Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Help...


Why is it so hard for our 9 year old to sleep alone in her bedroom? She has convinced herself that she cannot sleep alone. Better yet, that she cannot fall asleep alone. So, she lays awake worrying that she will not be able to fall asleep, and that in the morning she will be so tired she will not do well in school. As the minutes pass, the more frustrated she becomes.

We have tried our therapist. We have tried reasoning with her. We have tried bribery. Any suggestions?

4 comments:

Midwest Mommy said...

I am sorry I can't be of more help. BG lately has not wanted to go to bed and has been stating "I scared." The last two nights we left the closet light on for her and then she was fine.
Is something freaking her out?

ummmhello said...

When we went through this, I'd tell Belly that I'd be "right back" and leave him in there for increasingly longer times until he eventually started falling asleep waiting for me. I know it sounds cruel, but in the morning he doesn't remember, honest! Can you try that? Tell her you're doing laundry and you'll be right back. Then stay gone for 5 minutes, then 10 and so on.

Don said...

An interesting tack might be to pick up a magic lantern. It's a square lamp used to display a simple rotating scene on its translucent paper walls, projected from within. The images are generally child-oriented, like dragon and knight, fish, pirates, birds, angels, dinosaurs, etc.

Click for an example on sale from a British retailer.

I'm sure you can find them in the States - I know I did - but be careful when searching for them on Google or other places. There's a predecessor device with the same name that's a precursor to modern slide projectors. I was going nuts looking for the modern version on Wikipedia, finally giving up and trying Google like I should have in the first place!

These lamps are made for kids who have trouble sleeping. It provides gentle illumination in the room (so the monsters can't hide) and the rotating scene has a semi-hypnotic effect, lulling a tired child (or adult!) to sleep in a relatively short time.

You can even play it up a bit, creating a story together about the scene the lantern is showing. If you lack time and creative writing skills, it wouldn't be hard to find a few bedtime stories to go together with most of the scenes. This will probably work better than reasoning or bribery!

Gypsydoodlebug said...

What about a sound machine? I can't sleep without mine...