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Author Topic: Won't sleep in their own room  (Read 5819 times)


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Won't sleep in their own room
« on: Oct 04, 2004, 10:02:55 AM »
My step sons we over this past weekend (we get them EOW) and they started freaking out about having to sleep in their own room. We know for a fact they do not have their own room at their mothers house and that 3 adults and 3 children live in a 2/2 trailor. We have a sick feeling that something is going on over there (sexual abuse) but don't know how to go about handling it. The children are both boys and ages 6 & 7 (11 months apart). They have always wanted to sleep on the couches at our house rather than their room, but now since they have started crying hysterically when its bed time, we having really gotten worried.

Kitty C.

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JMO, but..........
« Reply #1 on: Oct 04, 2004, 11:00:49 AM »
You need to get them to a professional immediately.  That's a sign of PTSB (post-traumatic stress disorder), something DS's therapist diagnosed DS with a few months ago.  If at all possible, videotape the events as well.  There's no way to even speculate what might be going on at BM's house, but whatever it is, it is having a PROFOUND effect on the boys and you need to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......


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RE: JMO, but..........
« Reply #2 on: Oct 05, 2004, 12:53:43 PM »
Or it could be just separation anxiety from each other.  They are used to sleeping in the same place...do they share a room at your house or have separate rooms?  Have they had these/this room for awhile or is this new to them?  Have any accusations been made against you?  Could the other parent be telling the boys something to make them afraid? Think of every possible reasons for their reaction...


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RE: Won't sleep in their own room
« Reply #3 on: Oct 05, 2004, 03:07:42 PM »

I'm not a psych professional, but here are my thoughts.

It could be any number of things.

Maybe they saw a really scary movie, and they worked themselves up over it.

Maybe they're pulling out the tantrum card because they simply LIKE to sleep with the parents.

Or, maybe it's something along what you're fearing.

I'd suggest that next time, well before bedtime, you just ask them, "Do you think anything bad could happen to you if you sleep in your room?"

If they say monsters, ask them what kind of monsters, and what might the monsters do.  If they think monsters may come and eat them, it's normal.  If they think monsters may come and do things to their privates, obviously you can read between the lines.

Or if they tell you outright what you don't want to hear, you'll have your answer too.

If they don't have a reason, press them more.  "Well, it just seems like you don't want to sleep in your room, so I need you to help me understand why that is."

I have conversations at this level with my 4.5 year old daughter, so no doubt a 6 year old boy can help you learn what's going on.

And... if they really don't have a good answer other than, "We like to sleep with you", then maybe that's the only reason too.



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RE: JMO, but..........
« Reply #4 on: Oct 06, 2004, 05:09:25 AM »
They have always shared their room at our house (we have a 3 room house and our daughter has her room, we have our room, and the boys have their room - with two beds) but we have been accused of abuse (both physical and sexual in the past) which came back that it was false. its just sad, we don't have alot of money to fight with, and we know something is definately wrong with them :(


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RE: Won't sleep in their own room
« Reply #5 on: Oct 18, 2004, 11:24:57 PM »
Sorry to hear your boys are having a hard time...the posters are right, it could be a number of different things, but trust your instincts, as they are usually right on the money.  If you have concerns of abuse, you must act quickly to get them help so they are safe.  

It could also depends on how they have been raised, either home, and is this NEW behavior for them or has bed time always been hard? Has there been significant family structure changes happening in either household that may be increasing their fears?  Or changes in bedtime routine maybe?

Our child was diagnosed w/ Generalized Anxiety and the psych said she had an inordinate amount of fears, more than we realized she worried about.  She sees a play therapist, and she helps her deal w/ these worries, through play sessions.  Our daughter has been known to make situations advantageous to her and also to "stretch" the truth to get what she wants, which is to have an adult sleep with her.  

If you have concerns, and wonder a good way to broach the subject with the kids about what is wrong, a good way for us has been to bring it up as a general topic, while doing something else like it isn't a big deal (even though it is) or say something like, "when I was little I hated to sleep in my own bed...or use a special stuffed toy, or even a real animal to relate those fears onto, like, "Teddybear told me he wants to sleep on the couch or with me, do you think the (kids) bedroom is too cold for him (or too dark) or whatever".  It seemed to help our child be able to talk about her fears with being less vulnerable.  

And let them know you don't think anything bad of them for their fears, that everyone is afraid of something(they may worry over that inside)  The biggest thing is to give them a feeling of safety and security, which helps our child.

I pray it isn't child abuse, their custodial home doesn't sound like a good home structure for the children and sounds like Social services should become involved.  Document everything they say or you observe of their behaviors, the professional help you get will be asking for that.  


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RE: Won't sleep in their own room
« Reply #6 on: Nov 14, 2004, 05:03:04 PM »
Haven't seen you in a long time.
I am sorry the kids are going thru this. Have you tried talking with them to see if they will open up to you or anyone else in your family.

Seems something is wrong to me as well.

**These are my opinions, they are not legal advice**


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RE: Won't sleep in their own room
« Reply #7 on: Nov 19, 2004, 02:54:10 PM »
My step-daughter went through the same thing. Seems Bio mom had told her Dad would leave her during the night, with the evil stepmother. She was afraid that he would "disappear" during the night when she was sleeping. She insisted on sleeping right outside our bedroom door on a couch. She had just turned eight years old, wet the bed nightly, lost all her hair when mom moved in with & married her present stepfather. She is now eleven and a half and started sleeping in her bedroom, on her own, this past June. She hasn't wet the bed here in two years, and her hair has grown back. It also helped that we let her have a friend over for a sleepover one night a month. They play games, watch movies, and fall asleep in her bedroom. She just needed time to get confident that Dad wouldn't leave in the middle of the night, as her mom had told her. Plus she is my "shopping buddy", comes to me for clothes advice, boy advice, doing homework, school projects, etcetera. Her mom does nothing with her and doesn't take her anywhere with her.


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RE: Won't sleep in their own room
« Reply #8 on: Nov 28, 2004, 10:38:21 AM »
Oh, Rainbow..

That's wonderful! She's lucky to have good friend like you. Makes me smile.. Will you be my boy's stepmom too?

Jack (5)is afraid of the dark, and being alone at night. He always wants to sleep on the couch, because it's closer to my bedroom. He's normal, just very attached to me.


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