So ds aged 7 will not sleep in his own bed. He goes to his dad's and his dad won't allow him to come into his bedroom until he himself is out of bed. Ds is also ok having the occasional sleep over at a friends house. DS tells me he is too scared to be in his bed as 'he thinks someone is going to break in and take him'. Ds has been seeing a child psych who sees I need to be stricter about making him sleep in his bed and I have tried the reward chart and a points system but neither thing has changed his behaviour. If I put him in his bed, read to him and then tell him to sleep but I will check on him in 5 minutes he either gets out of bed to find me, cries/screams or turns the light back on and lays there. I have night lights in his room and the hallway and he is only 5 steps from my bedroom. It's now disturbing my 2 year old and i'm going batty. This is going on since September last year and since then he has slept maybe 3 nights in his bed. If he wakes up at night he yells for me to come and get him. Even during the day he wants me to take him to the toilet or into another room if he wants something. The child psych says this is fine and I just need to let him cry/sob. I find that hard and kind of mean. Any other suggestions would be great.
Also, is the fear of someone taking him a normal 7 yo fear? He says he's not worried anywhere else, just at home. His dad once saw him in a shop and picked up and took him away from the people he was with. I know that incident upset my son who said at the time he was frightened that his dad would take him and not give him back but he says his night time fear is not related to that incident.
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11-07-2014 14:38 #1
7 yo in my bed! Any suggestions?
Last edited by BbBbBh; 11-07-2014 at 14:40.
11-07-2014 15:00 #2
Probably not what you want to hear, but id be inclined to follow the advice you were given by the professional.
Could you give it a time frame so you feel better about it. Give it a solid 4 weeks of not giving in and then go from there? If it doesn't work then you have evidence to say "help me find a different way" to the psych.
If he turns the light in and just lays there theres a pretty good chance he wont be awake the entire night.
If it calls out in the night can u call back "its time for sleep i will see you in the morning" (this is what we hadto do with my ds#2 who has autism) it took a couple of weeks but he got the message
11-07-2014 16:19 #3
My SS had a similar fear, not that someone was going to take him, but that someone would break into our place in the middle of the night. A very unlikely scenario given that we live on the third floor of a secure apartment complex. But he would give us some really rough nights, constantly waking and calling out multiple times during the night. At his mum's place he was crawling into her bed but we wouldn't allow that at our place. The key was for it to be consistent in both households.
The tough approach was the only one that finally broke the habit of him calling out or knocking on our door in the middle of the night. We did the same "it's time for sleep now. We'll see you in the morning." DH and I felt really mean doing it but I'm really glad we persisted as things gradually got better.
One thing I will say, we found that the night lights actually made the problem worse. SS could see shadows created by the night lights and that would freak him out even more. We also took the clock out of his room because he would sit there and stare at the clock and think about how long he had to stay in bed before he could get up and work himself into a real panic.
We always said to SS that if he was really struggling to go back to sleep in the middle of the night he could turn on his bedside light (it's a fairly dim bulb) and read for a while. And that worked too. Inevitably a bit of reading would relax him and he'd turn his light off again and go to sleep.
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11-07-2014 16:26 #4
I can only speak from personal experience, but my parents took the tough approach being discussed here to deal with my fears of being alone at night and did what the child psychologist is being recommended to you and it never worked for me. I didn't 'toughen up'. It just made me think my parents didn't care that I was scared. I used to cry alone in my room at night for many, many years, thinking that nobody cared about me. I internalized the idea that I was a baby and a sook and it made me even more anxious. I was very resentful towards my parents and it seriously negatively affected me. Things might get better for you but they might get much, much worse for your son.
I don't know what the solution is, but I now have a 5-year old DS who is very similar to how I was and I would never, ever do that to my son because of how profoundly badly it affected me. I lay with him at night, try to problem-solve with him, and just work on ways of building his confidence. I am sure eventually, he will outgrow it.
11-07-2014 18:29 #5
Sorry OP no advice but this is SO going to be me when DS is that age. He is almost 4 and insists on sleeping with mummy, even when he is at daddy's (he cries and insists he needs to sleep with mummy and at the very least needs 2 pillows!).
Again, in, no advice but I'm also a SM like you and perhaps our kids feel more, I don't know, entitled (?) to being with mummy all the time including nights? I love DS in my bed now, but yeah I can understand your frustration and also your sensitivity to your DS xxx
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11-07-2014 19:47 #6
What is your reason for not wanting him in your bed right now? Can you take a more gentle approach? Does he need you to be in your bed to sleep or is your bed enough comfort?
My ds is 6, sleeps alone at daddy, never sleeps a full night alone here not for lack of trying. The closest we have is a compromise of start in yours first.
I have been told let him cry, it won't hurt etc but it goes against everything I feel as a parent. That said I'm okay with him coming in if that gives him comfort. I know it always did for me as a child. The bad nights he doesn't start in his own bed but baby steps.
11-07-2014 20:19 #7
What about a mattress on the floor in his room or vise versa? I would take the gentle approach if it were me. My DS 3 sleeps in my bed on and off as we move around a lot and there is nothing worse than waking up wondering where you are. Good luck OP.
11-07-2014 20:45 #8
My almost 7 year old DS is still in my bed too. The last psych he saw was dead against it and seemed to think I should make getting him out of my bed a priority. I'm not particularly fazed either way but some of the things she suggested were: lying in bed with him each night until he fell asleep and sleeping on a mattress on the floor in his room until he fell asleep.
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11-07-2014 21:26 #9Senior Member
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My almost 7yo is still in my bed too! But... I love it. He keeps me warm and keeps me company.
He starts off in his bed and comes in halfway through the night.
At his dad's he sleeps in his own bed but he isn't allowed in his dad's room either so he tells me sometimes if he's scared he cuddles his brother.
Is there a reason you want him out of your bed? I would be reluctant to do the tough love thing, especially if he is scared.
12-07-2014 00:04 #10
What's the big deal with him wanting to share your bed at his age? I feel 7 is still so young ... I agree with the posters here saying the tough love approach may not be ideal, but then again my DS is only 2 and I welcome him into my bed with open arms, and i plan to for as long as he needs....
Does this really need to be stopped now? Isn't it possible he'll grow out of it as he gets older?
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