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Manda

HELP! Kids Are Waking Us Up At 4am!

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Manda

Ok I'm officially out of ideas and patience, as is my 12 year old DD. We cannot keep functioning like this.

 

My other kids (DD-5 DD-7 DS-8) are up from 4-5am every morning, now they go to bed early- keeping them up doesn't work (been there, done that) all my kids have been early to bed kids until they get older, therefore I don't expect them to sleep late. I do however at their ages expect that they can play quietly. They are allowed to get up and have some friut, play in room or watch tv/play computer, but they don't, they yell scream , thump, bang and high pitch screall. Nothing I've had tried has worked. Ive tried taking devices (computer etc ), taking treaty snacks -I've tried rewards for being quiet and respectful. Ive tried explaining that it's the right thing to do to be quiet and respectful of people who are still asleep. I've tried begging, yelling, pleading.+ more, I'm currently trying a star type chart- that's failing too.Each thing I have tried, I have tried for a reasonable amount of time and have been consistent.

 

I just don't know what to try next. This has to stop. I don't feel this is a stage either, its been going on for the last couple of years- that's how long I've been trying to resolve this.

 

They share a room, I have tried different arrangements but they affected DD 12 even more.

 

 

If anyone has any ideas, please throw them at me. Please don't say "DD and I should go to bed earlier" we do, I don't get much sleep due to medical conditions, also I Want my kids to learn to be respectful of others. As well as 4am is just ridiculous. I'm sure the neighbours don't appreciate the noise either.

 

Sorry for the long post, I'm just so depleted. So desperate.

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halcyondays

Mine used to wake up too early. Then we went on a 1 week long camping trip in winter where they were outdoors walking all day, and around a campfire at night - rolled into bed at 8.30-9 pm and started waking up at close to 7 am!

I think it was the outdoors exertion, complete lack of screens and devices, and the cold keeping them in bed.

 

I came back and stopped all screens and it has continued for a year. They are allowed to now watch 30 mins after lunch on a weekend or holiday, but that is it.

 

I'm not sure if allowing them to get up and play is helpful, but I'm sure you've tried stopping all food and play and TV until a more reasonable hour.

 

Maybe run them ragged for a few days outdoors this school holidays and remove TV/computer? Sports camp?

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Franny and Zooey

How early do they go to bed?

 

It sounds like they have just got into a habit that you need to break, like the pp suggested. It could be easier to break it by taking a trip/overnight stay somewhere, as they are out of the normal environment.

 

My DD 8 goes to bed 8-830 usually.

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daybreaker

Is there one child that wakes up earlier than the others and is maybe waking up the other 2 then? I would separate them, even put the earliest waker in your bedroom if you don't have a spare room.

 

Then he/she won't wake the others and you can try to get he/she back to sleep one on one.

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magnanimous

I would stop letting them do what they want in the early morning. It could be they find it better than sleeping.

 

My DS sleeps in on school days but used to get up early on weekends because he wants to play the ipad. I stopped this by a no ipad before 8am rule.

 

So what about buying a digital clock and telling them they must stay in bed reading quietly until 6:30am. No getting up except to go to the loo. Your kids are all old enough to understand that. And i would enforce it very strictly with privileges lost and very cranky mum for any infringements. They might then work out sleep is the better option?

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Manda

Unfortunately going away is not possible. I just can't afford that. They spend a week at their dad's house and then a week at mine. But they know and completely understand that dad has his rules and mum has hers.

 

Yes i have tried the no food/ no out of bed until x time, with the same result.

 

Due to my medical conditions we cant do all day physical trips. We do walk to local park (i don't drive...well only a mobility scooter). We have a big back yard which on weekends/ holidays they play in most of the day.

 

With Tv and devices, they only have them for a awhile in the evening ( they don't use them in morning despite being allowed to). Weekends they play in short bursts between backyard play.

 

They are asleep by 7pm....of their own accord. I have tried keeping them up various ways but they beg to go to bed.

 

There's no one particular child waking everyone up, it's collective. It doesn't matter if they are separated, they just go into each others rooms- which just affects whoever else is in that room as well.

 

As you can see, I've tried soo many things.

 

Ive even sat down with them and casually said " if every time you say stood on a chair and you got in trouble - would you keep doing it?" And they all enthusiastically said "no way that would be silly" so i asked what the difference between that and this morning behavior is, they couldn't tell me.

 

They also stay at my mums one night a month and they sometimes do it there, sometimes not.

 

 

* sigh*

Edited by Manda

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opethmum

I would enforce no getting up before a set time and that they cannot get up and cause a muck. Like PP said they are old enough to know better.

