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DD aged 5 still up at 12am every night, PLEASE help!!

(6 Posts)
ellasmum1 Mon 05-Jan-09 00:08:30

My dd is 6 at end of feb and until aged 5 was great at going to bed and staying asleep.

We have always had the same routine,bath pjamas,story, bed. we put her to bed in her (very lovely) room with a little nightlight on at 8pm and when we leave the nightmare begins.
She keeps putting her light on and plying, loudly, in her room, so we go up over and over putting her back to bed.
She went into our room and woke up her baby brother (4 mths) 3 times tonight, and then laughed in our faces when we told her off.

Even ended up smacking her which I never usually do and she just laughed.sad.
We have tried various punishments like no tv etc but she didn't seem bothered, have taken overhead lightbulb out in evening, but this hasn't helped, have tried starchart type rewards but hasn't worked.Getting so angry,just don't understand why she does it.

She gives millions of excuses like too hot/itchy clothes/want water/ etc.
Anyone have any ideas / experience? Could it be related to ds sleeping in our room and her feeling left / pushed out somehow?

3littlefrogs Mon 05-Jan-09 00:22:25

She is jealous. She has had a long time as an only child, and 4 months isn't long to get used to a new sibling.

However, she is old enough to have a reasonable conversation about ground rules, and to verbalise her feelings.

Yes - of course she feels left out and pushed out. Perhaps you need to acknowledge that, and look for some ways to help her feel better.

She is using classic attention seeking behaviour. Are you sure you are rewarding good behaviour, and not just reacting to the bad?

I know it is hard work with a new baby, but it is even harder being a 6 year old coming to terms with her place as the focus of your love and attention being usurped (in her eyes)by the new baby.

Personally i don't think punishments work. They just increase the resentment. Communication, and consistant rules and expectations plus consistant rewards do work, but it takes time.

There must be some good books on this - maybe someone will come along and suggest some titles. My brain is not working very well ATM.

I do feel for you, it must be exhausting.

3littlefrogs Mon 05-Jan-09 00:25:07

I am off to bed now, but will look in again in the morning. Hope you have a better night.

3littlefrogs Mon 05-Jan-09 08:35:41

Have come back to this, hoping you got some sleep!

I have 3 children, so have some experience of sibling jealousy. IME, I think half the battle, with all child rearing issues, is to see the situation through the eyes of the child. Also, it is important to have realistic expectations of behaviour, based on the age and development of the child. I hope that makes sense.

Imagine, for a moment, that you have been married to your dh for 6 years. During that time he has loved, nurtured and cared for you.

Then, he brings home a new wife. She is younger, prettier and seems to be the centre of attention. How would you feel?

Sorry if that sounds preachy - it isn't meant to, I just think it helps to find solutions if you approach situations from the child's POV.

That is why I really don't think punishments like smacking etc are helpful. Your dd is jealous, she is trying to push the boundaries to get your attention, and looking for reassurance that she has not been "replaced".

Of course the baby needs lots of time and attention, but it is possible to show your dd that her life is fun and interesting, and how much you appreciate her, whereas being a baby is actually quite boring - babies can't run around and play, can't have interesting meals/read books/draw etc.

Does any of that make sense?

Maybe seeing it from her POV will help you to come up with some strategies.

You may find that she will regress quite a bit - this is normal.

Going back to school may be traumatic, (she will resent being "sent away" while ds stays at home with you) but OTOH she may at least be more tired!

ellasmum1 Mon 05-Jan-09 15:28:59

Thanks so much for replying, she went to sleep just after midnight(and we followed!). She slept through then and is fine today.She got up at 9am. Am hoping that going back to school will help as it will tire her out more.
It is hard to spend a good amount of quality time with her, as ds will not go down for sleeps, especially nighttime, without me. Dd is very fed up with dh putting her to bed every night because shes always preferred me doing it!
I will be going back to work 3 days a week till late so ds will have to get used to dh putting him to bed. I feel really torn in two at the moment!

3littlefrogs Mon 05-Jan-09 18:22:51

You know what? Ds will get used to dh putting him to bed, and it will probably work out just fine.

Everything is a phase and it will pass.

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