9yo petrified...

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by ge0rgette2, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. weeluvdisney

    weeluvdisney Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Messages:
    297
    We have been through this with all 3 of our kids over the years. Either a bad dream or something scared them that they wouldn't discuss. When they were little they would sleep in between us and if they were like 8 or older we would bring their mattress in our room and they would sleep on their mattress on our floor for the night. This never developed into a problem where they didn't want to go back to their own room. I would never be able to forgive myself if I didn't comfort them (not baby them) when they were scared. Heck my oldest is an adult and her room is on a different floor and sometimes she will sleep on her brothers floor if there is a storm. I don't even sleep good when my husband is out of town...how could I fault my child for being scared. Most recently my youngest son slept in our room and his brother's for 4 nights after seeing the Sandy Hook school shootings on the news. It's your decision but I agree about putting her back in the dining room for a few more years. I bet it makes all the difference for all of you. Best wishes!
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. badblackpug

    badblackpug <font color=blue>If you knew her you would be shoc

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Messages:
    4,089
    Honestly, most pediatricians don't recommend electronics at bed time. They tend to be energizing. Just think, how many times have you got on the computer and started messing around and not realized how late it is? Also it is recommended that kids don't have a TV in their room. I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but when my older kids had TVs in their rooms I can't tell you how many times I woke up to find them watching way too late.

    Honestly, like a younger child I would have a set time, about an hour before bed time to put away electronics. My 15 year old has to leave her phone off and downstairs to charge, and would focus on calming relaxing activities. Reading, journal writing, etc.

    I, honestly, think your husband needs to spend more time with her. If I recall he works 3 jobs. It seems from last night's post that she was fine until she spoke with him. Maybe it's his absence that she is having difficulty with.

    You can certainly acknowledge her feelings without feeding into her anxiety and irrational fears. By going to great lengths to soothe these "fears" you are subtly reinforcing them.

    Really, by 9 my kids were putting themselves to bed. They would take their shower then come say goodnight and go to bed.
     
  4. ilovedisney1982

    ilovedisney1982 Loving Disney Every Day!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Messages:
    164
    This is a very common problem. You can't give in to her fear. That will give her the mentality that she can get anything she wants as long as she acts scared. You can do the "chair technique". Every night, you sit in the chair until DD falls asleep. But as the nights go on, you gradually move the chair further and further from her bed until you're sitting by the door. Once your by the door, then you know she is ready to sleep on her own. In the event that she doesn't want to sleep in her bed, you can do a little trick I learned. The first time she runs out of bed, you put her back in her bed and say "It's bedtime, sweetie.". The second time she gets out of bed you put her back in bed and firmly say "Bedtime.". The third time and beyond, you put her back in bed with no communication. If you are consistent with this, it works like a charm. It will be a bare the first few nights, but it will get her to sleep in her bed. Trust me, I speak from experience, it will be painful to hear her cry the first few nights. You will just want to go and hug her and tell her everything's alright. It won't be healthy if she is attached to you. This will help you have more comfortable nights and your daughter will feel more independent after she starts sleeping in her own bed. It will give her a sense of confidence and let her know mommy and daddy don't always have to be there for her to be safe. Stay strong! Oh, and if you want to take away the fear from your daughter even more, you can have a heart to heart chat. Ask her why she is scared and reassure her that everything will be okay. Maybe your daughter feels left out because she is the only one on the second floor. You can have a "living room camp out" maybe once a month. I love doing this with my family. We set up a tent in our living room, then watch a movie, eat smores I made in the microwave, and sleep in the tent. it's a lot of fun, and it makes the kids feel included and our family gets great bonding time. I sincerely hopes this helps, and if you need anything, just PM or email me. :) :hug:
     
  5. LisaR

    LisaR <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg>

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2000
    Messages:
    8,934
    It's my opinion that you have two separate problems:

    1. You have a child that has anxiety when it comes to sleeping alone. That is a very real problem and you need to make her comfortable to reduce her anxiety. Sleeping on the floor in your bedroom should solve that issue until she outgrows this problem.

    2. You have a child who is using her sleeping problem to manipulate you. There is no reason she should have/need all of this "stuff" before bed. TV, ipads, texting your DH and telling him how she isn't doing well, etc.

    This is where I would lay my foot down. If her bedtime is 9pm, I would say the following:
    New rule, honey. At 9pm every night, it becomes quiet time/sleep time. You may sleep on my bedroom floor, if you would like. You may sleep or you may read a book. That is all. Electronics are gone. You may not talk. It is now quiet time. I will lay in my bed and read or sleep. Again, we won't be talking. If you engage in conversation, I will leave the bedroom. If you continue to talk/come out of the bedroom, you will be punished the next day by losing electronics for the day.

