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How Do I Get My 7yr. old Son To Sleep in His Own Bed............

 
 
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2013 05:20 am
I know how bad it sounds to say we still have our son laying in our bed and not his own. What happens is we start to getting him to go in his own room while one of us lye's on his floor until he falls asleep and then we leave. That was working for a bit then one day we just threw our hands up and let him sleep in our bed because we were exhausted by his tantrums and we caved which obviously was a very bad idea first of all we shouldn't have allowed him to rule think he could control his parents that way (which sadly we allowed him to believe he could) and because that one day of saying yes he could sleep in our bed lead him to believe that he could be in our bed every night which sadly undid all the work we had done slowly getting him into the groove of sleeping him own room. So where do I begin again? How do I help him calm down at night so he can sleep. Our pediatrician told us we should initially sleep next to him in his room until he fell to sleep but the problem with that is he will not stop talking and goofing around and ends up not actually falling asleep (after numerous prompting from us for him to settle down) for literally 1-2hrs. Its incredibly frustrating! What do I do? Is the pediatrician right by suggesting we use the above method of getting him to sleep in his own bed? So lost! Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 4,643 • Replies: 24

 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2013 06:51 am
@jenn1974,
What other conditions in his life are (or might be) contributing to him NOT being tired when it's time for bed? Is he getting enough exercise, is he eating right, is he healthy in other ways?

If he's gotten used to a particular pattern of having you in his room, or if he's used to getting his way when he throws tantrums, then you're probably just going to have to break him of it and set the rules and endure some tough nights until he learns that you have changed things and that you won't back down. Be firm, gentle and consistent. Unless there are external conditions at play, then he'll get it.

Good luck.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2013 07:14 am
@jenn1974,
We had good luck using a sticker chart. We made up an elaborate chart (it was an art project which made it fun) with a couple of goals on it (sleeping in her own bed was one of the goals).

Each night our daughter slept in her own bed she got a sticker on the chart. When she got 10 stickers she got a reward of her choosing (which happened to be a trip to Chuck E Cheeses and she knew full well it was the only way she was going to get me to take her to that wretched place).

This worked really well for our family because it became her goal and it stopped the cycle of us yelling and her throwing tantrums.

It also seems to help to have a bedtime ritual, doing the same thing at the same time every night. Lying down next to him may be a part of that.
jcboy
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2013 07:24 pm
@jenn1974,
Ours will be seven next month. I’m certainly no expert on childcare.

I’ve only lived with him for about a year and a half now. He only tried that on us once, then his daddy took him in his room and told him that was his bed and his room and that’s where he sleeps, he never did it again after that.

Of course he has a routine, he is up at the same time everyday, eats, naps, bathes and goes to bed at the same time every night.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2013 08:51 pm
@jcboy,
I was an only child. I had my crib and I had my bed, and, I figure, alert parents. After that, I had my play pen, which was mine, like my toys were. No wonder I'm such an adult brat.


We have other threads about children staying in parents' beds for years here.

I simply don't understand any of that, but the people on the threads do.

simply research


ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2013 09:20 pm
@ossobuco,
Someone doesn't like my answer and expects me to sympathize with a couple who beds their seven year old?

As I said, there are threads here where people backed up this bedding of older children.

You can look them up.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2013 06:43 am
@ossobuco,
I sense there is history here. I couldn't find the other threads you speak of after a very quick (not very thorough) search. I don't understand why this issue seems to upset you so much.

Each family is different, each one does what works for them.

The OP asked for advice Some of us offered hopefully helpful responses. I don't see what is gained by going into attack mode.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2013 07:45 am
@jenn1974,
jenn1974 wrote:
How do I help him calm down at night so he can sleep.


What is your son's evening routine? what do you do with him from the time he gets home from school until it is time for him to go to bed?
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2013 04:52 pm
I have raised two children and one of them has two children and none of us have never allowed them to sleep with us, so I'm not really sure what to answer you. However, there are many places online to get your answers... you just need to do some research.

Montessori has a great site for insight into children's minds and behaviour, for example.

If this were me, I think I would discuss this with the child (everybody has their own room kind of thing) and just say, "No, you're sleeping in your own bed, that's why you have a bedroom" as well as analyzing what else I've been doing to promote this dependence. It's not healthy to have 'older' children in bed with you, for a variety of reasons, and it's good to see you're trying to do something about it. Please google this online and see what else comes up.

(Contrary to popular opinion, A2K doesn't know everything.)
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2013 05:08 pm
@Mame,
Quote:
It's not healthy to have 'older' children in bed with you, for a variety of reasons, and it's good to see you're trying to do something about it.


I doubt this is true, and maybe this is what has Osso all worked up. A quick search shows no research that 'older' children sharing a bed with with parents is unhealthy.

There are obviously a lot of factors here. Sleeping arrangements differ not only by family, but by culture and by finances. It takes relative wealth to provide kids with their own room or even their own bed. I think the current western idea of middle class kids needing their own room is a pretty recent idea.

