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Old 09-11-2018, 10:42 AM   #9
Rose Blossom
Married to DH since 2009, Two ginger DS babies 2013/2015, Chihuahua mom, Forever Changed
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Default Re: 5 year old stays awake

Originally Posted by CelticJourney View Post
I have a few questions before I can ponder a suggestion:

You say you are strict with his diet, play time and sleep time. Can you expand on that? Do you mean very strict exact times, or do you mean you make sure his eats well, has plenty of opportunity to play, etc?

Also I'm confused by your what you described - he interrupts play to talk to you. If his need is to talk, to communicate, etc then why would that be a bad thing? It sounds like he has a lot going on in his head and really need to talk about some of it.

Beyond that I would suggest first you see your pediatrician. Ask for them to check his thyroid numbers (my son has an autoimmune condition that caused rages untreated). And yes, a therapist might be able to give perspective on all of this. Perhaps he is afraid that if he sleeps, someone else will disappear from his life, even temporarily.
Sorry! I'll explain I have never been able to have "strict" scheduling beyond knowing that lunch is between 11/1130, nap is at 1:00 bedtime is between 7:30/8. I meant that I am careful to make sure he's eating a balanced healthy diet, and has plenty of outside time and play time. He also has small "chores" like feeding the dog twice a day and cleaning up toys.

I don't mind if he wants to talk, we do tons and tons of talking during the day. But if I am trying to make a phone call or help his little brother or quickly accomplish loading the dishes he will persistently (and it feels like emotional aggression to both his dad and I) and relentlessly talk to us to the point of exasperation. A 10minute task ends up taking 25minutes because of the constant interruptions of "look mommy" "watch mommy" or "come here". I don't like having to constantly say "wait a minute" but he is only content and self contained if the tv is on...otherwise he is literally constantly talking. And if we tell him that its time to go pretend on his own or quietly play, he won't. His dad and I can't even have a conversation without him cutting in to ask questions or interrupt. Just typing this out and reading it back to myself, it sounds like we have some cracking down to do behaviorally. But I'm at a loss. I have no idea what to try. He won't leave anybody alone. Now on top of that he won't sleep.
We are in a place where we can't afford a counselor unless insurance completely covers it. And the situation with his dad and I was so emotionally ugly I'm afraid to let a counselor in on it. His dad has been home for 6 months now and everything is calm and back to how it was (minus our finances)..I keep hoping he will calm down too. But he hasn't.
Does that make sense?

---------- Post added at 01:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:29 PM ----------

Originally Posted by mamacat View Post
I would also try adding magnesium. maybe in the form of a warm Epsom salt bath before bedtime. Since it seems to be anxiety,need for reassurance related, would make a small bed in your room where he can come and knows it if he needs to. Sometimes knowing they have that safety net option is enough to help them go to sleep more easily and stay in their beds more. This is quite common for that age
He used to sleep with us. Its how we survived his hourly waking for the first 2years of his life. Then he requested his own bed/room after his brother was born, and started preschool, which ramped up his illnesses. He was so sick he had no choice but to sleep. Now if he's near people he literally can't be quiet and shut off his mind. Ever. He was in our room for a month when we had to replace the flooring in his room after the humidifier leaked. No one slept. And our intimacy was affected too...(I know its more than the bedroom, but sometimes thats the only private place, ya know?) I have anxiety thinking about the possibility of letting him back in our room. I just need a break. I love my kid, but my nerves are frayed.

---------- Post added at 01:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:36 PM ----------

Originally Posted by Soliloquy View Post
He could be stuck on fight-or-fight (sympathetic nervous system out of balance with parasympathetic). Kids can be born that way if mom was stressed during pregnancy. They can also get stuck in that mode from stress and trauma, which you alluded too.

Other things sound like developmental delays which could be tied in to the nervous system being very off balance, or at least exacerbated by it.

I would look for time-release melatonin as a start. I wouldn't look for a child's version since you know how much you can give him. Just look for time release that's within the dosage limits. Too much melatonin can cause nightmares so I'd start low.

Several people have recommended a program called "turn around anxiety." That might be helpful.

I wouldn't push school just yet unless he really enjoys it.

I had a child who behaved very similarly to what you described, with some differences. It took a look time to figure things out but we're making progress. Expect healing to take time.
Would it be rude to ask what you ended up finding? I sometimes wonder if he has ADD or some form of autism/asburgers sometimes. He is so incredibly smart but he will not under any circumstances calm down and focus. We can't play board games or color or even jump on the trampoline or ride bikes for longer than 5minutes before he's moved on to the next thing. The only thing that holds his focus and he will actually stop talking for a little bit is when the tv is on. But that can't be on all day, thats insane. I admit I turn it on simply to have a brain break and some emotional distance though. He will let his little brother play without pestering him to the point of tears, and I can finish my coffee and put dinner together for a minute without constant chatter/interruption. My "high needs" baby has become and even higher needs kid...Sorry for the whine. I'm so tired. Also, his dads new job is 12-15 hour days. So its just me from the time they're up until they go back down during the week...and then he doesn't sleep, but DH needs to, so I handle the nighttime issues too...
The call to follow Christ is inextricably connected to the call to serve others in love. Who needs to experience the ministry of the body of Christ more than the insecure, the weak, and the helpless? Into our arms He delivers these new ones, and He is faithful to empower us to have all that we need to be His hands and feet to them." Spirit-Led Parenting
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