    Of course, don't bother saying any of that unless you can stick to it. I truly believe she has a problem sleeping alone, but I think she is taking advantage of you by staying up for hours on end, playing electronics, and making every night a huge deal out of her sleep problems.
     
  6. badblackpug

    badblackpug <font color=blue>If you knew her you would be shoc

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Messages:
    4,089
    I don't have a problem with kids occasionally coming into your room at night, if they are sick, or had a bad dream, or there is a storm, or if there is a real life event that is frightening to them. My issue is with it happening every night.

    This is a 9 year old who doesn't want to sleep in her room every night. I think that is a little beyond the norm.

    Honestly I would just be firm about it. There is a lot of secondary gain here. Child gets extra attention. She gets to stay up later than her normal bedtime. She gets use of all sorts of electronics. She gets to sleep late. If any of you have ever had 9 year old girls you know they can key up the drama and whip themselves into a frenzy in no time. Especially if they are over tired.

    It is definitely possible to soothe your child's anxiety without feeding into irrational fears and drama and creating habits, such as sleeping in your bed, that you don't want to continue.

    I am assuming that either the OP or her husband doesn't want to sleep with her daughter, or it wouldn't be an issue. I think 9 is plenty old enough to understand that she needs to stay in her room. I think once she gets used to sleeping in her own room and realizes that her mom is still there when she wakes up, regardless of where she sleeps, this, too, shall pass.
     
  7. ChrizJen

    ChrizJen <font color=green>I am not a Koala Bear at the zoo

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Messages:
    4,651
    Our DD had sleep anxiety from the time she came to us at 19 months until just before her 5th birthday. We were ALWAYS miserable. Never got a decent night's sleep. We finally were referred to a sleep specialist because we were at our wits end!! :faint:

    The program she had us follow was strict and had to be done a certain way. It was a long process and it was not fun. But at that point we were willing to try anything.
    I don't remember the exact regimen, but it was something like this:
    She always slept in her bed. No exceptions. The other rule is that whichever parent starts the process has to be the one to follow through to the end. No taking turns.
    For the first week, DD's mattress was taken off the bed and placed on the floor and the parent would sleep on an air mattress (or a seperate mattress) pushed right up next to her mattress.
    The next week, her mattress was placed back on her bed, and the air mattress stayed on the floor nearby. Parent still sleeps in the room, but now a little further away.
    The third week, the air mattress is removed and replaced with a comfortable chair. You sit in the chair in silence while the child falls asleep. Then you leave and sleep in your own bed (finally! LOL).
    The next week, the chair is moved to the hall outside of the room (or you can sit on the stairs, or anyplace near the room where she knows you're there but cannot see you. You wait for her to fall asleep, and go downstairs.
    Then at last, you get to the point where you take her to bed and tell her it's time to sleep. You tuck her in and go downstairs.
    I NEVER in a million years thought it was going to work, and as I said, it was NOT fun. But it worked!
    It's very ritualistic, and there are other "rules". Like you say the same thing every night at bedtime. I think ours was "We are here, and we aren't going anywhere. We will keep you safe." Then it's a hug, tuck in, and no more talking or distractions. Any bedtime books or stories had to be read downstairs before going up. At bedtime, the bedroom is only for sleeping. Not talking or playing games or watching TV.
    Of course we had struggles whenever we transitioned into a new "phase", but we were always calm and explained to her that this was all to help her get better sleep at night. And of course before any new transition along the way, we would sit down and explain to her what the next "step" was. For example: "Tonight, I will sleep in my own room, but I'll sit in this chair until you fall asleep." Or, "I will still be here while you fall asleep. I will just be right outside your room."
    It felt like the process would NEVER end, and as I said, I questioned whether it would work. But in the end, it reassured her that we are there to keep her safe. It's been over a year and no problems since.
    She was quite a bit younger than your DD, but I would think that it's the same concept no matter how old or young the child is. She just needs that comforting reassurance that you're going to be there if she needs you.

    Sorry so long, but good luck OP! I hope you can get her sleeping again! I know how desparate a parent can be when it comes to sleep issues! pixiedust:

    ETA: Just to provide a little extra background, our DD does have genuine anxiety issues. She has PTSD and abandonment issues. So you can understand why I doubted that ANYTHING would help with her sleep anxiety! But this method really did work.
     
  8. ccgirl

    ccgirl DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,461
    I see some posters telling the OP the her DD is playing her. That may not be the case. Anxiety is beyond simply afraid to sleep. Using the "chair method" may work on a toddler and is, in fact, recommended by pediatricians but on a 9 year old with anxiety it probably won't work. This is from several trips to a child psychologist for my DD that had the same problem. The child psycholologist, obviously, was trained in dealing with children. You have to get to the root cause of your daughters anxiety and she has to be shown coping techniques to get through it. Could it be that she is "playing" you...maybe. Could it be that she truly has "anxiety"...maybe. I would suggest seeing a child psychologist so you can determine which it is.

