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Pre-teen DD going through some night worries/sleep issues, which I am particularly ill-equipped...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm reaching out for a bit of sympathy, advice, and encouragement as I try to help my DC deal with something that seems to be getting worse rather than passing. 

 

She has always been an easy going kid with a very slight tendency towards being a worrier. She has had sleep issues in the past (confusional arousal, I think) and something similar is happening again. 

 

On and off DC expresses her worries in the evening - like late, past bed time, when I am ready to be done parenting for the day. I try to deal with it when it is mild by asking her to remember to talk to me in the day time.

 

The night-time issues seem to be getting worse so I don't think that solution will work right now.

 

How would you handle this?  Considering the fact that the evenings are just not my best time as a parent. And that I suppose I have trouble understanding what it's like to be a worrier. 

post #2 of 9

My 11 yr old has similar sleep issues.  She is fairly anxious and it seems that many "issues" flood her brain when she finally lays down to go to sleep.  They don't bother her so much during the day, but night time, sleep time, is when she is ready to really process them in her mind and needs to talk to me about them.  Usually it's 10-30 min after she's gone to bed.  She lays in bed and can't sleep b/c her mind is whirling with thoughts and questions and needs.  I definitely have my nights where I'm done parenting and it annoys me that she needs so much from me right then.  One thing I've found to be helpful is to get her into bed 10-15 min earlier than normal.  Then when she's ready to download and needs me, it's a bit earlier.  I've built that into our evenings for the most part and I must say it's been helpful.  Also, my dd struggles more with sleep when she is in her own bed, but when she goes to sleep in my bed she doesn't seem to lay awake with her worries, instead she falls asleep pretty quickly.  I think it's something about the comfort of the parents bed.  Represents safety and security.  So on particularly tough evenings, I have her move to my bed.  I don't have to be with her, and when I do go to bed, I wake her up enough to walk back to her bed, and she transitions easily back to her bed and sleep.  

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much neptunemama!  We have a "count down to middle school" plan for getting back on track with sleep but maybe I'll start it a bit sooner. I do think part of it is worry about going to a new school but I also think part of it is summer and the relaxed schedule that doesn't work well for DC. 

 

I'm going to let DC sleep in today because she was up especially late last night but think I will start waking her up in the AMs so she's tired in the evenings. 

 

I have planned with DC to have 8-8:30 be the time that she has my attention, we gather school papers, discuss the morning, check on laundry and etc. Then from 8:30-9 is reading. 9 is lights out. DC needs to be up at 6:30 for school!  

 

Last night what worked well was to tell DC to turn the light on and read. That may be the solution for her...?  I'll store the option to be in my bed for emergencies. We have a toddler in our bed now though. 

post #4 of 9

ICM i think that is a flaw of sept babies. both my dd and mom are and i see this worrying to be very common amongst them.

 

i know this is so hard with other kids around - esp. toddler

 

but i have discovered we are their rock, their safety network.

 

i now snuggle with dd - seriously snuggle with her to help her sleep - my arms and legs around her with part of my body too to help. she does not like weighted blankets or that would have been a great substitute. it might be a sensory thing for her, she IS a sensory girl. i make sure she has a sheet on her when she sleeps - that helps. and i also tuck a body pillow as my substitute when i leave the bed. she knows its not me - but it makes her feel safe and secure. 

 

i have discovered all these 'issues' are all safety issues with dd. 

 

i also notice these happen in cycles. its  not that intense all the time.

 

also in your case which is the same as mine i think this is 'growth spurt' issue. first i thought it was summer issue - which it could be too. but i KNOW for sure - its a growth spurt issue mainly. the reason why is dd has a very energy intensive growth spurt. all summer she is super hungry and in super pain (she calls them growing pains at night). she grows fat. and then suddenly in a month she will grow a few inches. for example the jeans fit her beautifully when she went on a weeks vacation. when she came back they were over her ankles.

 

i feel those kids like my dd who suddenly shoot up - their growth spurt plays a huge no. not only in physical stuff but also emotions.  

 

basically what i am saying is there is no easy answer. 

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks, meemee. I'll keep a look out on growth spurt issues. DC is very small for her age - she's just a slow grower so I haven't ever really noticed a growth spurt. But that certainly could be part of it. 

 

She is also starting puberty so that could be part of it too.  

 

For her, it seems to  be emotional. The last big one was before her sister was born. It was pretty bad. Now, this is intensifying right as we approach middle school so I can't help but think that's related. 

post #6 of 9

oh boy. puberty too eh?!!! 

 

yes it plays a huge deal ICM. dd started her periods last month and she went thru the roughest year of her life before she started. she was so down and depressed and suicidal.

 

a couple of months before her periods its all settled down and she went from super low to normal.

 

this is the time ICM to take care of yourself. whatever it takes. so that whilest you may not be always available to your children - you can always be kind to them. if you can hold that feeling of kindness your kids wont feel abandoned. kind inside and out. makes a huge deal about how we feel inside. because from what i see kids see more of the unspoken communication rather than the words. 

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

because from what i see kids see more of the unspoken communication rather than the words. 

Yes, that is so true!   Thanks for the kind words, meemee.  

post #8 of 9

My 9 1/2yo dd  frequently has trouble with getting to sleep at night.  I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that has difficulty dealing with it because I'm hoping to be "done for the day" at that time.  Most of the time it's that she has trouble quieting her mind, but lately she has been complaining about her legs being "uncomfortable". So I think we're dealing with some growing pains now, too.  I am interested in a previous response that their experience is in cycles.  I'm definitely going to keep an eye on this.  I have noticed her emotions fluctuating in cycles. And she seems to be on the same schedule as me, so that should be lots of fun.  I'll have to see if the sleep schedules coincide with that schedule, too.

 

On the nights that sitting with her and talking doesn't seem to be helping, it does seem that moving into my bed has helped.  Even though I'm not going to bed at the same time, she tends to have an easier time falling asleep in my bed on those nights, even alone.  It's just me since my husband passed away, so I usually just let her stay the rest of the night, too.

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by pt33333 View Post

On the nights that sitting with her and talking doesn't seem to be helping, it does seem that moving into my bed has helped.  Even though I'm not going to bed at the same time, she tends to have an easier time falling asleep in my bed on those nights, even alone.  It's just me since my husband passed away, so I usually just let her stay the rest of the night, too.

this is true of almost all of dd's classmates. when we moms talk one thing that comes up is that at some point these kids go sleep with teh parents for a little while and then they go back to their bed. that is one of the cycles i am talking about. 

 

in our case we STILL cosleep. but its coming to an end soon. i am not sure after 18 years how will i be able to sleep alone again. 

 

pt - dd even convinced her dad at his place to cosleep. they slept separately for a while, but at 8 when dd's imagination again exponentially went up her fear factor went up. then her dad got worried what others would think and got bunk beds so he'd sleep below. she hated it but accepted it. 

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