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Should I say something?

My friend has been struggling with her husbands recent deployment, and it's taking its toll. She can't sleep at night. The problem is, she's keeping her 4 year old up until 3,4,5 in the morning. They wind up sleeping until about 3 in the afternoon every day.

That's SO bad for him. We've invited her out several times to different events- birthday parties, the beach, the pumpkin patch, the fair.... all day events that we usually start in the mornings, around say 9 or 10, and she's not AWAKE to take her son out and enjoy them.

I don't know if I should say anything to her. I already told her that it makes me sad for her son that he misses out on all the fun stuff cuz he sleeps all day, but she said "we still do stuff. If I really had to, I could get him up...". But she doesn't. It's not healthy. And he starts school next year, what is she gonna do then?

She gets really defensive and pissy when I mention it.


Asked by livn4hevn at 5:13 PM on Oct. 11, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 11 (622 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • It sounds to me as though she may be depressed. I went through a period where i couldn't fall asleep and when I did i couldn't stay asleep. I had some issues going on in my life at the time. Long story short my doctor mentioned i could be depressed and put me on a mild mediation. It helped and I didn't need it anymore after my life situation was over.

    The point of my story is: maybe she doesn't realize she could be depressed. Maybe talk to her saying something like: "I know it must be hard for you with your husband deployed. With not sleeping at night and sleeping in late maybe his deployment if affecting you more than you think. Talk to your doctor and maybe they can help." Maybe she just needs a professional to point it out to her.

    Answer by angiewith2 at 5:29 PM on Oct. 11, 2009

  • I don't see the problem.  Is this YOUR kid she's got on a different schedule?  I would mind my own business in this situation.  I can see why she's getting pissed off about it.  What you see as being "wrong" doesn't actually MAKE it wrong.  And each parent is different. 


    Answer by Katrina3016 at 5:17 PM on Oct. 11, 2009

  • ya but altering a child's natural rythms, esp when they are growing, is bad for the child's health. Not to mention she and her son are missing out on LIFE because they're sleeping all day. It's not a HEALTHY sleep pattern. And sleep is just as important for development as eating healthy, getting exercise, etc.

    Not to mention its offensive when she regularly makes plans with me and cancels them, or shows up several hours late, because she couldn't get up in time.

    Its sad for her son, because he can't even play with his friends or get out and DO anything. He's stuck in the house and hardly sees sunlight.

    Answer by livn4hevn at 5:26 PM on Oct. 11, 2009

  • I'd probably get defensive too. If she were keeping him up all night and then waking him up after only a couple hours of sleep so they could do things then maybe I could agree that there was something to worry about, but it sounds like he's getting plenty of sleep...just not when *you* think he should. Not getting enough sleep is unhealthy. Sleeping DIFFERENT hours than other people isn't. If this is a drastically different pattern for her than normal, I might express concern for HER. I might ask her if she's talked to her Dr. about not being able to sleep, but I would not butt in otherwise. She's not actually harming or neglecting her son, so no matter how much it bugs you I would suggest letting that go. If you bring it up, you may just end up pushing her away at a time when she needs a friend the most.

    Answer by jessradtke at 5:52 PM on Oct. 11, 2009

  • I would suggest that instead of telling your friend why you are right and she is wrong --because I've yet to meet a single human who appreciates that kind of judgment from anyone-- you would be more helpful offering a meal, a visit to help out around her house for an afternoon, or a shoulder to cry on when she's lonely.

    She's avoiding going to bed alone, because it hurts. She is awake with her lad while he's awake and asleep when he's sleeping --it might not be the best routine in the world, and it's probably not helping her, really... but criticising her will only get you pushed away, too.

    Do you think she's not critical enough of herself, that you need to add to it?

    Answer by LindaClement at 6:24 PM on Oct. 11, 2009

  • I think I'm not being MEAN when I say something... I think no one likes to hear the truth... especially when they KNOW that it's the truth....

    Example: I told her "awe I'm bummed you guys couldn't make it to the pumpkin patch today. J would've had fun!"

    She immediately got defensive and said "well we do stuff. it's not like we don't do stuff."

    To me its the kind of thing that someone NEEDS to make her take seriously. Whether SHE is the one that needs to change, or needs to get help or w/e... SOMEONE needs to help her realize how bad this really is. If no one says anything, she'll keep on doing it. I know this because she had an alcohol problem for damn near a year before anyone got up the "guts" to tell her she had a problem. When we did, she got help. Until someone actually says something to her (it doesn't have to be mean or critical... just saying something) she doesn't realize what she's doing.

    Answer by livn4hevn at 7:01 PM on Oct. 11, 2009

  • YOU ARE THE WRONG ONE HERE. Give her support but don't be critical of her. Give the poor woman a break.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:40 PM on Oct. 11, 2009

  • Sounds like a child protection issue. She is neglecting the child's needs. She should put the child in daycare or find a babysitter so she can sleep and her child's life will be supervised. If she won't do anything, it would be a mandated reporting issue. If they talk to her, she'd have to do something about it. You are right, it isn't healthy physically or emotionally. Human Services take reports annonymously. I'd consider it. They'd get the mom some help and support too. Sounds like she needs it.

    Answer by Lifes-A-Dance at 8:24 PM on Oct. 11, 2009

  • That's not unhealthy just unusual. I mean it would be unhealthy to not let the kid sleep. As long as he is getting sleep and food and is having fun with his mom what is the problem. So what if he can't go do those things. It is not going to harm him not to go. Each family deals with deployment differently, this is her way and it is working. Keep inviting her but support her, don't bring her down. Maybe offer to have them over in the evening for dinner maybe. The kids could play and you to could talk. That would be more of help and then if she needed someone then she would feel like she had a friend. I know when my hubby is deployed I stay up late, but my oldest is in school, so we have to wake up early. She will work it out when her hubby comes home. Support her, don't criticize her.


    Answer by DevilInPigtails at 8:50 PM on Oct. 11, 2009

  • okay well obviously there's not a single woman on here who realizes that human beings are NOT nocturnal creatures. Meaning, it is healthy and natural to sleep during the night, and be awake and active during the day.

    By reversing this cycle, especially in a small child, you are causing long term sleep issues, stunts in development and mental health, as well as effecting the child's energy and excercise levels.

    Children NEED to be up and active during the day. If it were okay to have a child up all night, the school systems would offer night classes for kingergaren!! They don't! because early to bed, early to rise is healthy. It's natural.

    Late nights and late mornings are not okay. Especially on a regular basis. The woman needs to understand the long term effects of her depression. She needs help, her child needs sleep. Be kind, but be direct. This needs to stop.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:17 PM on Oct. 11, 2009