Posting in sleep too as more a sleep issue than a step parenting one, but wondered if any other step parents have similar probs. Problem is dss5 and his early rising! No matter what time he goes to bed, he is up a few times in the night calling for dad, DP then has to get into bed with him till he drops off again. Then from about 5.30-6ish, dss5 is awake, loudly, and ready to go for the day. This would be fine but he shares a room with my ds4 who often gets woken by him, but who when he is on his own is a rigid 7-7 sleeper. DP does his best to sneak dss out and downstairs when he wakes early, but always manages to wake everyone! Then we end up with tired, grumpy kids for the weekend and parents who are ready for bed shortly after they are! (luckily my dd2 is in her own room and somehow sleeps through it all!)
Any advice on how to deal with this? I'm fed up of grumpy tired weekends.....
We have similar probs here, as dsd (6) gets up at 5 at her mums, and goes down and puts the tv on - here she gets told to go back to sleep and luckily now she mostly does. Could you move you ds in with your daughter for a few weeks whilst you sort it? Is dss always an early riser? Could you dispatch him down stairs so he doesn't disturb ds?
An obvious one that you've probably already tried but about a gro-clock? A more specifically; a gro-clock with consequences
DS5 would love to get up with the birds but he has a gro-clock, if gets up before the sun shines, he doesn't get his morning hot chocolate. I didn't think it would work but it does. He lies there quietly until the 'sun comes out' (I have no idea for how long - he may well still be waking at 5 but I don't think so) and then hollers "Mummy, please can I have my hot chocolate now"?! We set it for 6:50am.
Why is he waking up during the night and calling for his dad? I think that needs sorting first if possible.
If he's having nightmares/night terror or bed wetting then it's understandable. If not then he needs to be told he must stop doing it. By the age of 5 he is old enough to understand consequences. There's absolutely no way I'd put up with that - it must be exhausting for you all!
Secondly, a groclock or similar sounds a good idea. Or can he tell the time? He's getting up early cause he's being allowed to so you (or your DH) need to ensure he knows he isn't allowed to and there will be consequences if he does.
You can't really stop a child from waking early especially if they spend most nights at a different home. But you can teach a 5 year old not to wake everyone else when they do wake. Could you let him make his own way downstairs and switch the telly on for an hour or so? Maybe leave him something to eat that he can get himself (fruit or bread roll) if he'd otherwise be waking you to get him breakfast.
Agree that he shouldn't be waking your DP several times a night. Again you can't stop him finding himself awake sometimes in the night but he can be taught to settle himself back to sleep if he does. A teddy, nightlight, or audio book (and headphones) may help him to get back to sleep.
Thanks, I agree with all of you! Unfortunately dss has a few special needs already statemented before starting school. He doesn't know what "quiet" is or how to not disturb others! DP and I have only been living together 6 months and before that he and DSS shared a bedroom when he had him every weekend, so I guess this is why he wakes and expects him to be there. My DS has a nightlight on a timer in his room and he never gets up till it comes on, so kind of like a cheap version of a gro clock!
That sounds hard. Could you put your DS in with y your DD when DSS stays so they all sleep better? Yes I would guess DSS is possibly still expectationg his dad to be nearby like he used to be. My DD took at least six months after we moved in with DP and kids to get used to sleeping in her new room. She woke me most nights at first wanting to get in the bed with me like she used to do when I was a single parent. I had to get up every time and try and get her to settle in her own bed which is very hard when you're tried. But she did get better and learned not to wake us every time. She was a bit older than your DSS though and no SN. Can't recommend audio books enough to help kids settle themselves back to sleep.
Thanks purple, sounds like you've been in similar situation in part. It is hard as new house for all 3 kids, but my 2 have settled in fine. Unfortunately no room in dds room for DS, it's tiny! Might suggest audio books to DP though, thanks. X
If dss has an and is in a new house with new people and new routines then it is totally understandable him being unsettled and a nightmare sleeper! Ime time is the only thing that will cure it (and perhaps invest in blackout blinds)
Does he understand rewards? If so I would try implementing something along lines of a reward for every time he comes in to your room quietly to get daddy when he wakes up rather than shouting for him.
I would ask his Dm if she is having similar issues at home and of not see what is being done differently there and try and maintain some semblance of routine between the two homes.
It may be a fear of the dark/needing the loo in the night and being unsure where it is in a new house. Maybe get him a torch or leave a light on in bathroom or on landing to guide him til he settles especially if it's not the home he spends most time in iyswim
The Gro-clock sounds an excellent idea. My DP has put up with similar for over 2years and we just had to go with it, as I was concerned my DD wouldn't come through if she was ill if we set her time limits. Now she is six, tells the time and can differentiate between want she wants and what she needs, she puts a DVD on until the time negotiated the night before.
Although she did blow a raspberry on my hand at 6.30 this am when I pretended to be asleep- not quite sorted yet!
I have 4 step kids and they all used to be up between 5 and 6 and weekends. My own ds used to sleep til 8 before we moved in. It was a shock!
It resolved itself here in time, the kids are all older and therefore lie in and dsd4 gets up 6.30 onwards but rarely disturbs me anyway as she has to use the downstairs bathroom in the morning so no slamming of upstairs bathroom doors like she used to in our old house.
No real suggestions, dp is an early riser and saw nothing wrong with it so wouldn't support me with any changes. But I do understand how draining it can be and you have my sympathy.
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