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Raising fit Kids

how do i get my * yr old to sleep in his room?
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An_239343 posted:
My 8 yr old has shared a room with me scence he was born.He finally has his own room now, but will not sleep in it. Me and my husband will let him fall asleep on the end of our bed or on the couch, then we put him in his room. But, like clock work, he gets up at 3:30 and comes back. I'll take put him back in bed then about an hr will go by and he comes back. It's killing me and effecting my husband at work. We have tried several diffent methods but nothing seems to wrk so far. Any advice?
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FCL responded:
I suppose you've talked to him about this? If you've told him that he has his bed and that he's supposed to stay there, how does he explain that he comes back every night? Is he scared of something?


Explain to him tonight before he goes to bed that you are going to lock your door once he is in his room... and do so.
 
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kay_kay75 replied to FCL's response:
FCL,

that is such a fire hazard, no matter what the kid needs some time and talking to, if the child is used to sleeping with Mom it is going to take some time to break that habit. Locking the bedroom door is not the answer, honestly, what if there were a fire and you couldn't get out the door. Maybe have him talk to a counselor or something, find out what he is afraid of and then work from there.

Kay
 
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phoenix31674 responded:
Is your husband the boy's father? If not, this may be part of the problem. Actually, it's probably the whole problem. You have to reassure him that you don't love him any less because you need him to sleep in his own room. See if he can give you a reason why he doesn't like sleeping in his room. He might not open up to you, so you may need to seek a child psychologist to find out what his issue is. My SIL used to lie down with her son to get him to go to sleep and this became his routine and he was over 6 before they finally broke him of this.

I hate to suggest this, but he's old enough you could tell him that you will sit in his room with him for 3 days to help him get used to falling asleep in his room, but after that he'll be a big boy and ready to go to sleep on his own. Make sure you just sit in the room with him and not in the bed.

You could also try a sticker reward chart where when he's spent a certain number of days in his own bed without coming to wake you up he gets some sort of treat (small toy, outing with you to his favorite place, etc).

Something else to do would be to make sure you put him to sleep in his room. By letting him fall asleep elsewhere, he may be having negative associations with his room. Talk to him about his room and let him know what a big boy he is and how big boys sleep in their own beds in their own rooms. You might also want to let him pick out bedding or some other special piece of decor like a nightlight or something so that he can take ownership of his room and make it some place he likes to be. It would also be a good idea to play with him in his room during the day and make sure you read him a story and tuck him in.
 
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tlkittycat1968 replied to kay_kay75's response:
We can lock our door from the inside only. It will automatically unlock when you turn the doorknob. If that's the way the OP door it, it wouldn't be a fire hazard.
 
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FCL replied to kay_kay75's response:
Why is it a fire hazard? Leave the key in the door... Or put a hook on the top of your door if youi don't want to use a key. Or have the kind of doorknobs that tlkittykat1968 has.

I do understand that the problem won't be solved overnight. It's fairly clear that OP has been trying for a while. I presume that she has also been discussing this with her son and hasn't been able to resolve it. I'm also assuming that she has tried to discover whether he does have underlying fears or whether the child is just so used to sleeping there that he won't consider another option.

I'm suggesting a firmer approach, that's all, the idea being to let the child understand that he isn't the one who decides where he sleeps. I think it's worth trying before sending him to a counsellor.
 
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cathwo replied to FCL's response:
"Why is it a fire hazard"????? Well, it is more of a safety issue. During a fire or any stress inducing event people tend not to think clearly. One could easily be disoriented and forget where the key is, struggle with unlocking the door whether the key is in the door or not.

Sleep issues can be very difficult to deal with when the child is older. There maybe be underlying issues that the child cannot articulate which makes the situation even harder. And when you have been trying to solve it for quite sometime it maybe time to get outside help. Till then keep at it and be consistent and persistent. Talk with, not to your son. Use open ended questions, not closed ended questions that required one or two answers. I wish there was an easy solution to this. Good luck.
 
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sarahann1978 replied to cathwo's response:
She said lock your door, not the kids' door. If you lock your own door and a fire occurs you are on the side with the unlocking mechanism, so no key needed. I could see an issue if she suggested locking the kids' door, but not locking your own door? Seems a bit excessive to me.
 
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FCL replied to sarahann1978's response:
THanks sarahann1978. I hadn't realized she'd misread my post.

