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Kids just won't sleep - I'm on my knees

23 replies

TiaMariaAndCoke · 16/09/2018 20:37

Two boys with just 18 months between them. They are 8 and 6.

I'm a LP in a 2-bed house and they're in bunks.

They just won't sleep. I like a quiet coffee and to collect my thoughts in the morning...
Generally between 5 and 6 is when I like to wake up.

But if they so much as hear a gnat fart one will wake up and immediately wake the other. Then, because they are still tired they just scream and physically fight.

Both days this weekend I have insisted both simply SIT on the couch. Both fell asleep both days within minutes.

Great. Except DS2 woke up both days and literally ran (once to back door, once across living room). -almost as though he thought he was missing out. He tends to sleep walk when over-tired. DS1 deliberately woke up DS2. And the fighting resumes ...

If we go any distance in the car... They fall asleep.

It's been like this for years. When I was still married and had a bigger house I used to literally sit in the hallway until 7:30am to send them back into their rooms when they tried to wake the other.

They're currently on a TV/playstation ban for this reason. Today they were supposed to just "roll over and go back to sleep until 8:30". Instead they were running around at 6:13. I got up at 6:00.

I am crotchety, furious and on my knees. Very likely to not see any replies until morning because I'm going to crawl into my bed. How can they not need more sleep than me? I'm broken.

They know if they wind the other one up it'll create drama - aka everyone is awake.

Sorry it's so long.

Anyway. What the hell can I do? How can I convince them to sleep without sticking them in separate rooms and bolting the doors from the outside? Grin

OP posts:
Aprilshowersnowastorm · 16/09/2018 20:41

Teach them how to make their own breakfast.Cereal +milk is easy!
If you get a lie in til x time they can have games console time.
If not they don't.
And mean it.
Ime handing out tough punishments and carrying through gets results.
Or my fav is cancelling week end activities because you are too tired to take them.

And mean it.

ThanksHunkyJesus · 16/09/2018 20:43

Rewards/ sticker chart for getting themselves up quietly in the morning and reading/ playing quietly and consequences for fighting and making too much noise?

TiaMariaAndCoke · 16/09/2018 20:43

They can do their own breakfast... And it's not the lie-in I need. More my quiet time in the morning (without having to get up at 3am to get it) and am worn down by their constant fighting because they themselves are so tired.

OP posts:
GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat · 16/09/2018 20:44

You need to get much stricter! How is an 8 year old still thinking waking up a sibling is appropriate? Are there any SN?

JennyOnAPlate · 16/09/2018 20:44

Some kids are just early risers op. It's tough but there's probably not much you can do about it apart from adjust your expectations. My 10 year old has never slept past 6am no matter what we've done to try and alter it.

aperolspritzplease · 16/09/2018 20:48

Dts are in bunks, early risers and wake each other up to. They are usually up by 6. Don't think anything will change that unfortunately. At the weekends they get up and go downstairs and watch tv / play until we go down.

TulipsInBloom1 · 16/09/2018 20:51

Do they have a clock in their room? If not get a cheap digital one. Gaffa tape over all the numbers apart from the hour one. Tell them if they wake they have to stay in bed til that number is 7.

What time do they go to bed?

LillianGish · 16/09/2018 20:51

I'd go for carrot rather than stick - tell them they can play on the playstation for X amount of time if they sleep in until X time. Give them something to aim for and a reason to do it.

MaybeDoctor · 16/09/2018 20:53

I think a lot of children are early risers and to be honest 6.13 isn't exceptionally early either - the problem is that it just doesn't suit the way you like to organise your mornings.

I think the only way to not wake them is to actually be quieter yourself in the morning - could you drink your coffee in bed from a thermos?

