Needing to be tucked in

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiped Out, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This isn't really that important or even a big problem in the scheme of things but I'm just wondering if anyone else has a teenage difficult child that needs to be tucked in every night? difficult child is 14 and will not go to be unless he is tucked in. Usually husband tucks him in and reads to him and sometimes I do. He is o.k. if we skip the reading part but not the tucking in part. We have to put his blankets on a very specific way. Even then about every minute he will yell to us downstairs, "Good night." (Thankfully he falls asleep quickly so he doesn't yell down for too long). If he wakes up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom he will wake us up and ask to be tucked in and won't budge until we do, well actually husband because I am far too crabby in the middle of the night to tuck him in.

    Last night husband was out shopping and I tucked in difficult child. He wanted me to come back and tuck him in a second time (I'm not sure why he got up)but I said no since he knows I have a once a night tuck in policy. Later when husband when into our room he asked why difficult child was sleeping in our bed? He absolutely will not go to sleep in his bed if he is not tucked in.

    Like I said not a huge problem in the scheme of things but it seems so strange to me for a 14 year old to be like this. I do know that he is younger than his years but this still seems extreme.
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Gotta say Sharon, it kinda sounds like some of the "rituals" my difficult child has which I have always attributed to anxiety. Not sure it has as much to do with the actual tucking in as much as a ritual he needs to complete his night.

  3. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Sharon, my difficult child is 15, and it isn't an every night thing, but alot of night she will ask me to tuck her in, and then sing to her. The songs from when she was little. That is a huge clue to me that she is either super anxious, or her depression is getting worse. Back in Nov./Dec. I was actually having to sleep in her room with her. After I tucked her in and sang to her. (and I have to sing until she falls asleep.) And, I am right there with you in the "it is not such a big deal in the grand scheme of things"
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Sharon - thank you did this for a very long time - probably until he was 16? We called it wrapping him in a burrito. When he was home, he couldn't go to sleep unless he was wrapped very tightly in his blanket. I always attributed it to a sensory thing.
  5. sjexpress

    sjexpress Guest

    My difficult child definitly has the same nite time issues. Funny you wrote about it. He will be 12 soon and every nite I have to tuck him in, kiss and hug him. Then he asks me to send in husband so he can say good nite to him ( even though he just kissed him in the livingroom). Then after husband goes in, I have to go back into difficult child bedroom again so he can tell me what time to come back in to check on him. He usually wants me back in 10 min. If I am not there in the specified time, he calls out for me. He generally falls asleep after the 2nd "check in". But just like you, if difficult child wakes at anytime in the middle of the nite for any reason, he calls for me to come into his room. He will not go to the bathroom in the middle of the nite by himself. Also, he is an early riser and if husband or I are not up yet, difficult child won't go into the livingroom or anywhere in the house unless he wakes us and we "set him up" where he wants to go. I know this is all his nervousness from his anxiety. He has always been this way. We used to have to sit with him till he fell asleep till was about 9yrs old so this is a huge improvement and even if it is a bit annoying to have to do this, it just makes the nite run smoothly so in the scheme of everything else we have to deal with because of difficult child issues, this is not so bad!

  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    It might be a sensory thing, it might be as simple as wanting to be able to go to sleep feeling loved, too.
  7. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Yep, my difficult child does it too. For awhile after he came home from Residential Treatment Center (RTC) I had to sleep in his room with him, then stay in his room untill he fell asleep, and now? I can just tuck him in like we used to do. I have never really tryed to figure out why, I am just glad I am not sleeping on the floor of his room anymore!
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    The tweedles need(ed) this for the longest time. We went so far as to swaddle them tightly. I had bed tents for them as well ~ it really came down to anxiety plus sensory issues.

    kt still needs a tuck in on occasion when she's feeling vulnerable, anxious or depressed.
  9. Buglover

    Buglover Member

    My 6 yo has always got out of bed and come into the living room about 100 times after we tucked her in. This can go on as long as 10:00pm, and it used to make us so irritated. Now that we know she has sensory processing disorder (SPD) and it a separation/anxiety thing its easier to deal with, but still frustrating. She gets a long bath and then we read with her for a half hour , then tuck her in, and POP she is right out of bed as soon as we are down the hall. Every night.
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks Ladies,
    Nice to know I'm not alone. I think it has to do with anxiety along with some sort of sensory thing. He likes the blankets pulled up over his head. I wonder what he has done on the few sleepovers he has gone on and when he used to go to respite.
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Kiddo does that with the blankets, too. I've seen a lot of kids do it and did it often as a kid myself so I never thought much about it.

