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What am I supposed to do?!

Over the last several weeks my 3 year old has started not sleeping at night. I wake her up around 7:15 am and she will sometimes skip nap time at day care and still not go to sleep until the wee hours of the morning. More recently she has started getting into major trouble at day care by not listening to her teachers, talking back, she won't stay in her seat...etc. At home she screams, yells throws tantrums, she hardly eats, she beats up on her sister....I swear I discipline my children....but something is not right with her. I am exhausted and sad because I don't know what else to do. I have made her a doctor's appointment to speak with her pediatrician about all of this. It has been mentioned to me that she may be ADHD. I'm not sure what to think about that. I don't know if it is something I am doing wrong or if something really is going on with her.

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Asked by MyLilClaireBear at 11:57 AM on Sep. 14, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 8 (244 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • ADHD can't truly be diagnosed until they are between 5 and 7 when they start attending a traditional classroom setting. I would talk to your pediatrician about what might possibly be wrong. All of the behavior issues could be happening b/c she isn't sleeping enough. A well rested child is normally a better behaved child. I wish you luck.

    Answer by coala at 11:59 AM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • I read up some on the whole ADHD thing, and I read where they don't normally diagnose until they are school aged. Thing is I called her pediatrician after the sleeplessness first started and she suggested that I try a low dosage of Melatonin. So I did. She sleeps good for about 4 hours and then she is wide awake again ready to go. Don't get me wrong there are a few nights where she sleeps all the way through the night but I know that is just not normal for a 3 year old.

    Comment by MyLilClaireBear (original poster) at 12:07 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • Working on getting her to sleep may solve many problems. Try music, teaching her relaxation techniques, deep breathing. Be creative. My grandson has trouble sleeping because of eczema and sometimes the only way he can fall asleep is being held. If by discipline you mean punish then that can be an issue. Punishment based parenting, authoritarian, is the least effective form of parenting and you can end up with kids that resent their parents and don't obey, they sneak, they hurt others, and they lie. If you are seeing these things it can be because of use of time outs, taking things away, hitting, and other punishments.


    Answer by Gailll at 12:08 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • she's not getting enough sleep. I'd see her Dr & see if he can give you any suggestions. Good luck!

    Answer by Ashlynnsmommy07 at 12:13 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • It has been my experience that 3 is way worse the the so called "terrible twos". At 3, they understand so much more, and they KNOW how to push your buttons and work the system.

    You need to send her to bed at 8pm and make sure that she knows that it is bedtime and that she must lay quietly in bed. That singing, playing, dancing, getting out of bed will not be tolerated. NO TOYS or BOOKS!!! in less then an hour she will fall asleep out of sheer boredom if nothing else.

    She is acting out at school and home because she is exhausted. ADHD is the single most over diagnosed "illness" out there. Parents use it as an excuse to let there kids run wild because it is easier then being a parent. She is testing you and you can not afford to fail this test. If you do, she will control you and the whole house.

    Answer by Maureen-MD at 12:14 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • I have a son with bipolar disorder and he showed his first symptoms when he was 2. He was diagnosed when he was 11 and is now 22. They now know young children can have bipolar disorder. Early onset bipolar is an horrible mental illness for the child and everyone in the family. I went back to graduate school and my doctoral minor was counseling psychology so I could help my son. One of the key features of bipolar is not sleeping. Here is some info


    Answer by Gailll at 12:16 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • My son has always had the most problems with mania. He would only sleep 3 hours for weeks. He thought he could do anything and not get hurt. He has had lots of stitches and several broken bones. Once when he was 2 I couldn't find him and he was hiding on top of the fridge! The flight of ideas can drive you crazy. I had to homeschool him, no way he could have gone to school. No way he could have coped with a day care center.

    I hope getting more sleep is all your daughter needs. If not ask for a referral to a pediatric psychiatrist (MD).


    Answer by Gailll at 12:25 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • Good luck

    Answer by sstepph at 3:27 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • Sleep deprivation can present in waketime as ADHD. If her behavior changes are recent and began when her sleep pattern(s) changed, then I would think that is the source of the problem.

    Does she have media in her room? A TV or handheld gizmo? If so, take that away.

    Answer by Radarma at 4:08 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • Talk to you pediatrican, and this could also be a phase. Hang in there and take it day by day and see if things get any better.

    Answer by KTMOM at 10:07 AM on Sep. 15, 2010

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