My 4yo DS has never been a great sleeper. He hardly ever napped as a baby and woke up several times a night until he turned 3. We tried everything to little avail and the extended sleep deprivation and stress of bedtime have left me in a depression and my relationship with DH strained.
For a very brief while, we seemed to have made some headway and I could get him to sleep by 7:30pm, but for the past several months it's been back to the power struggle. Now every night he just says he doesn't want to go to bed and we end up in an hourlong power struggle that is driving me crazy, and I don't feel I'm exaggerating.
I loath bedtime and am at the end of my tether.
Otherwise, he's a sweet boy, though we also have some aggressive behaviour like calling us stupid when he's told not to do something, occasionally hitting. We do not hit in our family and though I admit I yell a lot more than I would like to be doing, we generally have a pretty calm home.
I'm exhausted and so, so tired of fighting with him over bedtime. But I don't know what to do anymore. We've tried sticker charts (very short-term improvement) and threats (taking away a toy, telly time, etc but I hate doing this and I know it doesn't work.)
Maybe it will be better when he's in school full-time in the autumn, but I'm not sure my mental health can take that much longer.