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How do parent a very tired child? Sorry very long so bear with me...

(79 Posts)
Pitchounette Wed 22-Oct-08 14:48:01

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Pitchounette Wed 22-Oct-08 16:06:06

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Morloth Wed 22-Oct-08 16:07:57

How much sleep does he get? If my 4 year old DS doesn't get at least 12 hours a night he is a nightmare the next day, most nights he is in bed by 6 and doesn't get up till 7? Most people think this is too much sleep but he is a nightmare otherwise.

Pitchounette Wed 22-Oct-08 16:18:50

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seeker Wed 22-Oct-08 16:19:08

Is this a silly question - but how do you know he's tired? Does he tell you?

Morloth Wed 22-Oct-08 16:24:15

Well if he is getting that much sleep are you SURE the problem is that he is tired? Perhaps your DH is correct and you might need to take a firmer hand?

My DS is a cheeky strong willed little git, but I am the boss and he needs to do as his told with a minimum of whining or there will be consequences.

Of course circumstances are taken into account and allowances given, but sometimes kids just need to learn to do as their told whether they like it or not?

bundle Wed 22-Oct-08 16:26:39

what is it about his behaviour that tells you he's tired? does he fall asleep during the day? is it tantrums?

BloodRedTulips Wed 22-Oct-08 16:28:54

out of curiosity, how are you positive it's tiredness and not just a behaviour issue?

does he sleep and inordinate amount? or is he insomniac? or does he just act 'tired'?

agree with morloth, my 2 can easily sleep 12/14 hours in a 24 hour period so is it possible he's tired as he simply isn't sleeping enough?

LaDiDaDi Wed 22-Oct-08 16:28:58

What makes you sure that he's tired?

Does he have a daytime nap?

3littlefrogs Wed 22-Oct-08 16:29:22

Would he have an afternoon nap? Once ds1 started nursery he went back to having a nap in the afternoons because he found it so exhausting. After a few months he got used to it.

Even if your ds is having 11 - 12 hours at night, he might still need an hour in the day, just to keep him going. He is still very small.

How is his diet? Does he drink enough? Has GP checked his Hb (blood)? Does he eat enough iron rich food?

Morloth Wed 22-Oct-08 16:30:50

Hell sometimes I need an afternoon nap in order to be pleasant in the evening!

more Wed 22-Oct-08 16:33:57

I am not meaning to offend you, but is he getting enough fresh air?

My children can act very "tired" when they have been stuck in the house for too long, once they get outside they tend to perk right back up again.

BigBadMouseInHauntedHouse Wed 22-Oct-08 16:35:10

My DD1 (4.5) needs a lot of sleep (I'm dreading ft school starting in January).

I honestly think there is only one way forward and that is what your DH suggests. We have 3 DCs and I have to firm with them all (albeit DS is too young for that sort of thong right now) or they run rings around me. It is not possible to tell if tiredness (or illness) is causing the problem - you'll spend so much time and effort trying to work it out that you'll probably just give in regardless - or it will be too late to deal with the situation effectively. I think it is unfair to have different standards for different DCs unless there is a very good reason - I suspect some of the bad behaviour is because he knows he can get away with it.

If DD1 starts playing up I ask if she is tired. Often she says yes so I send her for a nap, if she says no she has to behave or she gets sent for a nap. With the latter when I make her go for nap I always say 'I think you're tired, up you go for a nap' always unconfrontational and never as a punishment IYSWIM. Sometimes I have to carry her kicking and screaming up the stairs other times she'll go on her own. She is allowed back down when she has 'had a rest and can behave properly' - that might be 5 mins or 2 hours. Every child is different but maybe you could adapt this for your DS if you feel you need to.

In short I'd lay down some ground rules, tell him what is going to change so he understands what is expected of him and what will happen if he doesn't comply then stick to your guns. He'll get a lot worse to start off with but chances are he'll be more settled when he realises the rules are set in stone. I think that changing the rules for different situations will just confuse him and make his tantrums worse - especially if he is already tired.

Sounds like you are doing a fab job with the compromise over shoes etc.

Pitchounette Wed 22-Oct-08 16:35:16

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Notquitegrownup Wed 22-Oct-08 16:35:31

I do sympathise. Ds2 is a lively little soul at 6am, but goes through phases of being very very tired. He goes pale, lethargic, cries easily and we have to treat him as you describe lots of reassurance, not expecting him to make many decisions etc.

It must be very worrying for you if your ds is like this for most of the day. Do you insist on him having a sleep/down time at regular intervals? My ds1 was always good at sleeping, or snuggling up if tired, but I do find that I have to organise ds2s downtime for him much more, to prevent him becoming overtired.

BloodRedTulips Wed 22-Oct-08 16:36:22

well my 2 went to bed at 7 last night and had to be dragged out at almost 9 thgis morning as i had to get them up for playschool and are so tired now that if they don't doze on the couch i'm putting them to bed at 6.

yesterday they didn't wake til 8.30 and both slept on the couch in the afternoon for an hour.

they're 2 and almost 4, they simply need tonnes of sleep.

so if your ds only sleeps 11/12 hours a night then i would imagine he's tired as he's not getting enough sleep hmm

as for behaviour, you simply can't allow a child to behave badly on the grounds of being sick/tired/differant, the rules shoudl be there for a reason, ie; safety or respect for others and leniancy because he's tired is absolute nonsense.

when dd acts up because she's obviously tired she gets tucked into bed and told to come down when she feels better, she either dozes off or lies down for a while and comes down to cuddle me... and this is a child who wets herself if we try to put her in a time out!

Pitchounette Wed 22-Oct-08 16:36:44

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bundle Wed 22-Oct-08 16:39:55

that's interesting, those kind of signs could mean lots of things, though, no? (but have been "labelled" tired)

my dd2 didn't "need" a sleep during the day soon after she was 2 - and kicked up merry hell if we tried to get her to. but she wasn't as "bouncy" as she would have been with a nap previously so I probably had a bit of quiet time with her.

It's totally normal for a child to not be able to verbalise why they feel grumpy/tired/tearful - emotions are powerful, complex things which lots of adults can't explain either!

what kind of doctors have you seen about your son?

Morloth Wed 22-Oct-08 16:41:04

hmm the paleness and the lying down make me wonder about an iron deficiency. Maybe get that checked - up his meat intake a little, perhaps some vitamins.

Pitchounette Wed 22-Oct-08 16:42:52

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Morloth Wed 22-Oct-08 16:43:34

This may get me flamed, but I tend to think of my son (hehe and sometimes my husband) as a bit like a dog. Lots of fresh air, exercise, red meat and plenty of sleep along with strong discipline (not so much for the husband ) make for a contented and happy home.

Pitchounette Wed 22-Oct-08 16:44:16

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Morloth Wed 22-Oct-08 16:45:09

The thing is, the only thing I can think of to tell you when you ask how to handle him when he is too tired is to make him NOT tired if you get my drift.

Pitchounette Wed 22-Oct-08 16:47:29

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Pitchounette Wed 22-Oct-08 16:48:27

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