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8 year old that freaks out when it comes to bedtime!!!!

I am one of the many parents that has allowed my child to sleep on and off with me since birth. Over the past couple of years, I have been working on getting him to sleep in his own room and it continues to be a struggle. I have done all of the stuff that you would think would help, new room, new bedding, new toys, money, etc. He wants me. He started sleeping in his room for about 2 months and then it happened again. Many nights it turns into an argument or screaming match. I am so worried. He always wants me to make sure I promise that I come back in and check on him, which I do, but doesn't seem to be good enough. Last night was the first time that he said some things that really got me concerned. We re-did his room and made it really cool. He likes it a lot. We made a promise to each other that if I slept with him the first night, he would (pinky swear) sleep the next night on his own. Welllllll......that didn't happen.

So we let him go down to a spare bedroom that I sometimes use when my husband is doing to whole snoring thing. He likes this because it is closer to me. When I told him that I wasn't sleeping with him he started crying and losing it. I reassured him, calmly talked to him, but it still didn't work. About an hour later, I of course, got mad. I yelled at him and told him to go to sleep. He started screaming back that he was an "awful child, and that he didn't listen to us and that he was the worst kid in the world". "Why would we want him since he is so bad". He then continued on about how he was bad for not listening and that he should get into trouble, etc. WHAT!! He kept saying this for about 15 minutes. I calmly talked to him and got him settled down, but why would a child of this age think this?

I have never heard this from anyone that I know and especially from a little boy who has a heart of gold. He is so loving, so sweet, always wants to please anyone. We hardly ever have to raise our voices to him. I am very, very, worried. I don't want this to be traumatic on him now or when he gets older.

BUT ......he can spend the night with friends and not have a problem. He goes to school or places with other people than me all the time. It is just the bedtime ritual when he is at home. He cannot go to sleep without me or sometimes without his father.

PLEASE HELP ME!!!!

 
stuff4mee

Asked by stuff4mee at 1:02 PM on Jan. 19, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 3 (23 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • since you wouldn't give him the positive attention he was asking for, he was asking for negative attention. He was trying to get it any way he can. I would take him to some counseling. Sounds like it might be seperation anxiety.
    usdragonflies

    Answer by usdragonflies at 1:05 PM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • Thank you
    stuff4mee

    Comment by stuff4mee (original poster) at 1:10 PM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • Wean him away from you but you need some gimicks to lure him to his room. Set the room up for his liking to get him comfortable, make it user friendly, and find options on how he is dressing to get him up to a.m. ready time for school. Vary some of his activities so he is distracted from just being spoiled in the family night setting. Keep lots of interesting books, and things to do his age level. Try not to give into the-- " I need a drink, I need a cookie'' -- routine
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:11 PM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • anon did you even read the post? She made a deal with him and decorated to his liking already.

    Kids with seperation anxiety that go with out help will sometimes hurt themselves to get attention. This can be very serious if thats what the problem is. He needs help asap just to be on the safe side.
    usdragonflies

    Answer by usdragonflies at 1:13 PM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • If he HAS to be with you, could you put him in the same room, but in a sleeping bag on the floor? After a week, the sleeping bag goes into the hall with the door open, and another week later, the door is only cracked.

    Of course he'll be uncomfortable on the floor, but that's the idea... to make it uncomfortable to sleep with mom and dad.

    Also, try to implement another bedtime routine that you can stick to as a family, like a bedtime chapter of a story, or a bath followed by a backrub once he's in bed. A nice routine with mom and dad at bedtime might make him look forward to actually going into his own room.
    GoodyBrook

    Answer by GoodyBrook at 1:14 PM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • be firm and you have to deal with it. Not fun, but you must.
    chefjen

    Answer by chefjen at 1:14 PM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • maybe if you got him a cd player and some sleepy music for his room it would help to calm him down and give his mind somewhere else to go?
    usdragonflies

    Answer by usdragonflies at 1:17 PM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • Sorry , you did write that you tried many things I'd suggested, ( I read it fast ) So is he ok with other nights over in their homes, than just have some of those kids at your home. Maybe more often? Does he like to cook/ experiment in the kitchen? Can he bake little cakes or learn something new in that way?
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:19 PM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • Thank you all for your comments. He states that he just needs someone there with him, but when we try having him sleep with his older brother, he continuously wants me.  Though I have tried most all of them, the one that I am most worried about is the Sleep Onset Anxiety. I am not sure that this is what it is fully.  He sleeps others places fine, doesn't fear school or being with others in public places, just not being able to sleep with me when I am at home.  When I am out of town for business, which is hardly ever, once a year, he is compulsively crying the first night and then the next night he is fine.


    I believe we are going to have to seek a doctor.

    stuff4mee

    Comment by stuff4mee (original poster) at 1:37 PM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • If he can go to friends house and sleep over and not have a problem, it doesn't seem like a seperation isssue. It seems more like he knows how to get to you to get what he wants. I agree with the counseling because I think that you probably need the reasurance that it isn't anything serious. I have a friend who also had her dd sleep with her and said "when she is ready she will go to her own room" that hasn't happened yet and she is 8 too. But this girl can go (leave her mom) and stay any where else with no issues.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:08 PM on Jan. 19, 2011