    When you think of it, many people are on meds for anxiety because they can't handle the situations. Sitting in a chair next to someone with true anxiety telling them they will be okay most likely will not work.

    I will agree with those that say no electronics. As I mentioned previously, they are too stimulating and the child psychologist actually recommended no electronics for one hour before bed time.


    Good luck.
     
  9. shellybaxter

    shellybaxter Dis Veteran <br>Disney Restaurants for one hundre

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Messages:
    5,496
    If her issue is that she is afraid that you will be gone when she wakes up how about a video baby monitor, but with the "baby" side in your room. She could see you as she went to sleep and if she woke up in the middle of the night and be reassured that you were there. You could explain that you are always there and she can she that is true - they even have night vision on them so she could see you in the dark. Here is the link for one on amazon
    http://www.amazon.com/Infant-Optics...1357252378&sr=8-1&keywords=video+baby+monitor

    Just a thought

    Shelly
     
  10. ge0rgette2

    ge0rgette2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,061
    Thanks - I don't believe she's conning or manipulating me, I just don't.. She's very scared, it seems very very real ...

    She doesn't normally have anxiety issues, but then again, thinking on it, when she was about 2 yo and I'd leave the house, her brother and father would be home, she would cry and cry, thinking I'd never come back.

    She doesn't want to be left alone, she outgrew that, but never this 'bed issue'.

    I don't believe she's looking for positive attention from him.
     
  11. ge0rgette2

    ge0rgette2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,061
    I still feel 9 is too young to put herself to bed, shower and off to bed. Then again, that's your child, not mine. They are only little once, it's not like she's 14 or 15. But you did it your way and I'll have to find my own thing with her.

    :thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2

    I'm going to talk to her tonight... no electronics after a certain time, no talking, nothing..
     
  12. ge0rgette2

    ge0rgette2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,061
    Thanks!
     
  13. aprilgail2

    aprilgail2 Guest

    I agree- I can't imagine having my 9 year old shower and then put herself to bed- I would certainly have missed a lot of good bonding times with my daughter if we did that here! Not that mine stayed in bed at 9 but she started out in her bed, tucked her in, kisses, talking about last minute things before going to sleep. Certainly not shower and put yourself to bed!
     
  14. badblackpug

    badblackpug <font color=blue>If you knew her you would be shoc

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Messages:
    4,089
    You bond your way, I'll bond mine.

    BTW I also have 2 preschoolers that stay in their own beds on another floor all night long. I'm probably raising serial killers.
     
  15. goofyintoronto

    goofyintoronto I really wanted to like it, but I didnt.

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    10,065
    lmao!!!!!!!!!
     
  16. LisaR

    LisaR <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg>

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2000
    Messages:
    8,934
    In my opinion, there is a big difference between reading a story and/or having a conversation with your child, tucking them in, and kissing them goodnight, versus an all night event to get the child to sleep. This isn't an either or; coddling or tough love. There really is a lot of room in between. IMO, there isn't anything wrong with having some bonding moments with your child before bed, but when that becomes hours worth of time every night, and it is no longer fun but a source of frustration for the adults, something needs to change.
     
  17. ge0rgette2

    ge0rgette2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,061
    You are right. Hours I have no patience for but I dot want her to be scared either. Tonight was soooo much better bad talked no iPod or TV. She asked my older son to go with her to tuck her in. He did and turned the TV on. Told him turn it off. He did and she asked why. I told her why. Only thing she had tonight was the Walkie talkies. We talked a little. 15 min later I told her I was shutting mine off. She asked I she cld get out of bed for a doll. She did and went to sleep.

    I haven't heard from her. So ... Even though ppl suggested no electronics, tonight worked better.

    She also didnt need to speak to her father via text.

    Omy at serial killers :-)
     
  18. ge0rgette2

    ge0rgette2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,061
    Okay, so here I am, 4 nights in with her in her own bedroom.

    We did alway with the iPod and the television after night 2 and just kept the walkie talkie.

    3rd night -- she was fine, went to bed a little later than expected, she was still afraid, we talked and relaxed for a few min on the couch - she then went to bed as did i, walkie talkie came in handy -- about 20 min.

    4th night -- we talked for about 10 min and then told her I was shutting off the talkie, didn't hear boo from her.

    I reassured her every morning when she came down to go to school or this weekend with softball practice.

    So far so good, she actually asked if she could get an iTunes card after a month of sleeping in her bed... my husband made the mistake of telling her and friend one afternoon that he'd shave his head if she stayed a month in her bed... lmao, i think he will be getting that razor out shortly LOL :)
     
  19. abdmom

    abdmom DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,561
    Congratulations, Mom! :woohoo: And to Dad, oh well. :headache:
     
  20. ge0rgette2

    ge0rgette2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,061

Share This Page