Sleep in your bed now.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by FTN, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. FTN

    FTN New Member

    Our difficult child destroyed her other bed when she was younger. So for a little over two years so was never made to sleep in her room. This obviously made her believe that the living room was in main room while her bedroom was merely storage space. Her mother never disciplined her and she can often be a feral child. I've been somewhat successful at changing the behavior of both for the better.

    So we got her a new bunkbed for Christmas. Yet she still refuses to sleep in her new bed. She claims its uncomfortable. I often have to carry her in kicking in screaming.
  2. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I think that to start, as long as she's in her room , that's good enough for now. Let her sleep on the floor if she has to. Gradually, give her a reward for laying on the bed for 10 minutes. Let her go back to the floor after the 10 min. The next night give her a reward for 15 minutes of laying on the bed....soon she'll fall asleep there.The reward should not be anything you buy, you can just take her favorite toy, or somthing special she likes to play with, and reserve that ONLY for this reward. Give the reward immediately after the 10 minutes. I swear this system works!!!-Alyssa
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Has she ever been evaluated? Sounds like something is up, more than just a behavior problem? Any psychiatric, neurological or substance abuse on either side of the family tree? Any history you can give us? You may want to do a signature like the one I did below. Has she ever had any speech or social delays?
    Are you saying you are changing your WIFE'S behavior too? I'm confused about the issues here...I realize the internet is a hard way to communicate. To me it sounds like you blame your wife for the child's "feral" behavior. Even more lax discipline does not create "feral" behavior--that is either from a childhood psychiatric or neurological disorder or from abuse of some sort. How do you discipline her? Does she and you get any help? I don't think, in my opinion, that the bunkbed is the main issue here. How old is your daughter?
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    FTN, when you get a chance, it would be helpful for you to create a profile (similar to mine below) that details the family unit, children, ages, dxes and medications (if any). It helps us remember everyone's story and circumstances when we're responding to your posts. Just click on the "My Stuff" tab and then "My Profile" to create your signature, which will appear at the bottom of every post you write.

  5. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    The bed might be uncomfortable, especially if she's use to sleeping on a sofa. Or she may not like being alone in a room, away from the activity of the rest of the family. She might even be afraid of the dark or of being alone and unwilling to admit it.

    Have you considered a reward system to help motivate her? As the one pediatrician I had said, "Sometimes nothing works better than a good old-fashioned bribe." Not something you want to do all the time, but something to consider.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Up allnight's reward system sounds promising. How old is this child? It's difficult to know what the right thing to try is. I'm not sure if we are talking about a 4 year old or a 15 year old.
  7. FTN

    FTN New Member

    You're right. I think its more than just a behavioral problem but her mom is dragging her feet on getting her into counseling, etc. And by feral I just meant more along the lines of frequent temper tantrums which include breaking things.

    Its sad but I do blame her mom from time to time. She was too scared to get divorced from difficult child's abusive dad. Unfortunately, she had to work the night shift leaving the older two to rear the youngest. Her upbringing wasn't exactly a bed of roses either to say the least. In the past, she was afraid to reprimand them for anything but is definitely developing a backbone in that regard. Before, she'd get home from work then hide in her room since she didn't want to be terrorized by the youngest.

    The older two aren't from the the difficult child's father. They came out about 5 months accusing the youngest's dad of molestation. Authorities are investigating but we haven't heard any updates for a while now. difficult child has a two hour, supervised visitation bi-weekly. Its pathetic because before all this came out he would never show up for his weekends with her. Or on the off chance he would, he'd just throw her in front of the TV at his place and have multiple women over. She has memories of him beating her yet she tells us all how she loves him and has changed (in and out of drug rehab, etc.) yet hates us for trying to instill basic hygiene rules, vegetable eating, etc.

    In the past, I always liked kids but this has changed my mind. I don't know how to deal and cope with such a child.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    As far as the bed and why she won't get into it - there are a million variables to why she got rid of her first bed and why she doesn't like her second one.

    Since there isn't going to be a psychiatric. in the near future to work on issues of fear and anger - or to give her coping skills for sleeping in a new bed - it kinda leaves suggestions from 1 - infinity as to why she's doing what she's doing. A lot of her behavior could be minimized with a psychiatric. doctor, an evaluation and therapy. Not just for her either - for all of you. I was in denial about what happened to my son, it was depressing, and it made me insane - but I thought if I'm 34 and can't handle this - what in the world is my son age 6 going through? No way of telling - until I went to the therapist.

