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9yo DS - not sleeping/tummy pains - all in mind????

(12 Posts)
sticktoit Sun 21-Sep-08 22:32:29

My 9yo DS is quite complex. He is quite sensitive about certain things, has always been quite quiet and thinks deeply about everything. He is also a worrier, which, I'm afraid, comes from my side of the family.

About 8 months ago he started taking hours to fall asleep and usually wouldn't go to sleep until myself and DP had gone to bed. After this started he began complaining of tummy pains, every night. The same pattern everyday - home from school, have tea, do homework, bit of TV, bath then complaints about tummy pains just before bed. This went on for weeks. He genuinely believed that he had tummy pains. When told he'll have to see Dr he agreed.

Anyway this stopped after a while and as soon as summer holidays are over, the same thing is happening again. He tells me he hates bedtime and hates his bed. He has made me and DP promise that he is telling the truth about his tummy pains. He says he has "runny toilets" everytime he needs a number 2. However, he is fine all day. Has a healthy appetite, is active, doesn't talk about it until he's about to go to bed. He's taking forever to go to sleep again. We don't shout at him and we've taken his clock out of his room so he wasn't clock watching for hours on end but it's still happening. He sometimes creeps downstairs and gives us the tummy pains speech. We try and be patient and calm but it's just getting silly.

I'm thinking that he's getting himself worked up over going to bed because he's worried he won't fall asleep straight away (as we've said he'll be tired the next day if he loses too much sleep), which in turn is making him actually feel as though he's got a bad stomach - through perhaps nerves???

I am thinking now that we should just take him to the Dr and have tests etc in case there is anything of concern but surely we would notice in other areas if there was anything?

How can we knock this out of him??? It's so silly.....

sticktoit Sun 21-Sep-08 23:06:09


LackaDAISYcal Sun 21-Sep-08 23:14:50

Is there something going on at school that he is worried about?

My DS, 6.5 is prone to mystery pains, especially if he is worried about anything and like your DS is prone to being a bit of a wrrier and over sensitive about things.

they recently had a trip to Waterstones to see author/illustrator Anthony Browne and he came home with one of his books, Silly Billy, about a little boy who worries and gets some worry dolls. He seemed to relate to the story, so when we saw some worry dolls in a wee shop, he chose some, and now has them under his pillow at night. We get the aore tummy speech much less now than we used to so I think they are working.

but I would take him to the GP anyway, just to rule things out. We all have lymph glands in our tummies and children often complain of sore tummies when they are fighting an infection and the glands are swollen.

hth smile

chunkychips Sun 21-Sep-08 23:15:21

Message withdrawn

avenanap Sun 21-Sep-08 23:19:00

I've had this problem with my ds, at one point he went to the toliet 23 times in 24 hours! It turned out that he was really unhappy at school. I moved him and it stopped. You should get him checked over first to rule out anything physical, then look at anything that could be upsetting him.

colie Sun 21-Sep-08 23:19:58

I don't have any words of wisdom here. My dc aren't quite at your ds age yet.

I am not sure if this is an age thing, as my nephew, 9 too has been through an awful "lack of confidence" stage. Saying he is ugly, crying in bed etc. My sister has been spending more time with him (without his little sister) and she said the situation has greatly improved.

The above example probably doesn't apply to your son at all.

He could be having pains in his stomach as I remember as a child whenever anxious I got terrible pains in my stomach. Maybe speak to your gp or school nurse and see if they could advise anything.

I don't have any advice really but I am sure others will give you much better words of wisdom.

cornsilk Sun 21-Sep-08 23:24:05

Take him to the doctor and see what GP says. My ds used to have pains at bedtime -I don't think he was making it up.

overthehill Sun 21-Sep-08 23:33:15

Interesting. My 9-y-o ds isn't quiet(!) and doesn't complain of tummy pains, but over the last year or so I've had terrible trouble with him at bedtime because he just doesn't want to go to bed, uses every delaying tactic in the book and takes ages to get to sleep, whereas when he was younger he was always out like a light. My dd (12) is also a hopeless insomniac and it's almost as though she's 'infected' him. Maybe your ds does have some fear about going to bed and by saying he's got pains is hoping you'll stay with him eg because of nightmares, possibly related to potentially scary world events that's he's seen on TV but doesn't understand properly?

sticktoit Sun 21-Sep-08 23:37:06

Thank you - I will take him to GP. This is only his second year at this primary school as we moved last year. We had a rough first year with him. I was called to the school a lot and for the whole year he was being monitored. Hes got a small group of friends now who he saw all through the holidays and they are nice boys. We thought he was more settled at school and he says he is, of course he doesn't like school but he's not unhappy! We put the last bout of these symptoms down to school and when they wore off, it did coincide with the problems at school settling so it seemed to all settle down at the same time.

He sees his dad every saturday and he has mentioned a lot that his dad and his girlfriend have been arguing a lot and fighting hmm. He said that the saturday just gone she was angry about something and she punched the wall and told them to get out........I think this might be on his mind too???

sticktoit Sun 21-Sep-08 23:40:12

overthehill - he is very curious about what's heard on the news and what he sees on TV. We often have trouble explaining his queries to him!

We are also going on holiday next week and he's not been on a plane since he was age 3 and keeps asking about planes crashing, how fast the plane goes, how high it flys, will he get sick etc etc......

avenanap Sun 21-Sep-08 23:41:01

Poor thing. This must have been really upsetting for him. sad A diary might help him. He can write down his feelings and things that have upset him rather than keep them inside.

overthehill Sun 21-Sep-08 23:52:42

Sticktoit, it sounds increasingly from what you say eg about his dad and girlfriend that it might be that he's feeling a little insecure, and things always seem worse when it's dark and you're alone. Our primary school has a counsellor, which sounds very low-key and age-appropriate, and it may be that your ds also needs someone else maybe a bit more distant from him than you so that he can open up - if no counsellor at school, does he have an auntie/grandparent he could talk to?

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