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7 year ol not sleeping in his own bed or not sleeping at all.

(3 Posts)
Kay2324 Mon 11-Jan-16 14:23:58

My 7 year old boy has always had trouble sleeping, he was not a sleepy baby i would be lucky if i got 30 mins of nap out of him in a day but he was happy and thats all that matters.
Now I am dreading bed time it use to be really nice he would go up when I asked and he would love to hear me read to him. I split up with my ex-husband about 7 months ago but before that he use to let my son come in to bed with us which when he was poorly was fine one of us would go and sleep in my sons bed but it started to get more and more. Then it started him being out down in our bed and then moved.
Once we had split up I tried to keep everything as normal as pos keep the bed time routine but it has become a fitting ground, he does not want to go to bed, he hides his ipad in his bedroom so when I leave he plays on it and then hids it again when I am coming back up the stairs to check on him. He throws things at me and will stay awake untill I either let him back in my bed or lie down with him in his bed this normal happens about 11:30 pm as I have run out of energy and I know he has school in the morning.
I have tried punishments like taking things away if he does Lie down and try to sleep. I have tried rewards too but nothing seems to work its just the same the next night.
I have even brought him a whole new bed room set and let him choose posters and things to put on the wall so he feels like its his own but this worked for two nights.
I am at my wits end I have no time for myself my evening are constant running up and down the stairs trying to fit in the house work and i would like to be in bed and asleep myself by 10 as I am up at 6 every morning for work.
He has said that he is worried that he will wake up and I will not be there so I have stopped leaving him with Family and a babysitter to go out so that when he does wake up I am there.
When he is with his father he goes to sleep really well none of this and my ex has spoken to him about it and if he really is playing me up I do call my ex to talk to him but I cant do that every night and i shouldnt have too. It feels like i am failling. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appricated.

FATEdestiny Wed 13-Jan-16 13:44:14

regarding the ipad (and any tech), do a 'tech check' before bedtime. You should know all items of tech in the house so ensure all are downstairs and in charge if needed. No hiding of the ipad if you know exactly where it is downstairs.

The rest, frankly, just needs a parental backbone.

I understand the last 7 months have been very hard for all of you and it is completely understandable that you will just take the path of least resistance, the easiest option to reduce any additional stress.

However now is the time to be strong. Both for yourself and for your son. Your 7 year old needs his Mum to be "Boss". He may test to see if you can and will maintain the role of taking charge. But for him wellbeing, he needs clear boundaries and rules. Bedtime falls entirely within the realms of ^clear boundaries and rules".

Set the rules. Then stick to them. He is old enough to cope with this as straight-forward as that.

M 6 year old goes to bed at 7.30pm and my 10 year old at 8.30 - so a 7 year old would aim for the start of bedtime routine at 7.30 (toilet, teeth, story etc) with bedtime around 7.45 and the expectation that (in time) he will be asleep by 8.00pm.

So to do this - you need to stay calm and stay consistent. Rapid return any time he gets out of bed. This involves quickly turning him around, stay calm, back to bed, say "nan night", close the door and leave. Expect to need to stay upstairs and repeat this lots and lots and lots of times for the first few nights. Until he 'gets it' and gives up to stay in bed.

He is old enough to possibly try manipulating in other ways. Once he learns that getting up is not having the desired effect of a reaction from you, he will try other ways to get your attention.

Ignore anything not dangerous (like shouting, screaming, pillow hitting) as long as is not harming anyone/anything. Deal with any issues that require intervention with minimal words and interaction. Importantly staying quiet and calm throughout. Just a chirpy "Nan night" (to show you are unaffected by his tantrums) when you leave the room.

It will be hard work for a week or so. Therefore pick your timing well and have support available if possible.

KingLooieCatz Thu 14-Jan-16 13:29:32

My 7yo DS also very difficult to get settled at night, so I know how hard it can be and the sense of dread that can overwhelm you, especially as you are dealing with this on your own.

Definitely get the tech out the way. We should all have a tech sundown thing as looking at screens in the hour or two before bedtime interferes with sleep.

Our DS quite often moves himself to our bed. Sometimes sticks his head around the door to tell us. I don't mind so long as he goes to sleep, it's not ideal but if it takes the battle out of bedtime, I'll live with it. My gut instinct is that the most important thing is not getting in the routine of fighting with each other at bed time and both of us getting stressed in anticipation of the fight. DH often out at work evenings, DS is still light enough for me to pick him up and move him to his own bed when I go to bed. He rarely wakes up when this happens. He's had phases of this and then goes back to settling okay in his own bed.

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