    ETA: I do recall reading in King's books and other places this is also common and referenced as the whole "If I can't see the monster in the closet he can't see me" type of thing.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Yup. 15yo difficult child. It's not sensory for this kid... just has to be in the right order, and he "has" to have a back-rub.

    I chalk it up to the "uneven development"... part of him is 15... part is 25, and part is... more like 5!
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds like a combination of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and sensory to me. OF course my kids did not want me around them int he mornings and they sure tried to not wake me up unless they were sick or hurting because I am not real pleasant when I wake up. That is due to my own sensory and other issues. I woudl far rather tuck my kid in at 15 than to get up and do mornings with them, but I seem to have the biological clock of a vampire.

    Is having him fall asleep in your room a problem for you? What would happen if you locked your bedroom door int he evenings and he couldn't get in and you didn't give the second tuck in that he wanted/needed?

    I am asking because his reaction might help you figure out the root of the problem. Esp if you looked not at just what he said but at physical signs of fear, etc....

    FWIW, I know of a couple of families where the parents still tuck in teenage pcs. Not sure why, but I know it happens. In one family I think it is the mom's inability/unwillingness to let them grow up, but that is my take based on what I know of her problems.

    regardless, I hope this is not a big thorn n your paw, and that someday he doesn't need that or he finds a very tolerant significant other.
  14. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I agree with Susie that it sounds like a combination of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Sensory issues, possibly with a bit of anxiety on top.

    My difficult child needed to be tucked in until he was 17. Until he was 16, this included singing a good-night song. That had been his going-to-bed routine since he was a baby, and he had a great deal of trouble giving it up. difficult child's therapist suggested that we replace his nighttime routine with a different routine that was more age-appropriate. That way, he still had a set of transition steps between waking and sleeping, but it didn't involve singing lullabies to a 17-year-old.

    We ended up implementing:
    - warm bath with lavender scented bubbles
    - fresh flannel pyjamas (because they're soft, and met his sensory requirement)
    - bed made super-tightly so that when he got in he still had that "squoze" feeling that he needs
    - small night light on, white noise machine on
    - soft music on the stereo, with a timer set for 45 minutes. Enough time for difficult child to wind down, and a replacement for the lullabies.

    WipedOut, I agree that it's not a big thing, but I wonder if working on a replacement sleep ritual might be helpful for your difficult child?
  15. tessaturtle

    tessaturtle New Member

    Our soon to be 15 yr old difficult child demands to be tucked in each night too! We thought we were the only ones this was happening to, glad we are not alone. About a year ago, he actually, all of a sudden, started putting himself to bed. He would say goodnight and then head downstairs, turn the lights out and go to bed, no problem. We were thrilled that he finally seemed to be moving into normal teen bedtime only lasted about a month :( Each night he will get ready and the yell at the top of lungs from downstairs for husband to come down and put him to bed. Even if husband is in the middle of something, difficult child will either yell repeatedly "DAD, Dad, DAD" until husband goes down, or difficult child will come sit on the stairs until someone (myself or husband) go put him to bed. We can't figure it out, he doesn't require actual tucking in, he throws the blankets on himself; he only occasionally wants a hug or kiss - and its usually always only when i tuck him in not husband...the only thing husband and I can think of is that he doesn't want to shut off his own bedroom light?...anyway, I know in the grand scheme of things, its not hugely important...but it would be nice to have a teen that does the normal teen thing and just go to bed themselves! Honestly, I can't see why he wouldn't want to do it himself - I loved when i got to the age that I could put myself to, that meant I could close my door and stay up and read or draw, etc. for awhile before I fell asleep! lol