    But - if it's a matter of trying to get her to sleep in it - give it up. Let her sleep on the floor. Get some sheets and make a fort or palace out of the bottom bunk so she has extra privacy.
    If she keeps going back to the living room - get up, get her up, make her go to her room, put her blanket and pillow in the room and say nothing more than YOU SLEEP IN HERE. NO arguing, no attitude, no yelling - just simply YOU, sleep here.

    You have an angry child on your hands. You have an angry girl child who claims to be molested and is being offered no coping skills because her mother is waiting for the insurance. Mental health works on a sliding scale fee...but you have to call them for an appointment.

    I can't imagine when you do go back to court and a judge says to your wife "What type of counseling have you provided the girls?" and she says "Oh I'm still waiting to hear back from our insurance" that that statement will fly with him. Because the first thing he's going to tell you both is Mental health is free

    I hope your kids get professional help somewhere. I hope you keep coming back here for support.


    ps. Ask yourself this question. If I couldn't even sleep in a bed because my nightmares and dreams were wracked with visions of molestation - do you think brushing your teeth and listening would be high on your list of things to do that day?

    Your kid has found a way to cope with a horrible situation. In our world it's called self-taught coping skills. They are not good coping skills, but for a child of her age, suffering what she did, it's the best her brain could figure out for self-preservation.

    Trying to get a child with her level of frustration, anger, and depression to do ANYTHING seemingly normal is a good start but until she works through her anger in counseling - trying to teach her about vegetables and hygiene is like putting on your shoe and then your sock. She isn't going to be able to cope and it's going to push her into further depression and self-loathe, and it can ultimately wreck her self esteem.

    And your wife sounds like she has Battered wife syndrome and if she doesn't want to wait for the insurance to get herself into therapy - then make her call a battered womens shelter. IT TAKES YEARS AND YEARS WITH a good Therapist to begin to see the light at the end of the abused wife tunnel. Apparently the situation IMVHO has put her in denial about her daughters, she is wracked with guilt and she also has NO coping skills.

    PLEASE seek therapy - you have a lovely family - and the kids have a great dad - and a wonderful, hard working Mom. They just need help and unfortunately that sounds like YOU are going to have to step up and make some decisions for them.

  9. FTN

    FTN New Member

    Star* and all, thanks for all you've said. I wish I had read this bit earlier. It would have been easier to bring up with her mom after difficult child's outburst while we tried to help her with her homework.

    After she had her little episode, she cried in her room while having a loud, semi-intelligible conversation with herself. I spoke with her mom about this but she said its a girl thing. Then she proceeded to vacuum the whole house for about an hour.

    I'm really going to press the issue with her. Thanks for all the support Star* and all.
  10. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Oh god.....

    My difficult child daughter was abused in the bio home. She slept in the living room for almost 3 years before she felt "safe" enough to move to her bedroom. This make take time; it will take lots of patience - lots of therapy. Mom needs to get on board with that.

    And saying that, while kt is in her room her mattress is still on the floor. You do know, don't you, that monsters can't get under the bed if the mattress in on the floor?

    I'm not being glib, please know that. I'm entirely serious.

    Good luck in getting your difficult child (and your wife) help.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    FTN, you said, "she cried in her room while having a loud, semi-intelligible conversation with herself. I spoke with her mom about this but she said its a girl thing."

    This is not a "girl thing". There is something wrong. If your partner is suffering from "battered wife syndrome" then I think it falls to you to insist - evaluation and counselling all round. You too, if that is what it takes to get SO to agree.

    Frankly, I do think a lot of it from SO is fear, and inertia.

    Good luck, and stick around here. You are certainly not the only bloke on this site and everyone here will give you support and a fair hearing.

