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8 year old DD won't stay in bed

78 replies

tigercub50 · 24/04/2017 21:35

I know a lot of children go through phases of this but it's getting beyond a joke now & DH & I are getting snappy with each other. Tonight she came out at least half a dozen times which included deliberately wetting the bed ( we have been advised by DD's school counsellor not to get angry about this but I'm ashamed to say I ended up getting cross about the rest of it). DD is adopted so there may be attachment issues & I am going on a course about that soon. She didn't have any trauma as the foster carer took her from birth & we adopted her at 8 months but they do say the attachment problems can even start in the womb. Anyway, DH has gone to bed early thoroughly miserable & we need to sort something out. It may sound like we're overreacting but it's nearly every night & her behaviour generally is challenging so it's extra hard when we don't get an evening. I'm torn between exasperation & feeling sorry for her because she's obviously anxious & also guilty for getting cross. I also get upset when DH refers to her as a " little cow" ( this is not usual). This was when she was playing us off against each other & he had reached the end of his tether 😞. Any advice gratefully received

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tigercub50 · 25/04/2017 10:00


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PeaFaceMcgee · 25/04/2017 10:11

Tell me she doesn't hear your husband calling her names? Ignorant arsehole.

Allthewaves · 25/04/2017 10:13

Would she read in bed?

thethoughtfox · 25/04/2017 10:20

Why not let her sleep with you in your bed ? She won't be doing it forever. She is telling you what she needs.

user789653241 · 25/04/2017 10:20

What time does she goes to bed? Isn't it too early for her?
My ds has always slept shorter than average. If I sent him to bed too early, he keep going to the loo, wanting water, etc happens.
Now we allow him to stay up reading, he seems to go to sleep easily.

thethoughtfox · 25/04/2017 10:28

Other adopters will be able to give you better information but I'm sure that for traumatised children you may need to rebaby them and partner them again through the infant stage to help build strong attachments. Baby, her, co sleep, cuddle her, have her on your lap ( if she wants) stroke her her. Reset her. You are doing a wonderful thing.

PeaFaceMcgee · 25/04/2017 10:31

If she senses she's being shipped off to bed to get her out of the way so you can have 'your evening' - this is unlikely to help. I hope she doesn't feel an inconvenience.

tigercub50 · 25/04/2017 10:32

I was starting to think it might be too early but she starts to get really grotty & argumentative from about 6 so she usually goes to bed at 7. She loves reading & I always tell her she can read later if she can't sleep. She has an audiobook on so I did think perhaps she could be allowed to listen to that for longer if she stays in bed. She nearly always drops off before we go to bed so hasn't come in with us. As I said, the name calling was when DH was at the end of his tether & certainly not within DD's earshot. There has been a lot more going on behaviour wise & sometimes it just gets on top of us. He is a good Dad.

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tigercub50 · 25/04/2017 10:35

Also we haven't said anything like " It's Mummy & Daddy's time now" as we don't want her to feel she's in the way but equally it is very wearing 😞

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Lilicat1013 · 25/04/2017 10:35

With regard to bed wetting it might make life less stressful if you double make the bed. So you put on one set of sheets plus waterproof sheets and then another set on top.

I use <a class="break-all" href="//" rel="nofollow noindex" target="_blank">kylies and <a class="break-all" href="//" rel="nofollow noindex" target="_blank">mattress protectors together which works well. If you put on a mattress protector, then a normal sheet then the same again (plus kylie if required under the sheet) you can take off a layer and save you having to remake the bed.

That might help you feel less stressed when you deal with it, if she learns that is the behaviour that gets a reaction that will be the one she repeats. I hope that is some help, both my children are autistic so we deal with this sort of thing a lot.

tigercub50 · 25/04/2017 10:39

Thank you - we have 3 mattress protectors, 2 of which are fitted. What's the difference between one of those & a kylie?

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saoirse31 · 25/04/2017 10:39

Seems v early bedtime for an 8 yr old tbh. Would suggest trying to get her out to park, or for walk after tea, may help with sleeping.

Bedwetting deliberately, I'd treat as ordinary bedwetting.

WorraLiberty · 25/04/2017 10:39

That does sound very early.

What time does she get up in the morning?

Crispbutty · 25/04/2017 10:42

I agree that bedtime sounds far too early. She's not tired enough.

I was adopted at birth too and I really don't subscribe to the theory that adopted children need to be reset or that she will be traumatised. I truly don't.

Crispbutty · 25/04/2017 10:43

I mean children who have been adopted from birth.

WeiAnMeokEo · 25/04/2017 10:43

From a psychological perspective she has had trauma - being removed from her birth mother and then adopted at 8 months = 2 traumatic losses in infancy (losses in attachment theory lingo).

Agree with those above who are saying baby her again. Sleeping alone can be really scary, it sounds like she needs reassurance.

tigercub50 · 25/04/2017 10:43

She usually comes in to us at 7am, even when she hasn't settled until gone 9pm

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Introvertedbuthappy · 25/04/2017 10:43

7 is an extremely early bedtime for an 8 year old. My 8 year old goes to bed at half 8-9 (mainly as DS2 goes to bed at 7-half 7 so we can spend some 1-1 time with DS1). It probably feels like you just want her out the way.

Introvertedbuthappy · 25/04/2017 10:44

Yes, my DS1 gets up at 7 - they only need 10 hours of night sleep at this age.

tigercub50 · 25/04/2017 10:46

We have story (usually me) then my husband will go up after half an hour to turn the audiobook off & check DD is ok. He finds it difficult if he stays too long in the room because she will refuse to let him go & there has to be a point when he goes downstairs

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WorraLiberty · 25/04/2017 10:47

It's Spring. The sun is shining at 7pm and most people (children included) are still enjoying their day.

I would try a later bedtime to be honest and as a PP suggested, get her out for a walk around 6pm.

However, since you have posted many times about your marriage troubles and that she has witnessed a lot of shouting etc, between you and your DH, it could well be that she's stressed out and anxious - hence the bed wetting too.

user789653241 · 25/04/2017 10:48

Mine goes to bed 10 ish and reads until 11.(I know it's not normal!)
Still gets up fine at 7. Grin

SeekingSugar · 25/04/2017 10:50

My 9yo still gets into my bed and he is not adopted.

joannegrady90 · 25/04/2017 10:53

Hi op

I think 7 is too early for a bedtime.

My DD age 8 has a bath at 8 then bed by 8 30 she is usually asleep by 8.45.

She often says she's not tired and I just ignore her, she also used to stand at the top of the stairs. I simply told her to get back to bed, they were tears but I ignored her. Sounds tough but now bedtime is a breeze.

Obviously this may not be suitable at all for your DD but it's a thought .

Also does she have a bath every night? I found this helps and also a story.

Good luck!

PeaFaceMcgee · 25/04/2017 10:53

My 7 yo goes to bed at 8pm, reads til 9pm and drops off sometime after that. Wakes at 7am ish.

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