Hello everyone. I have a 4.5 y.o. and an 18 mos. old. We recently left our home and their dad and are living with my mom on the other side of the country. We lived a TV-free and gentle discipline kind of life beforehand. Now my 4 year old is completely addicted to the TV and my mom keeps her TV on all day and night long.
So of course, my daughter never wants to sleep with me and throws a tantrum every single night for hours on end. Putting her to sleep is torture and makes it difficult to put my youngest to sleep as well.
I'm not sure if I should fight this or not. I try to give a full bedtime routine and it just doesn't work. I've started nursing her to bed again, but that still doesn't work. It keeps us all awake until up to 2am for them and for me between 5am and 11am still awake sometimes from the night before.
If I don't put her to bed with me, she runs up and down the halls of my mom's house all night long and goes to bed around 4am...I can hear her talking all night long and she frequently comes in to bother me, wake up the baby and do really obnoxious things for attention.
It's a downward spiral because if i have her in the room with me she goes to sleep around 2am and I go to sleep at 5am at the earliest...if I don't bring her in the room with me, she goes to sleep around 4am and I get sleep, but she wakes up and she's whiny all day long.
I'm really confused as to what to do about this...I need to have a certain schedule to work(from home) and this is throwing us all off track. I'm afraid her mental health is really suffering because of this....any advice appreciated.
Well, given the situation, I don't wonder that your 4 yo is behaving this way. She was just displaced from her former life and security, not to mention her father. I am not saying you shouldn't be where you are now. Obviously I know nothing about your children's dad and why you left, etc. I trust you have done what was best for everyone.
Still, and even if her father was abusive, please consider what a HUGE huge transition this is for them. Hell, it is hard for a grown up to move across the country, think what an impact that has on a small child. She is going through a lot psychologically right now.
I wish I had some better advice for you about what to do practically. Have you talked to your mom about the tv? Could she watch it in her own bedroom or even the kitchen and not in the shared areas, or only certain times a day rather than ongoing?
Also, I would say definitely this is a time to let her sleep with you. First of all you say she sleeps earlier if you do, so it works for you right now to let her sleep with you. If this is not something you want in the long run just wait until she is more settled and then try to transition out of it. She obviously needs the security that sleeping next to mama provides, which just makes sense during this upheaval.
But really what you describe goes way deeper than just sleeping arrangements. To be honest her behavior is like an alarm going off and she needs something she is not getting right now. Is there any other place you could stay? Are you trying to find another living situation or is this permanent? Does she have a routine at all? Friends? What about preschool or playgroup something like that?
I wish I had more to offer you. I wish for you and your children that you can find a living situation that calms rather than aggravates your daughter and you. I'm so sorry.....good luck.
Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
Does it help at all if your mom puts her tv on a timer? My dad falls asleep with his tv on, but sets the timer to go off at midnight. I agree with the previous poster, but that might be a tiny bit of help while things settle down.
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