistically , apart from sedating him , or trying an alternative therapy, I see few options other than accepting.

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