For the record, cathwo, I would never, EVER lock a child in a room. Not only for the safety risks but also because it must be one of the scariest things in the world to do to a child.
 
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missashley1010 responded:
My mother has this issue she let my little brother sleep with her so long that now he will not sleep in his room. Its super rediculas. He will be 13 in Nov and he sleeps on the couch every night because she wont let him in the bed anymore. She even redecorated his entire room so maybe he would want to be in there. I mean the whole 9 yards bought him a new bed new comforter painted the walls and put up like night glow things everywhere...and to top it off a flat screen t.v. with cable!!!! he still dosnt sleep in there only uses his room to get dressed. I would advise to keep to your guns and get him to be in his room because this situation is awful and annoying I cant even come over to stay the night because he is on the couch and he yells at everyone to get out of the living room so he can go to bed. Good luck to you!
 
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An_240134 responded:
Do you have a pet like a dog or a cat? My 8-yr old doesn't like to be alone. We struggled a lot with getting him to stay in his room all night. When we got our kitty, he started taking her into his room at night and shutting the door so she'd stay in there with him. It helps to keep him calm and happy for some reason. Keeping a pet in the room all night isn't always feasible, but I just thought I'd throw it out there as a possible option that maybe you hadn't thought of.

He also has his favorite stuffed animals he must cuddle with at night as well. Good luck! I know this is tough but if you stick with it, this too, shall pass.
 
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Sexy_Tigger responded:
I have a 4 year and it was the same way with me when she was born. I did the same thing at night where I placed her in her room, and she would find herself back our bed by the middle of the night which affected how I functioned at work myself. One method I did with her was sleep stay with her in her room until she fell asleep and when I was sure she was knocked out, I left and went to my bed. At this point, she doesn't come in my room as often but she's learning to stay by herself and had to come to that conclusion on her own. I kept reinforcing how she is a big girl and big girls stay in their room by themselves. Every child is different and possibky there's a reason that he's not expressing as to why he keeps coming into you guys room.
 
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safetydn replied to missashley1010's response:
oh my goodness after reading that response i have the same problem with my soon to be three year old,she always has slept in her crib and a just a year ago we changed her bed to the toddler bed and at first part of this year she slept in her bed up until now.It's the couch or my bed,and i have asked her why she won't sleep in her bed, she says she don't like it. I thought maybe it was because she didn't want to be alone,and the fact of her father and i separating.We have decorated her room,let her sleep with all stuff animals anything for security she has had it.But i'm sorry to say i can't go till she is older and still sleeping on the couch. All i can say is i have to stick to the rules again and try starting out sitting near her and getting closer to the door till she is comfortable again sleeping in her room.
 
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irsh33 responded:
I have 2 step children and they have always slept in their own beds while with my husband and I. Although, we do have issues with our 5yr old as his sleeps with his grandmother when he stays at his mother's home. He tends to be difficult to lay down. Honestly, I have been rocking him to sleep for the last 4.5 years. In the last month, we have agreed to rock for one lullaby, then I lay him down then sing one lullaby. Then I will tell him it is my turn to get ready for bed and I will check on him. Most of the time he is asleep by the time I finish brushing my teeth. Some nights he wakes up quite a few times a night. Normally, if it is within an hour time span I will ask him to use the bathroom, and explain I will not pick him up or rock him until he checks his bladder. He always has to go, and he sleeps the rest of the night no problem. We do this for our 7 yr old as well. Although, he tends to sleep through the night, and I don't rock him. He falls asleep on his own.

It also helps to have a bedtime routine. The boys will get their pj's on, have a small snack, then brush teeth. The boys take turns picking out a bed story (in their bedroom), and they take turns reading them to my husband and I. Once the story is over everyone gives hugs and kisses, and says good night. my DH will turn out the light and the lullaby process begins. Normally takes about about 45 mins start to finish. But the boys are always in bed on time, and sleep within minutes. And we always work our way from the livingroom/dining room towards the bedroom (with the exception of getting changed). This can help remove obstacles. We tend to take walks later in evening, and take flashlights in case it gets too dark, but this helps tire them out & provide a little more exercise.

DH & I will also give the boys huge hugs in the AM and tell them how proud we are that they slept through the night. If our LO wakes up I will ask him if he missed me (he normally says yes) I give him a hug tell him I love him, then put him back to bed.


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