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Old 07-12-2008, 02:13 PM
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Thumbs down wont sleep by himself

my god i hope im on the right site. i suppose il get the hang of it. anyway i have a ten year old son and he has never slept by himself. yep you got it right i have to sleep with him. he says hes afraid on his own which i do believe b\c he wont even go to the toilet by himself. if i have to go downstairs for something when hes in bed he hides under the blanket. sometimes when hes in a deep sleep i go into my own bed. if he wakes up in the night he starts screaming for me never his dad. so know i dont even bother going into my own bed. you can only guess the strain that can be on me and his dad. has anybody any advise thanks
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Old 07-12-2008, 02:43 PM
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Sandrakelly, I want to officially welcome you to Family Corner. Be sure to hop over to the Introduce Yourself forum so that others may greet you.

Normally, I could give you some ideas that would be terrific, but that would take about 3 days to "cure" the problem. However, this doesn't sound like normal childhood sleeping battles. I would highly suggest that you seek out a psychologist that specializes in children. One who does cognitive/behavior therapy is excellent for this type of problem. But, you need to take your child to see a professional to rule out any physical or mental problems that you may not know about. Once that has been ruled out, remember that any techniques that you learn will require consistency, courage, and time.

If it were me, I would talk to him. One time, when my DS was in kindergarten, he started having problems at school as well as sleeping. I had him draw me pictures of his classroom, lunchroom, etc... He loved coloring pictures--until we got to the playground. He said it was a bad place. I realized that gym, where he was having problems (and coming home with bruises) was just after recess. So, I came to school without telling anyone, parked a borrowed car across the street, and spied. I discovered some things that were going on that shouldn't have been happening. I approached the school and discussed it with my DS. The problem was solved. But, the drawing was a good way to get him to relax to talk about his fears. You could do something like that to have him draw his bedroom--during the day and then at night. You could have him draw his favorite things as well as things he is most afraid of. It could be a terrific way to discover what is going on. A child at the age of 10 should be sleeping on his own.

Once you rule out anything serious, after seeing a professional, you should never give in and sleep with him or let him sleep with you. Rituals and routines are very important to children. So, you should develop a ritual of reading a story each night when he goes to bed to make the transition to bedtime to be less traumatic.

Good luck!

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Old 07-18-2008, 05:42 AM
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Sandrakelly, Welcome to FC!

I agree with DeBora that perhaps your child should be seen by someone. I think your pediatrician should be your first step. He/She could be a great resource in making sure there is nothing physically wrong with your son and may be able to either give you some techniques to try at home to get your child to sleep on his own or can recommend a good therapist who might also be able to help. DeBora's suggestion of having him draw out what it is he is afraid of might give you some insight as well. have you talked to him about his fears? I wish you luck in solving this problem and hope everything turns out ok.
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:22 AM
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I want to welcome you to FC too.. I never had that prob with any of my children/grands so can not give advice. But I do think what DeBora and others have said sounds like good advice to me. Good luck
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:08 AM
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Welcome to FC! I agree with DeBora. Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:29 PM
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Hi Sandra,

Welcome to FC.. you'll find the nicest group of people here, you couldn't have come to a better place on the web for support and understanding.

My younger daughter, now 13, has always had sleep issues. From the time she was born, she never needed to sleep. (maybe 10 hr/day as a newborn. Hardly even napped, and always slept fitfully.)

I stayed in her room so she could fall asleep until she was 10, either sitting with her for hours, or actually sleeping in her bed so she wouldn't bother her sister, (they shared a bedroom) She had night terrors as a toddler, and that was horrible for me, and after that sleeping with her kept her from waking up all night long and crying out for me... At the age of 10 we moved her to the living room sofa so her sister could get som sleep...

She needed to sleep with the lights on, and to hear me breathing... She needed to have her back up against a wall so nothing could sneak up behind her, and for there to be no shadows in the room.. etc.

Long story short.. our pediatrician referred us to a pediatric neurologist who diagnosed her with a sleep disorder and also a sensory intergration disorder. She was also screened by a pediatric psychiatrist who felt she also had generalized anxiety disorder, which he felt could have been associated with the sleep and sensory intergration disorder. We were advised to try a therapist who was trained in behavior modification techniques, and if that didn't help, to begin medication with a low-dose tricyclic antidepressent (Elavil) which I was very hesitent to do.

Well ... the therapy helped very gradually by giving her a sense of control over the process of letting go of the day. Together she and I planned out a bedtime routine, and modified it as we went so that it worked for her. Giving her input and a sense of control over the process helped her feel less anxious, and more secure in letting go of the day. We let her keep the lights and TV on at night, we keep our bedroom door open, she was always allowed to come sleep on the floor in our room if she felt she needed to, ( and hasn't in two years) and gradually over the last three years, it's gotten easier.

As of the past month or so, she now sleeps in her own room, ( Yeay! I have my living room back!) but always with the door open, the TV and lights on in her room, and in the hallway too. There are no doors on her closet, ( hence no wory as to what is behind the doors) and her bed is positioned in the far corner of the room, up against two walls. She doesn't go to bed at a "normal" hour.. she goes when she's tired. Sometimes we supplement with benedryl because it helps her feel drowsy, and is a far better choice than the Elavil.

She has also blossomed socially and emotionally and along with puberty and adolesence.. it's hard to seperate one sucess from the other, but a success it is..

Each child is an individual, and it's important to know that anxiety, depression and mood disorders DO occur in children. It's a matter of their biochemistry, and has nothing to do with parenting skills or good vs bad behavior.

I would follow your gut.. see your pediatrician, and if her pooh pooh's you, see someone else. You're suffering and your son is too.. If someone had told me that this was "going to be OK" five years ago, I would have cried with gratitude... But if you can find out what the issues are, and get the help you all need, it will be the best thing for all of you.

Val
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Old 07-19-2008, 05:59 AM
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Lifestar, it sounds like you've gone through quite an experience with yours. I am glad, slowly but surely, things are working out.

My DGS fights sleep. It takes me a few days to teach him that bedtime, means bedtime, and no matter how much he screams and cries, he is NOT sleeping in my bed and I will NOT let him watch television all night. I WILL spoil him from the time he awakens until the time he goes to bed, but not while I need to be sleeping. lol
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Old 07-19-2008, 02:41 PM
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Debora,I think it is really smart that you set limits with your dgs at bedtime. Kids will try to push the limits as much as they can but it is always good to have clear boundries. I see too many of my dc moms who don't always set clear rules and then they wonder why their dks don't listen.
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Old 07-19-2008, 06:09 PM
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Sammi, I think the problems I have with my DGS is the same as I have with him. I doubt his parents set sleep limits with him so he isn't used to it. I am glad to spoil him in every other area, except sleep! lol
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