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Old 01-02-2013, 08:44 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by ge0rgette2 View Post
Yup, all of that

We don't have a door on her room as it's upstairs, she has curtains blocking her entrance way. It's sorta the attic with heat :D Sounds odd to some, I'm sure, but there is not doorway, it's just stairs to an attic.
This would bother me a lot. Personally - I am a "sleep with the door closed" kind of a gal. Always have been. I simply do not sleep well if the door isn't closed.

The other thing that I would be concerned about - since this is an attic space. What happens if there is a fire. What is the escape plan if your DD is up in the bedroom? Is there another way out of the attic? Is there a smoke detector up there?

My sister has an attic/bedroom in their house. I find the concept a bit creepy, but I don't know if there is a good/dependable way for my miece to exit the house if there were a problem.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:49 PM   #47
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:38 PM   #48
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Do you have a pet (preferably a dog) that could sleep in the room with her? If not, could you borrow one ?

DS went through a stage like this, and we would put our Boston Terrier (who wouldn't hurt a fly, but DS didn't know that) in bed with DS, and tell him, "Don't worry the dog will protect you". He believed it, that's all that matters!

And I agree with the others who say that anxiety issues can be very real, and can grow/manifest in other ways, so it might be worth talking to her pediatrician or a counselor, as well....

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I shared a room with my sister, but when she went to girl scout camp my parents had our Boston Terrier protect me as well. I must say, Bostons are particularly good for this because of their short snout. They are loud breathers!
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:39 PM   #49
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I'm 100% for helping her through this in a loving and understanding way (no 'tough love' for me).

She's not conning you, she's not trying to push your buttons, the poor kid is simply scared. I recall being scared of going to sleep until I was about 14yo. I'd try so hard to keep my eyes open until I'd pass out. Sometimes my brother and I would sleep in our family room in our sleeping bags... I loved that. I loved the company and sleeping in the family room. For some reason, the openness of it felt safer to me.

I'd either do the cot or pile blankets on the floor to make it comfy if you don't want to invest in a cot. A cot could come in handy for years for sleepovers for her, or house guests. But again, piling blankets is probably just fine too.

I'd give her all the love and attention she needs right now (and forever... ). They're only little for a short time... I promise she'll outgrow this. Make sleeping the most comfortable for all of you... the most important thing is you all feel safe, comfortable and get good sleep.

Good luck!
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:15 PM   #50
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I remember going through this at about her age. I also had an "attic" bedroom and I didn't like being on a different floor. I worried that if there were burglars or a fire, that I would be left to my own defenses to figure out what to do. We happened to have a guest room on the second floor across from my parents room and inevitably I would find my way into that room in the middle of the night. At first they used to get mad and send me back to my room. Then I would sleep on the floor of their bedroom--finding my way there in the middle of the night as well. Eventually, my mother got sick of the whole thing and just let me sleep in the guest room for months on end.

The solution eventually was that I grew up a bit, but also realized that I could hear my parent's television and eventually my dad snoring through the floor. I recall listening for those noises in the middle of the night and finding them comforting.

Now my own dd10 has similar sleep issues. She is forever begging us to make sure we don't fall asleep until she does and will often ask if she can come in our room if she isn't asleep by midnight. Usually knowing she has this option, she usually falls asleep well before then.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:56 PM   #51
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Sorry all didn't see all these replies.


Tonight was a challenge. She had her walkie talkies, tv and iPod with her. She went to bed okay. We giggled etc on the walkies. She texted my hub who's working the night shift. She got emotional. It took almost 2 hours. She came down once to use the restroom.

I will not use toughness on her. I suffer from anxiety from other issues and its scary.

As for her room upstairs she has a ladder and smoke alarms. It's not really an attic. We have a 2 bedroom house. When she was little and a "surprise" we didn't have a room for her so I converted my dining room into her bedroom til she was 4 yo.. My son was up there. He is 21 and we made our finished basement a room for him and moved her up there as I needed my kitchen /dining room back..

I could move her back into my little 11x13 dining room. It's one open area to my kitchen. I had put up a sheet when she was little to my it a separate room.

My son wants the room back.

I'm going to speak to my husband. See how tonight goes with her.

I will ask the social worker at school to speak tonier too.

But I will NOT yell and scold her.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:58 PM   #52
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And yes. We've outgrown the house. Can't afford to move plus my husband is retiring early in abt 6 years then we are moving.

