sleep problems

Peter Community member Posts: 2 Listener
I am working with a family who have a five year old boy, fit and healthy, no medical problems. His parents are struggling with his sleep routines, most nights wont go to bed, screams and shouts to the point of being sick. When he eventually goes up to bed 10.30/11.00pm mum has to lie with him till he goes off to sleep. When they wake up in the morning he is in their bed. They have paid privately for 2 sleep practitioners to help to no avail. I know he doesn't fit your criteria but I am looking for any help/advice that I can offer his parents. I have sent them information from some of the help sites we use, but just thought you might be able to offer some advice, just to let you know he is an only child, very precious!!! 


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  • SleepPractitioners
    SleepPractitioners Community member Posts: 41 Contributor
    edited August 2017
    Hi @Peter
    It sounds like you have summed up what could be the problem "very precious!!!" This young man is boss! he doesn't want to go to bed and why would he if he has had a lovely day why would he want to go and lay in a dark room on his own, so this is normal behaviour it is up to us as parents to put in a good routine and implement it, sometimes parents don't realise the importance of sleep for their children. It is important to be firm with your children whilst walking alongside a busy road you wouldn't let them run around you would make them hold your hand whether they wanted to or not, so the same firm rules should be applied at bedtime. 
    You say when he goes to bed at 10.30-11.00pm mum is laying with him until he falls to sleep, we all wake a few times during the night, but for children and adults who have learnt to fall asleep on their own they will roll over and go back to sleep for this young man he will need the same conditions as he had when he fell to sleep "Mum"
    You haven't mentioned a pre-bedtime routine, this should start an hour before sleep time, please take a look at the link for an example of a good routine 
    Good luck with supporting the family through this
    Maxine and Angie