Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

7 Year Old Anxious about Bedtime, Gets Stomachaches every Night

My 7 year old daughter is generally a happy, funny, intelligent little girl.  However, at bedtime, or even the mention of bedtime, she turns into "Mr. Hyde".  We moved to a different state about 5 months ago, which was a major adjustment for her, as we moved away from my parents and grandparents with whom she was very close.  Also influencing this issue is the fact that for about 2 or 3 months after we moved, she had to share a bed with her 4 year old brother or myself on the nights that my husband is working (he works midnights).  I realize that this is a lot for a young child to adjust to, but on all other levels, she seems to do very well.  She has made lots of friends, is doing well in school and is helpful and happy most of the time.  

The major issues are that she makes excuse after excuse to get out of bed, usually from 8pm at bedtime until sometimes 10 or later.  After she does fall asleep, she will wake nearly every hour throughout the night, half of the time she is not even fully awake, but babbling incoherently or crying and whining inexplicably.  Sometimes she blames nightmares, sometimes she needs to "go to the bathroom" even though she just went a half an hour previously, sometimes she will just stand there and stammer, seemingly trying to come up with a reason to be awake.  Also, every night, after being tucked in, she develops a stomachache and needs to have a bowel movement, no matter that she JUST went to the bathroom.  I do not doubt that this is a real occurance as I have seen the results, but I am not sure as to whether or not she is just "holding it" until bedtime or if she really cannot help it.  I am at my wits end as she wakes up not just me and my husband when he's home, but also her younger brother who needs even more sleep than she does.  I have tried rewarding her when she stays in bed, revoking privileges when she gets out of bed, ignoring her...and now I just scream at her and I am ashamed to admit, I have spanked her at the height of my frustration.  I AM NOT A SPANKER!!!  Especially not out of anger and frustration!!  I just don't know what to do.  I've read parenting articles and books that offer solutions, but none seem to address this kind of issue where the child refuses to stay in bed at all throughout the night. I am so exhausted in the morning due to her waking sometimes 7 or 8 times during the night, and I know that she must be feeling the effects as well. Please help me!!
1 Responses
535822 tn?1443976780
When you lived in the other state and were near Family did your daughter sleep in her own bed with no problem ,this is a new problem since you moved?She has some anxiety at being left in her own room and it is possibly she got used to sleeping with you when you were at the last house,all the yelling and spanking will only make it worse,she is making excuses so you will give way and let her into your Bed. whcich is often what happens so parents can sleep. Perhaps if you be firm without any drama or yelling , tell her she has to go to sleep in her own room ,let her read if she is not tired and leave the room , when she comes out take her back ,she will yell ,do not yell back, firmly tuck her in ,you may have to do this several times, be consistant  be quiet and determined .Once she sees it is getting her nowhere and you wont give in maybe she will settle down.Is she happy at school no problems there,to upset her. Focus on her positive side and get Dad involved playing Games and outside activities, so she is busy.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Child Behavior Community

Top Children's Health Answerers
189897 tn?1441126518
San Pedro, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
We answer your top questions about the flu vaccine.
Learn which over-the-counter medicines are safe for you and your baby
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
Healing home remedies for common ailments