So for now ill hv to do something.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:10 PM   #53
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Okay, I don't get the big deal about kids sleeping on a separate floor. I slept on a separate floor from my parents, my kids sleep on a separate floor from us. Many houses are set up so that the master suite is on the 1st floor and the rest of the rooms are on the 2nd.

Really, there is a way to set limits and not feed into irrational behavior without scolding. By being firm and letting her sleep in her own room every night and seeing that you are still there in the morning would be one. You can acknowledge her feelings without feeding into her "anxiety."

Also, since your husband works so many jobs maybe this is her way of getting his attention. She was fine until she texted him. Maybe she feels the only way to see or get attention from her father is by being in his bed when he gets home. Maybe he needs to spend more time with her to reinforce more positive behavior.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:11 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by ge0rgette2 View Post
Sorry all didn't see all these replies.


Tonight was a challenge. She had her walkie talkies, tv and iPod with her. She went to bed okay. We giggled etc on the walkies. She texted my hub who's working the night shift. She got emotional. It took almost 2 hours. She came down once to use the restroom.

I will not use toughness on her. I suffer from anxiety from other issues and its scary.

As for her room upstairs she has a ladder and smoke alarms. It's not really an attic. We have a 2 bedroom house. When she was little and a "surprise" we didn't have a room for her so I converted my dining room into her bedroom til she was 4 yo.. My son was up there. He is 21 and we made our finished basement a room for him and moved her up there as I needed my kitchen /dining room back..

I could move her back into my little 11x13 dining room. It's one open area to my kitchen. I had put up a sheet when she was little to my it a separate room.

My son wants the room back.

I'm going to speak to my husband. See how tonight goes with her.

I will ask the social worker at school to speak tonier too.

But I will NOT yell and scold her.
I think there is a wide line between tough love and coddling. I definitely don't believe in tough love in this situation, but I am not sure I would approach this with ipods, TV shows, texting, and walkie talkies.

She needs to have a set bedtime and she needs to entertain herself if she doesn't want to sleep. If she wants to read, I'd allow that. I would not allow her a bunch of electronics that will just keep her up. I wouldn't play games, text, or watch TV with her once her bedtime has come.

I would have a safe spot for her to sleep where she feels the most comfortable. I would even let her sleep on my bedroom floor while I read in my bed until she falls asleep. However, the rule would be, no talking, texting, playing, etc. It is time to sleep. If she didn't want to follow that rule, I would leave the bedroom. While I believe this could easily be anxiety, she is also plenty old enough to learn to manipulate the situation when she isn't even suffering from anxiety on a particular night.

Of course, this is just the way I would handle it. I get that you may have another plan and that is fine. We will all have our own opinions on this and you have to do what you feel is best for your own child. Good luck!
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:20 AM   #55
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Is this a one-bedroom house, or is there another bedroom downstairs that you are using as an office or something? If the latter is the case, how about moving the office upstairs and giving her the actual other bedroom?
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Originally Posted by FlightlessDuck View Post
This may be drastic, but have you considered rearranging the rooms so both your room and her room are on the same floor? Is that even possible?


I would not be comfortable having my child on a seperate floor all alone!
I built an extension on the house when she was born on the total other side from my room and my daughter was not happy being on the other side of the house from my room. She would start out in there and by 1am she was climbing into my bed until she was about 10- then I moved her into the room that was empty and right next to mine- a REALLY small room like 8x8 (more like a big closet!)- her other room was 12x24- she was MUCH happier in there and stayed through the night in there 95% of the time- by 12 she never came into my room and now at 13 she is moving back into the bigger room, just got it painted a dark blue that she picked out, all new "adult" bedroom furniture and got rid of that tiny twin sized child bed and got her a full size bed she picked out.
Hopefully OP this will pass eventually but I would move her to your floor if at all possible! By the time she is a teen she will not be sleeping with you! I know as a kid no way in heck would I have slept upstairs in an attic on my own! We have 2 bedrooms upstairs in my house and they are never used- I wouldn't put my daughter up there and I wouldn't go up there and have her downstairs.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:25 AM   #56
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She survived, we overslept but she survived and is fine this morning, still alittle odd I think, but that could be lack of sleep.

She wasn't fine when my husband texted, but you might be right, a little positive enforcement could be a big key.

