Getting child to sleep by themselves, Displining a child who acts out
My daughter is 6 years old. I am recently divorced and my daughter lives with me. She has always slept with me or previously with me and my ex husband. I am concerned now because I am trying to work on her independence and she is scared of sleeping alone. Any help on how I can transition her to sleep by herself so she is not scared. Also as long as I can remember she has acted out her emotions by hitting, biting,scratching, yelling, or slamming doors. Mainly it's only with me. I have not displined her physically (spanking) but now I am beginning to wonder if I should be. I have tried talking to her about it, trying to reason with her, taking privlidges away, also time outs as a source of discipline. Nothing seems to work, when she doesn't get her way, gets jealous, mad, etc. she acts out in an unhealthy way and I am concerned about what I can do about helping her to act in a more healthy way. I am concerned because my ex husband is bi polar and I am not sure if she may be acting out in some way of what she may have seen from her father while we were married. Please help, thanks so much, Heather.
While you did not intend to create these problems, you have. Your daughter will change to the degree that you can change. Your daughter will be reticent to sleep by herself; you can't change the reaction. What you can change is the behavior, and you will have to stick with your plan and make no allowance for your daughter to sleep with you. Up to this point, you have taught her to sleep with you; you have taught her to feel safe that way. Now you have to change what you have already taught her.
Relative to the discipline situation, the fact that your daughter acts the way she does only with you is an indication that the problem rests in the parent/child interaction. Her management of frustration and anger will improve if you develop a systematic approach to managing her behavior. Physical discipl;ine is not necessary; if you choose to use such discipline. it's most likely a refelction of your own frustration more than anything else. For a reliable, effective method of managing behavior, read Lynn Clark's book: SOS: Help for Parents. If you adopt his approach, you'll be all set.
I have a f riend that just got a divorce and their son never slept with them but the son needed to sleep with the Mom to be secured with the upheaval. My suggestion..and it is not professional by any means is that you let her sleep with you until she has some safety in her life regarding the divorce and her dad not there and work on the yelling and biting with time'outs etc. and then when you have that somewhat smoothe (I dont know how long that will take) but then work on the sleeping by herself after. Maybe two things at once would be too much for the stress that she is feeling right now. Also my friends son was very angry too and blamed the mother a lot and it takes time to sort this out. Physcologist would or might help for You and him to sort things out. Just a thought...I am not a professional ...give him some time to heal with some sort of security in sleeping with you for maybe 3 or 4 months and t hen work on that gradually. He one day will not want to sleep with you when he be come more se cure. Just a thought or two. By the way the son of my friend sleeps by himself now and it has been about six months or bit more. Sometimes he needs that extra safety for whatever reason but she works with him and talks but does not force him. Dont be afraid....he will eventually be 16 and all behind you guys and healed. That son was 10 yrs. old then.
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