Being a parent is a job where you never get to clock-out. There will always be an issue to attend to or something to fix.
They don’t tell you that in the handbooks.
And they also don’t tell you that every situation is unique and no definitive answer fits.
You’re doing your best, but are you doing it right? Is there more to do? What signs are you missing?
Case in point…
Our Redditor LailaAnne1983 wanted to discuss her story for some feedback. So naturally she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for forcing daughter(10F) to sleep in her own room?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I know this sounds bad but please let me say my piece.”
“My daughter was trained to sleep on her own since she was a wee child.”
“She never once had a problem with it but as of recently she has developed a new fear of sleeping alone out of nowhere.”
“So I initially talked with her asked her if it was irrational ‘ghost’ fears or darkness fears, etc.”
“She denied all of them but then when I probe on the subject further she starts getting frustrated.”
“Anyways, at first I was compassionate, I would let her sleep in between me and my husband on the condition she would at least try going back to sleep in her own room through baby steps.”
“Days turned into 8 weeks now. I have asked her multiple times why she is so afraid of sleeping alone and she always reacts with tantrums or cries, and I will eventually give in.”
“I have tried everything, gotten her plushies, gotten her night lamps/glowy stars or gave her choice to turn the lights completely on and we even rescued a pet cat to accompany her in her room.”
“(Don’t worry we didn’t rescue a cat just to keep her company btw, we as a family adore cats).”
“EVEN WITH ALL THIS she refuses to sleep alone and won’t tell me why.”
“Daughter also developed a bedwetting problem when she sleeps with us, and it is very uncomfortable and tiring to change sheets so often.”
“I have gently coaxed her to sleep in her own room. I stayed with her till she felt asleep and then I went to my room.”
“Guess what, she came into our room again at 1 am asking if she can sleep with us. I said no and led her to her room again.”
“There were tantrums and eventually I just locked the door to my bedroom shut which on hindsight I feel bad about.”
“During the weekend she went to visit her father (my ex husband) and he was angry after she told him that I did not let her sleep with us anymore.”
“He thinks I am the A[**] H[ole[ for shoving her away, but literally every other time I was accommodating and nice to her concerns.”
“I also feel bad for locking my room door but then again I can’t continuously let her sleep with me anymore.”
“Plus the bedwetting also makes everything more arduous.”
Redditors had no issue sharing their thoughts on this matter by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors felt our OP was NOT the a**hole, but everyone had some caveats and wide ranging thoughts on the matter.
“NTA but a new fear of sleeping alone and new bedwetting is an indicator there’s something else going on here. I would presume there is a bigger problem than bed-sharing.” ~ Disastrous-Fuel-2757
“Her behavior was concerning enough then to develop bed wetting at 10 is VERY concerning.”
“Developing bed wetting as this age is a sign of extreme emotional distress.”
“Talk to your pediatrician, they will also be concerned.”
“She needs a therapist or a counselor, somebody she can feel safe talking to.”
“I would suggest letting her sleep on a cot or something. She can sleep in your room, just not in the bed until you get things figured out.”
“Tell her that is the compromise.” ~ bgreen134
“Check with her teachers, maybe something happened at school, maybe someone is bullying her and she feels ashamed of talking about it.”
“If nothing comes up do not investigate further, call a therapist and let them take care of this.”
“I know you are worried, but if she is not opening up insisting will only make things worst, you are too involved and you could end up overanalyzing things.”
“Or you could miss some important signal, anyway she needs professional help.”
“In the mean time just work on letting her feel safe and protected, it may be just a phase.”
“Don’t jump to conclusions until you had some expert investigate her behavior.” ~ this_broccoli-101
“There is a much more significant concern that she cannot or will not yet discuss. You need to connect her with a therapist.”
“What is happening at school? Peers? Friends, or former friend(s) ? Academics? At dad’s house? Within the neighborhood?”
“Can you think back to when it started – was she away overnight? Did she seem moody or giddy or anxious during the day?”
“She is telling you she has a problem. Don’t ignore it!” ~ OkapiEli
“INFO: Sudden bed wetting and fear of sleeping alone are possible signs of a medical issue.”
“Have you taken her to the doctor to see if it a medical issue?”
“If she doesn’t want to talk about it, that could be because it’s an embarrassing issue that she doesn’t know how to talk about.”
“NTA for being frustrated, but you should discuss these issues with her doctor.” ~ lostalldoubt86
“NTA. What you’re doing is completely understandable and your feelings are valid.”
“However, it seems that there is an underlying cause of her fears, she just may not be comfortable letting you know yet.”
“Especially when you pair the ‘irrational fears’ with bed wetting. It could be helpful to consult a professional on this matter because I can tell you’ve tried everything you could think of. :/ “ ~ paqura
“Child psychology +/- sleep expert needed.”
“This could be normal development hurdle or she has had something horrible happen to her.”
“You and dad need to co parent better. If she sleeps in his bed she’s never going to be able to do it just at your house.”
“NAH” ~ Dry-Expression
“I think a decent solution may be an air mattress on the floor of your room.”
“It would be easier to clean, and while she wouldn’t technically be sleeping with you she would still have you close by.”
“Hopefully this phase passes soon.” ~ First-Actuator-8273
“NTA. Your frustration is understandable but there’s likely something bigger going on with your kid.”
“The best solution to this problem is taking her to a child psychologist or counselor. The sooner you do it, the sooner you can get the problem fixed.”
“Good luck OP.” ~ Cheap-Equivalent-761
Our OP heard everyone’s thoughts loud and clear so they posted an update.
“Based on the comments you gave I finally understood that I was being irrational and blind to the signs.”
“Here are the things I am planning to do as per your suggestions.”
“1- Therapy plus doctor plus apologizing to her plus therapy/treatment plan if there is one.
“2- Taking a small break from school to let her enjoy.”
“3- Getting air mattress with disposable sheets or if not I don’t mind washing if it is a thinner cloth.”
“4- Keeping stepdad and dad away for a while to let her open up and not be afraid.”
“5- Visiting some places she likes to get rid of stress.”
“Thank you for the suggestions, I read all of them and I realise my mistakes now.”
“This has helped me become more vigilant and I am very grateful to all of you for helping me even realise this.”
“I also have great respect for people who have been through CSA or similar.”
“Please take care and pray for us.”
Well there is a ton to unpack in this scenario.
Let’s hope mom and daughter find their best way forward.