difficulty getting 5 year old to bed

Kari - posted on 07/26/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My problem is that my son does not like to go to bed. At all. Ever. I've struggled with him since his brother was born 3 years ago. I don't think his brother coming along made him this way, but it certainly didn't help. We try to get them both into bed around 8 every night, and asleep by 8:30. The biggest problem is that they share a room, and now the youngest one is turning to oldest one's patterns. I asked him tonight why he didn't like going to bed and he said it's boring. All he wants to do is stay up and play, even when he's dog tired. When he was just starting to walk, he didn't like naps, and literally would go until he just fell over asleep in the floor.

I've tried time outs, no caffiene at all all day, taking things away, and threatening to throw his toys out. The only thing that ever seems to work is if we threaten to not let him go with us the next day if we know we're going somewhere. He also has a bad problem with not listening to us, even when he's looking right at us when we say something. All I know is that it's driving me absolutely bonkers! Anyone have any suggestions for me as to how we can get him to like bedtime and go to bed when he's supposed to? he's starting kindergarten this fall and will have to get up early to catch the bus. I really don't want to have to seperate the kids if I don't have to, but I fear that is the only way that this might end. What do you think?

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Donna - posted on 01/26/2012

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I have a 5 year old who is the same way... I've found that the only way he'll actually get into bed and fall asleep is if he's just dog tired. I know it's winter, but late afternoon when it's warmest, let them get a good 30 mins, to an hour to run an play, makes bedtime much smoother for us. My husband has always had problems sleeping, insomnia to a T - well, he's very sensitive to our boys' sleep problems, which i'm thankful for... but it sure is frustrating... especially when you are looking forward to some quiet time.

Another trick that's hard, but works... wake them up early for a solid week... 7 days to make or brake any habit... by the 5th or 6th night, you'll probably have a hard time keeping up until bedtime!! Good luck!

Genia - posted on 07/26/2010

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The book The No-Cry Sleep Solution For Toddlers and Preschoolers might have some helpful ideas. You say he's just bored...is it possible to just let him stay up as long as he stays in his room and doesn't wake his brother? maybe listen to a book on tape quietly or sit with a book light and look at books (I'm assuming he can't read because of his age, but if he can read even better)? Try role-playing during the day maybe? Use toys and play that one is a kid who doesn't want to sleep and the other is a frustrated mommy, he might get into the play and reveal some hidden reason about why he won't sleep. Maybe try some excersize a couple hours before bed? Like a long family walk or an excersize DVD? Does he have a bedtime routine? Just some off the top of my head ideas, hth.

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