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Bed time is an ordeal every night.. meltdowns, etc
I live with my sister and her two kids, son is 4 and daughter is 8. She is going thru a divorce and we're all living together. I dont have any children (yet) but I am always immersing myself in ways to learn more about children, etc. I babysit other kids too and I am fighting a losing battle with my sister, who doesn't always do the right thing. the 8 yr old (my niece) goes to counseling every other week to deal with the divorce and she knows her mom and dad arent getting back together. The 4 yr old boy is sensitive, like his sister and both get their feelings hurt easy. They fight like typical siblings, do ok in school, but both do not want to sleep in their rooms or beds and my sister is battling it out with them almost every night. My niece always wants to sleep on my floor in my room (she's a bed hog) and we are not allowing her anymore. She keeps saying there are 'monsters' in her room and we know there isn't, She has alot of toys, she has the Dreamlight pillow things, we've bought her and her brother lots of stuff like this, nightlights too. My sister is allowing the two kids to sleep together in my neice's room as that is the only way we can get them to stay in there but there is crying, fits, meltdowns every night. I need to get to bed earlier than I do and I cant listen to this every night. My sister loses her temper and yells at the kids, then they cry, the boy has kicking fits and will eventually stop but every bed time is an ordeal. Synchronized crying, screaming, asking to sleep in our rooms, it is bad. My sister doesnt seem to be mentioning much to her daughter's counselor about this and every time I suggest that she seek some prof'l advice, she gets angry. My sister sings songs with the kids at bedtime, which will come about an hour after trying to get them to bed, listening to a few meltdowns, crying, etc and by the time the kids go to sleep, it is well after 9 or 930. She does give them Benadryl sometimes and the pediatrician said this was ok but she doesnt want to do this every night. I get frustrated with the screaming fits at bedtime, the constant asking if they can sleep with me (or their mom), etc etc. I have been trying to find some Supernanny stuff on YouTube that address this but can't. Can someone offer some helpful advice, what can we do to help the kids look forward to bed time and not fight us? Thank you
They're going through disruption and change, so step up the physical activity. It sounds like the last thing your sister wants to do, but those kids should be running in the park or on the playground with her, at about 5 pm. If they came in tired from physical exercise, and ate dinner, did school things (the 8-year-old) and got to bed, they would sleep, and it would increase their ability to handle stress also.
I agree with Annie that vigorous exercise is great.
I also wonder, though, why can't they sleep with their mom? If your sister put a thin mattress like a kindergarten mat on the floor in her room, eventually they will realize their own bed is more comfortable.
They have slept in their mom's room. They sleep right on the floor and don't care that its uncomfortable.They've slept in my room also but I need to be up to go to work and its hard for me to get ready for work with them on the floor, then they end up waking up and going go my sister's room. My sister thinks its a bad habit to get into and with them wanting to sleep with her, she has to go to bed early and try and get them to sleep and she is tired of it. An 8 yr old should be sleeping in her own bed and the kids' father also doesnt want them sleeping with their mom. I am not sure how the kids sleep when they're with thier dad but that is the house they grew up in and they have a couple of older siblings living with their dad too and I really don't know much about the sleeping arrangements at their dad's house. When weather permits, my sister takes them to the park and stuff but she is lazy sometimes and I am at work alot and can't make sure she does this stuff. It is pretty chilly this time of year and my sister doesnt like being outside when its cold so I am not sure that tiring them out after school is going to work as they do not want to sleep in their rooms. Thx for the input.
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