My stepson lives with us almost every other week. We pick him up on a Friday night after work and he usually goes back to his mums on the following Thursday after kindy. We’ve had the routine going for over a year now and hes pretty settled into it.
Last Friday, however, his mum dropped him off instead. He didn’t handle it well at all; tears, screaming, hanging onto her not wanting her to go, the works. This, unfortunately, set the scene for the weekend and the beginning of this week.
During the day he was fine, we played outside with the neighbour’s kids, he went on his scooter, played under the sprinkler, did some painting. His grandparents came round for dinner on Sunday afternoon and stayed for dinner, he was really happy to see them. Bedtime and sleeping was a whole different story.
He hates getting changed from the clothes he’s in to the clothes he should be in, so that was battle number 1. Number 2 was the nightlight incident outlined in my previous post. Number 3 was him constantly getting up in the night (3-4 times), not wanting to sleep in his bed, not wanting to go back to sleep, crying at night, having nightmares. He even wet the bed slightly on Saturday night which hasn’t happened since he was potty trained over a year ago.
He doesn’t want me near him when he is like this, which is hard because I hear him crying and just want to fix it but I can’t. He just wants his mum (understandable) and even my partner can’t calm him down sometimes.
On Sunday night it all came a head. He woke up at about 10.30pm and cried solid for his mum for over an hour. Nothing to comfort him worked. We managed to get a hold of his mum and her and my partner made the decision that he should go back to her house even though it was our week because he was in such a state.
We went round to see him last night and he was still on tender hooks emotionally, the littlest things set him off into tears.
We don’t know what’s causing the unease because he can’t articulate it to us yet. He does have a lot going on in his little life at the moment because of some changes in his mum’s life, but we dont know how to get him to talk about it. It’s heartbreaking having the little thing in a puddle of tears and not be able to help. If anyone knows any tips for getting kids to feel safe in their beds so they sleep through the night, or how to address nightmares I am all ears.