NoLeslie · 16/09/2018 20:54

Whats your room like? Is there any way one of them can sleep in with you, so they don't get the chance to wake each other? And if the one in your room wakes you will have to keep hissing Be Quiet but at least it might break their current habits? Good luck.

binkyblinky · 16/09/2018 21:02

I think that they are seeing Mum awake and following your example! Unfair of you really to make them stay in bed when they know you are awake. They don't understand the demands of parenting.

I use the evenings for my quiet time.

CleverQuacks · 16/09/2018 21:25

My boys both have a tablet and they are allowed to play quietly on it in bed when they wake up. This means I can then stay in bed til about 7 and it makes a huge difference to my mood.

mama17 · 16/09/2018 21:32

Maybe keep them up a little later, them grow clocks are really good and also a black out blind in each of their rooms? I really hope you get it sorted it must be exhausting x

JacNaylor · 16/09/2018 21:52

The thing is, you're up so it's unfair to treat it as punishable behaviour when they copy you. They don't appreciate your need for a quiet coffee and a read.
Could you set out their homework the night before and when they come down tell them that if they're up then it's time to start their homework. They may suddenly find that they want to go back to bed Grin

Littlefish · 16/09/2018 22:01

I agree with others that at 8 and 6, they are old enough to understand that it's just not on to wake each other up.

While you're engaging in that little piece of work though, could you put a fan in their room to act as white noise and mask the sounds which wake them up?

inmyfeelings · 16/09/2018 22:14

I was going to suggest a fan/ white noise and even black out blinds but white noise has been suggested . A combination of this works miracles in our house.

Thomlin · 16/09/2018 22:24

Why not show them how to set up their console (if they don't already know) and tell them they can play on it until you have to get out of bed for any reason. So quiet play = longer play. You can lie with your coffee and read, they also get their early rise and a reward for keeping quiet. My oldest is 8 and has been doing this for years. I'm a 5.30am riser but do love a coffee and chill in bed, she's about 6am so just gets herself up grabs something from the kitchen and sticks the telly on. Her sister is almost 4 and just now sleeps til 8am on weekends which is fine but if she wanted to get herself up it wouldn't be an issue.

BeautifulPossibilities · 16/09/2018 22:32

Can you get a bed for the living room for you and split them up in to different rooms?

bluetrampolines · 16/09/2018 22:37

Could you make a hot coffee in a decent thermos mug before you go to bed. Then when you wake up you can have your coffee without too much disturbance. Agree with the carrot on a stick idea. Also agree that if you are up you can't really send them to bed. I am on my own too and I try to get to bed earlier myself. Be kind to yourself. It's not easy coping with anything when you are tired.

MintySweets · 16/09/2018 22:47

White noise? So they don't hear you when you're up?

MrsMoastyToasty · 16/09/2018 22:54

How dark is their bedroom?
Can the bunks be separated so that one child moving about doesn't disturb the other (possibly swapping bedroom with you if there isn't space to do this in their room)?

JiltedJohnsJulie · 17/09/2018 07:30

What time are they going to bed @TiaMariaAndCoke? Like others have said, waking up at this time is fairly normal, my 14 yo has only just started sleeping a bit later. Waking up so early shouldn’t make them this tired though and I think it’s the poor behaviour resulting from tiredness that’s causing the issue.

Like others have said, I’d put a digital clock in their bedrooms and tell them they are to be quiet until it says 7. I also leave books and water for them so that they can have a drink and a read.

Also agree with telling them that if they are quiet until 7 am they get an hour’s Xbox.

It’s hard to expect them to stay in when you are up. Is there something else you could do to relax when you first get up rather than go downstairs and make coffee? Read, MN, meditate?

mrsoutnumbered · 17/09/2018 10:59

My 8 and 6 year olds share a bedroom. I've resigned myself to the fact that they keep each other awake (9pm) and wake each other up (6-6:30). I think it is just one of the pitfalls of having children share a room. I've explained to them not to wake each other up but they just can't seem to stop themselves 🤦🏻‍♀️ I know my 6 year old could definitely do with more sleep.

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