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DD1 8yrs old and suddenly become a nightmare going top bed.

7 replies

mumgoingcrazy · 17/02/2013 21:45

I haven't been on this board before but it looks great. I hope you can help me out a bit.

Dd1 has just turned 8, she is very mature for her age. About 2 months ago my husband had norovirus and it totally freaked her out. Ever since she has worried about getting germs, becoming ill, tells me she has tummy ache everyday. It seems to be all she can think about.

During the day she's ok, she asks the odd question about it all, but is distracted enough for it not to be an issue. Going to bed however is a nightmare. She has always been a great sleeper, same routine which has never changed etc. she goes to bed, we read and talk etc and then she can have her light on for another half an hour to read to herself, after this though is when the panic sets in. Every night she tells me she has tummy ache, I give her no attention for this and she knows as she does it every night it's psychological and when she really is ill I won't believe her etc (done the cry wolf thing). I think she genuinely does feel it but at night everything is magnified.

I'm at a loss as to what to do next, we've talked and talked about it but all she wants me to do is to tell her she won't get sick which of course I can't because she might and the she'll think I'm a liar. Her lack of sleep is probably making her ill.

Sorry for the long post, but if anyone has anti advice I'd be very grateful.

OP posts:
mumgoingcrazy · 17/02/2013 21:47

Sorry, the predictive text made this sound ridiculous.

'Any' not anti advice!

Not 'top' bed either Blush

OP posts:
orangeandlemons · 17/02/2013 21:54

She probably does has tummy ache, it would be anxiety. Not sure ignoring it is the answer. Acknowledging it and discussing it might release some of the anxiety. Not in a dwelling on it kind of way, but allowing her to release some of her emotions might ease the anxiety and then the tummy ache.

orangeandlemons · 17/02/2013 21:54

It also sounds like she has health anxiety...or fear of being sick

mumgoingcrazy · 24/02/2013 15:38

Thanks for this, she definitely has a fear if being sick. We've talked and talked but it doesn't seem to help, the only thing she wants me to say is that she won't get sick, but of course I can't say that as she might. I don't know what else I can say.

I wondered if it was because she wanted some more attention so made sure I was giving her plenty, also she seemed happier if I was upstairs so have been going to bed myself really early. This has helped her a bit, she'll now go to sleep when I come up.

I'm still not sure what I can do to reduce her anxiety.

OP posts:
Mercedes · 26/02/2013 21:01

My DD between at that age went from being a fantastic sleeper to a total worried who was awake for hours and couldn't sleep. We had more problems at that age than we did with a baby. The haidron cylinder had just started and she ws worried that the world would be destroyed - she became worried about everything especially at night. It co-incided with a major break-up with her bf.

We tried all sorts of things which worked for a while and then we'r have to try new things. It will get better.

mumgoingcrazy · 27/02/2013 19:45

Thank you for this, what sort of things did you try? He long did it take?

We've made some headway the last few days as for the first time ever she now sleeps in our bed and dh is in hers. She now feels 'safe' and is sleeping much better. We've totally made a rod for our own backs but I feel sleeping is more of a priority than creating a bad habit, and figured she won't be 18 and still sleeping in my bed. The next step will be to transfer her back but ensuring she still feels safe!

OP posts:
Mercedes · 27/02/2013 23:30

hi mgg

we too ended up with my daughter in our bed - usually in the middle of the night with nightmares, sore tummies etc. we let her in and at some point in the night would say its too hot and ask her to go back to her own bed which she usually did - thank god as I couldn't sleep when she was in the bed.

in terms of coping strategies we returned to a structured routine at bedtime and re-introduced baths (rather than showers), bed earlier and increased the reading. we also tried;

talking books
soothing music
special pillows with lots of kisses on them
after she was in bed checked on her at agreed times initially 5 mins and then eventually when she got used to this every 30 mins. (this was the most successful)
talked through her fears

At night she hated us popping out to the bins and eventually we forced her to accept this even when she had kittens.
we also refused to let her fears grow by telling her when she started going on that there was a limit and if she wanted to worry about a new issue she had to drop a fear. I think she found this quite comforting as she hit our brick wall of NO MORE.

As her confidence grew we concentrated on this, her bravery and nothing happened.

It took us 18 months and we had to accept our previously very confident daughter changed and became very nervous but she outgrew it and we now use this period as proof that she can overcome things.

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