 

I would even let it impact what they want to do. If they get up early then no going to friends or the planned activity and I would take a nap in place sand say "Oh well DD/DS you got up before 7 and I am tired and can't drive or take you to x today." or "You wanted to make muffins or do x , sorry you got up at 4 am when you're supposed to be asleep and stay in your room". Do natural consequences and take their choices away even if it is a simple request e.g going to the park.

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anatomicalheart

Mine went through a stage like this, and in the end I gave them two options: get up and play quietly, or be sent back to bed.

 

And if they woke me up by being inconsiderate and rude (let's face it, they're old enough to know they're being inconsiderate), they missed out on screen time for the day.

 

It took a few weeks of following through on sending them back to bed before they realised it was much more fun to behave appropriately and get to play than it was to be sent back to bed.

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sophiasmum

If you can't separate them for sleep then I would separate them as they wake. I would say 1 is allowed to go to this zone, 1 is allowed to go to that zone, and so on. Sounds like they are winding each other up when together, separation may be the solution.

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TobiasFLK

I agree with the reinforcing not getting up rule.

 

We have a grow clock set to 7. Kids are not allowed out of bed at all until then (DD sleeps until then anyways) DS usually wakes at 6 - most mornings I hear him singing or reading to his teddy.

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daybreaker

So do they stay in bed/sleep in at their Dad's?

 

If so, I would say the same rules apply at your house and try to align all the rules the same at both houses so they see it's consistent and the same with staying in bed.

 

Easier said than done I'm sure.

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Manda

Thats the tbing though, they are staying in the room ( despite being allowed out)they are mucking up in the room. Even with my door closed and my tv on they are loud.

 

It would be impossible to separate them, the 5 and 7 year olds won't be in any room on their own.

 

Errr their dad's. ....well lets say he's too strict but has no structure in his house.

 

I guess ill keep trying this star chart- it's still new. As i have tried taking literally all their privileges and it didn't work.

 

I think i need to be firmer all round, I try not to be too hard since their father is to the extreme end.

 

Thanks for trying to help, i swear to god if they Don't smarten up, ill make them do NOTHING aside from school and eating/bathing.

 

Thanks again.

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Natttmumm

I know how hard it is being up early - we have one out of three who's up before 6am (often 5am or 4am too) most days and its very exhausting. We separated her from the others (not always possible).

 

All I can say is that nothing works for us with lasting impact - I have learnt to accept that at least she is asleep by 7pm and its peace for me and DH. Some kids bounce around until 10pm - which I would hate. Sounds like you are getting 10 hours with them quiet - maybe you cant change that. So many people say to me keep my DD up later - I have done that many times and she still wakes early and is then a cranky mess so that simply does not work for her.

 

we went on holidays and couldn't separate her due to the hotel room and we the whole family was woken each day by 5am (one day it was 430am) - I can say I was very cranky after a few days.

 

Sorry I have no answers only sympathy

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kim11

I had an early to bed and early to rise for a long time. It sounds like they are going to bed too early and they are doing so because they are tired from getting up so early. I would suggest trying to get their bedtime to about 7:30 very slowly. Start with 5 minutes extra, go to bed at 7:05 for 5 days, then add 5 more minutes for a few days, bed at 7:10. Maybe leave it there for a week or two depending on what you think they can handle. Then gradually move it like this until you get to about 7:30. They won't start sleeping in right away but after a time going to bed at 7:30 they should start sleeping in a bit more. You can move it later, 7:45 if you think they can handle it but even 7:30 should get them to sleep in a bit longer. Also the start chart and expectations are good to work on. Good luck. It sounds exhausting when it has been going on for so long.

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~THE~MAGICIAN~

What does your son do at this time? Is he woken up too, or can he sleep through it all. Does your 12 yo have her own room?

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TheFirstNoel

That's tough, i do have a 'stay in bed until x time' alarm clock for one of my children. They are allowed to read quietly in bed until then.

 

If you simply cannot get them to stay quietly in bed then I might try assigning jobs. If they insist on getting up dont let them be idle! This doesn't have to be mean, but give them a job they can have ownership of and take pride in. If they wake up the 7 year old can make hot chocolates while the 5 year old makes the beds. Then the sisters can sit together in a nice spot and do their special quiet things... I'm thinking, a box with a beautiful sketchbook and colouring supplies, tell them its a dream journal and to draw what they dreamed! I may also put a music player with SEPARATE headphones and load up one audiobook at a time. One book means no fights over who chooses what! Then add some interesting colouring books and hopefully that will buy some quiet time.

 

My thinking is, if you can't fight the wake up time then at least set them up for success in being able to be quiet, by giving them something to focus on. Be creative!

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