I have to set a bed time (as we overslept, I hit the alarm off, my bad)
maybe inch by inch no electronics, but she can read... we have the kindle and regular books so maybe reading is all she can use. I think night by night, I'll take more and more things away that she can't have until she's comfy? good? Or straight out of the bat with nothing..
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:43 AM   #57
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Our oldest son, who is now 40, had severe anxiety issues as a child that manifested with other issues besides sleep. He never had a problem going to bed but if he woke he could not go back to sleep. We put a blanket and pillow on the floor by our bed and he learned to just come in and curl up on the floor if he was having a problem. Probably 5 out of 7 nights we would find him on the floor.

We did this with his physicians blessing and for everyones sanity. He did outgrow it about 11 or so. He is perfectly fine as a adult and lives alone in a sprawling older home.

Personally I don't think tough love is the answer to real aniexty in a child. YMMV but a child really needs to feel secure in their own environment in order to cope in other situations. None of our other children ever had sleep issues but his personality as a child was different from the rest. He was born to worry and was very sensitive.

Best of luck whatever you decide.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:50 AM   #58
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to sleep in her own bed.

This has been an ongoing thing with my 9yo. She's scared to be in her room by herself to go to sleep.
She had her own room upstairs and she's the only one on that floor.
We are right underneath her downstairs.

It's a horrible struggle every night for years now. She's not scared of ghosts, etc.. Says we won't be here when she wakes up. She's better since we've explained we are here every morning.
We've bought walkie talkie's to she can hear us, we bribed her LOL with anything we could think of.

Any suggestions? We are at our wits end.

I was just seeing about investing a cot so she can sleep next to us in our room but out of our bed... then we'd show her that we will be here when she wakes.

Haven't read all the threads. We went through this a few years ago. Ended up going to a Child Psychologist. The had her draw her dreams and taught her coping techniques for her anxiety. They also suggested no news for children. They just don't know how to process the information. Child Psychologist said there was no reason for the news to be on with children in the room. It's okay for parents to explain in a manner children can understand but that is not what the news does and it overwhelms them. The psychologist instructed us to not allow her to sleep with us as it was only prolonging the issue and not giving her the needed coping skills. She also instructed no tv 1 hour before bed time so her brain has the time to wind down and get her ready for sleep.

They also gave us a book to read regarding anxiety in children. Until you have been through it, it is very hard to understand. Sometimes parents need to change their behaviors as well. For example, my SiL won't let my DNie8 ride her bike around their very safe neighborhood for the fear that someone might take her. Wonder why she has problems sleeping????

Good luck, I know it's not easy but there is help out there. I know all children are different. I hope you find something that works for your DD so you can all get your sanity back.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:04 AM   #59
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My step DD(15) has really bad anxiety and we have had a hard time getting her to sleep. She started about 2 years ago. Her major fear is that someone is going to come in and kidnap her and no one will hear her or that something will happen to her mom or I. If we aren't home when she goes to bed, she will not go to sleep as she makes up stories in her head that something has happened to us. When she is with her mom, her step dad works so her mom lets her sleep in the bed with her. When she is with us, I have to make sure she goes to bed before me and falls asleep otherwise I will be up with her having a bad anxiety attack. She absolutely cannot be the last one asleep as this makes the anxiety 10x worse. She went to a psychologist which kind of helped. He said she has some abandonment issues so we we have to really reassure her we will be there for her and will never leave her. (We don't know where the abandonment issues came from as my DH and her mom divorced when she was 2 and both her step dad and I came into the picture when they were 3 and 4.) At our house she shares a room with her sister so she isn't alone but she is just terrified something bad will happen to us. The psychologist told her that when she has bad thoughts coming on to think of a color and close her eyes and really focus on the color. Sometimes this work and other times it doesn't. He also said that if she wakes up in the middle of the night and can't fall back to sleep to get up and go to the bathroom. This has backfired on us because she now panicks when we go camping and there isn't a bathroom close. I do think that it makes it worse that her mom allows her to sleep in the bed every night with her.

What has worked for us is letting the dogs sleep in her room, making sure her bed is not by any windows and making sure she is asleep before we turn in for the night. She has to have light noise, so we keep a fan on. I just make a special effort to always be home at least an hour before bedtime so we can have our calm down time together to relax. We have eliminated most of the sugar out of her diet and she cannot have any caffeine at all. She has also discovered that when she wakes up in the middle of the night, if she has her ipod she listens to a few songs and can relax and fall back asleep. At our house, she is getting much better and we have had less of the bad anxiety attacks.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:35 AM   #60
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I hear you on the sleep issues. My dd is going through something similar, and it really can be heartbreaking because you hate to see your child suffer. Hang in there OP and know that your not alone.
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