  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Maybe she was molested in her bed and afraid to be alone there? I really think the entire family needs serious family counseling. I also think the youngest needs a more intensive evaluation--not just counseling. Whether or not the investigation can find proof of molestation, BELIEVE the girls and take them for help FOR SEXUAL ABUSE. That can be devestating for the development of these kids. Your wife, as you noted, was a very weak mother and allowed her kids to be in danger. You took on a lot when you married her. I notice you're in the military. So was my hub (for ten years). Sometimes he wanted to do the "miltary thang" at home--rules, you just do them, etc. It didn't work and I stepped in and told them "um, no." With kids you HAVE to be flexible. With kids who've had this sort of background, you're likely going to have problems for years to come, especially if you don't address these issues NOW--and with more than just counselors. You likely need Psychiatrists too. It is hard to get girls to talk about being molested. They feel like it's their fault and many don't admit it for years or forever, but, if it's there, there will be evidence that something terrible is wrong. Your wife sounds young and immature, but you can't help her--you're not trained to help her. I agree she likely suffers from "Battered Wife Syndrome" which zaps women of ALL self-esteem--it is devestating.I've started volunteering at a home for battered women. They come with their kids, crying hysterically, and many say "I made him do it. It's really not his fault." Your wife (or SO) needs her own therapist--perhsps she also suffered sexual abuse as a child and found it to be the norm in her first relationship. All of them need A LOT of help and your life is not going to be a cakewalk. And, sadly, even with the best of your intentions, you won't be able to "fix" them by simple gestures such as bunk beds or being loving. It's just not enough when people have suffered so much damage. You really got yourself into a tough situation, but now that you're there the best thing you can do is get top notch help for everybody and not just chalk it up to "bad behavior." Any sexually abused child or physically abused child is at high risk to act out later in life, use drugs, or get into trouble with the law...or abuse themselves. Please get everyone help, including yourself, just so you can understand them better. This poor little kid whose afraid of her bedroom probably has every reason in the world to be afraid. Somebody probably abused her in some way and her mother did not protect her. I wouldn't force the bedroom issue without going to therapy with the kids and finding out what's really going on, something you can't know yet. Sometimes kids even forget abuse and have flashbacks. I had a friend who was terribly abused as a child and it came back as flashbacks as an adult, which terrified her. Before that, she had constantly been attracted to abusive men. Please be proactive and good luck.
    PS--Kids tend to love even abusive parents. That's partly why it's such a sick violation when parents hurt their children (or stepparents).
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I had a thought -

    Survival is not living - it's existing. If your wife and kids are not going to go to therapy as the head of your household I would suggest that YOU find the time, make the effort to go on your own.

    At LEAST you will have a professional to bounce your fears, thoughts, worries, cares off of and in return get some viable solutions for your family. I say this to you because when no one in my home would consent to "going to see a man who will tell you you are crazy" I went. I actually snuck to therapy before I left my abusive x. I told him I was playing on a pool league (which going to a bar, drinking and hanging out was okay, but a therapist was OUT). Once I started going - I got the idea of which therapist was listening, which was not, who I thought I could talk to and who I couldn't. Sometimes you get really lucky and just walk in and get a good one you click with.

    Could you go to the VA and ask for therapy? (By the way thank you for serving and protecting us) But if not the VA - I urge you to either call a local women's shelter and ask them if they will send you some literature. It sounds like your wife is in total denial about EVERYTHING. She's basically shut down, and going through the motions of life - she's not living. That's so sad - She sounds like a very loving person - but it's HARD to take that first step. So if she CAN NOT, and you love her - YOU GO.

    If there is no womens shelter IN your area - there are plenty of resources on the internet - and in the front of every phone book ( I think) are numbers for hot lines - if you need help just ask.

  14. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    FTN: Whoa! You've got your hands full!

    First and foremost, Thank you for the time in the military. My husband is a vet and we always try to remember to say "Thanks!" for the protection and service. Good luck in school. Thinking about a major in psychiatric? Just kidding.

    I really feel for you and yours. Your wife is probably suffering so many things, battered wife, guilt about the molestation, the inability to protect her children and most likely depression. Denial would most likely come very naturally to her.

    Your little one will definately defend her Dad. The court is forcing him to go see her (albeit supervised) so in her eyes, he never used to show up regularly, now he is, so he's good and getting better.

    You're striving for a normal life and that's really not happening. Ah, nothing worse than being rational and sensible in an irrational and nonsensical world.

    Try this: follow the suggestions given from the others. Take a breath before you react to your daughter. Let her know that you love her, are there to protect her and you care. Read the Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It's written in "human speak" rather than in technojargon. It'll give you some insight as to what's going on when your daughter loses it.

    Unfortunately, you are going to have to be the one to address the Psychiatric research. Is she doing a lot of this stuff in school? How's that environment? If you need help trying to figure out this stuff, let us know. It's a great resource here and we can try and help!

  15. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    An additional note, if YOU go to therapy, your daughter may be able to go, also, as a part of family therapy, and it may be covered by your benefits. Its probably not all that she needs right now, but its more than she's getting, which is a start. We used this to get around difficult child 1's lack of insurance for a bit.