10-04-2018 08:54 AM
We have an 11 year old daughter who goes to bed at 8:30pm. My husband and I head upstairs at 10:30pm to go to bed. She wakes up nearly every night when we do (we come up as silently as possible although she's been able to sleep through us coming upstairs for the past 11 years).
She then starts crying and says she's scared and that she hasn't even fallen asleep (that she's been wide awake this whole time although when we check on her at 9:30pm she's always asleep), and last night was in hysterics for nearly an hour. She wouldn't say what she was afraid of- at first, she said it was the rain (but it hadn't been raining for over an hour), and then screamed how she couldn't calm down. We called her mom to try to talk to her, but her mom was just mad that we woke her up so it was no help.
At her moms house, she sleeps with her mom nearly every night, and if she cries, gets to go into her mom's bed. At her dads (where I live, she's my stepdaughter), he does let her sleep in the bed a couple of times a month at most, but then I'm displaced for sleeping. So he's gotten very adamant on her sleeping in her own bed, regardless of how she sleeps at her mom's house (she's also married and displaces her husband to sleep elsewhere so she can sleep in the bed). Overall, she is at the right maturity level for her age, but we recognize that at her mom's house she reverts back to acting younger to get away with not eating well and sleeping in her mom's bed.
Another thing that (my husband) does is has a TV in her room. I'm very much against this, and he knows that it doesn't help her with falling and staying asleep. I have that bad habit myself. When the TV turns off (which is on "sleeper timer"), she often times wakes back up and asks for it to be turned on. We do not give in to this.
We're curious if this a phase- waking up, crying, to stop asking to sleep in our bed, what can we do to help her? We always work on communication skills, and begin by asking her to express why she's upset, but we also want to stand firm in not giving in to letting her in the bed just because her mom does. (I just wish we could keep the TV out of the room, but I have lost that battle)
Any help would be appreciated! We really want her sleep and overall health better, especially at our home since it appears to be a losing battle while she's not at our house. (we have her 50/50 time)
10-05-2018 12:20 AM
10-05-2018 03:07 PM
@11yearoldkid thank you for coming on here and sharing this, it sounds like a really tough situation to be in, and I can imagine - quite exhausting.
It's clear that you have your daughters well being in mind, and want the best way forward - it can be tough when there are different boundaries between parents.
it must be really awful for your 11yo to be feeling that level of distress every night as well
I love the suggestions @Happy has put forward!
I'm wondering if it's worth having a conversation with her about how she thinks the sleeping situation can improve (without sleeping in the same bed as a parent) - you could talk to her about the possibility of having sleepovers in the future with friends, and how that will work, and about growing up etc. She might have some other ideas you could try for a week and see how they go.
I wonder if audio books, or music is a better option than TV - and if you could get a nice lamp for her room?
Leave the door open?
What if she went to bed at the same time as you both for a few nights - like if you all went to bed at 9.30 as a compromise?
let us know how you go and what you think of these ideas!