I would be interested to see any real evidence that a seven year old sleeping with his parents is unhealthy. Obviously if a family is uncomfortable with it, it should be changed. But what is a problem in one family may work in another.
Mame
 
  0  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2013 05:21 pm
@maxdancona,
I don't care about any research you were or weren't able to find... if the parents aren't cool with it, it's not healthy.

maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2013 05:29 pm
@Mame,
Quote:
if the parents aren't cool with it, it's not healthy.


I agree completely with that statement. I understood your first statement to mean that it was never healthy in any family. There is a big difference between the two statements.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2013 05:45 pm
@maxdancona,
True.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Jan, 2013 06:09 pm
@maxdancona,
We did the sticker chart too. She was littler, so to match her attention span it was staggered, with increasingly big rewards.

As in, one night on her own: a small toy (can't remember what, something she wanted).

Then three nights on her own: Something else (still pretty small).

Five nights on her own: A little bigger.

Etc, so it was sort of a stair pattern.

Then once she had gotten to sleep on her own for two full weeks (it didn't happen all at once, there were false starts and then she had to build up to the five straight nights again, etc.), she got the big reward, the one she really wanted. (A babydoll I think?)

Our biggest problem was consistency and routine -- her dad works weird hours (like, home at 9 PM) and they both really like to have some time together before going to sleep. I think it would have gone better with more routine -- that's definitely important.

In terms of instilling any new habit, though, you just have to be consistent and calm about it and steel yourself for the fact that your kid is unlikely to be calm. You already seem to recognize this, but if you give in after the 4,762nd time, it just teaches your kid that 4,762 times (of asking or tantruming or whatever) are needed to reach the goal (getting an iPod Touch, sleeping in mom and dad's bed, whatever).
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  3  
Reply Sat 26 Jan, 2013 11:38 pm
@jenn1974,
You expalin to him as nicely as you can that he must sleep in his own bed and then you do whatever it takes (short of violence) to enforce the edict.

You lock your door from the outside when you put him to bed and if he somehow manages to sneak in before you go to bed, when you do, you take him to his room.

(You may need to invest in certain locking mechanisms if he is a clever and determined boy)

When you go to bed lock you door.

If he wakes you in the middle of the night, pounding on your door or crying outside of it, get up and take him back to his room and bed. Spend 20 to 30 minutes (if needed) comforting him but make it clear he can't sleep in your bed and then return to your room and lock the door.

Repeat as needed.

The first few days and perhaps even weeks it will be hellish, but eventually you will have trained him.

The biggest mistake you can make, once embarking on this approach, is to give in for any reason (you feel bad, you're too tired to fuss etc) and let him sleep in your bed.

There is no easy solution which which will not require you to suffer in some way and to some degree.

Keep in mind thought that it is best for his healthy development that he learns to sleep in his own bed, and that the training is finite and relative short.

Two to four weeks of misery for you is well worth a lifetime postive effect for him.



maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jan, 2013 11:59 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Geez Finn.

Are you are describing the actions of a good parent , or of a drill sergeant?
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Sun 27 Jan, 2013 12:18 am
@maxdancona,
Clearly, a good parent.

Perhaps your 14 year old still sleeps in your bed.

maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Jan, 2013 12:32 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
A good parent can convince their kids to sleep in their own bed without hellish weeks of pounding on locked doors.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 27 Jan, 2013 12:34 am
@maxdancona,
Right
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Jan, 2013 01:02 am
There are very obvious health and safety factors around leaving a child to sleep in a room that is locked from the outside. What if there is a fire in the child's room and s/he can't get out? This may seem farfetched to you, but it DID happen to a friend of mine whose child had an electric blanket on his bed that shorted and started a fire on the child's bed. Luckily, he woke up and was able to escape the room because he wasn't locked in.
You might also say, 'Oh well, all he has to do is pound on the door and alert the other members of the family,' but I can imagine that anyone who would lock his or her child in a room would think, 'Oh, he's just making up an excuse to try to get out.' And if the parent is asleep behind a locked door down the hall- maybe they wouldn't hear.
I know there are children with severe emotional and behavioral issues who need to be locked into their rooms at night for their own safety, but I would only do that if I had a monitor in their room and in mine, so I could hear everything that was going on - any sign of distress.

It can be very psychologically damaging to some people to lock them in a room, taking away their control and freedom of movement. I would never do this to a child, unless again, it was for their own safety.

In terms of getting the child to sleep in his own bed, I would start by laying with the child in his own room until he fell asleep as the pediatrician recommended and I would proceed from there. I would tell the child, 'I will lay here with you if you're going to sleep, but if you start talking and playing, I'm going to my own room - because I'm tired...'
There must be some reason this is such an issue for this child. Everyone needs someone sometime. I wouldn't let the child force his will on me, but I also wouldn't just show the child that my will would be forced on him or without consideration for his feelings and a willingness to help him deal with them and adapt his behavior.
 

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