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Struggling tonight

Magicisintheair February 26, 2022 21:17

My daughter (12 years old and adopted) really didn't want to go to bed tonight and said she was "scared" but "couldn't say why". She's in bed now but I'm having to sit on the floor in her room because she says she's scared, she wants me to stay here all night. She normally wakes up in the night so would notice If I went to bed.

What should I do? Anyone got any advice? Thank you so much in advance

Magicisintheair February 26, 2022 22:40

She's still not fell asleep yet

Agape February 26, 2022 23:07

My two adopted sons are awake too! I’m with them. They get scared and when they do, I do stay with them (well, they stay with me). The older makes his own bed on the floor which I don’t like but I have learnt that exploring fears at bed time is not a good thing (at least for us)

The younger 8 was so scared two nights ago that he fell asleep around 1 am. He stayed with me.

I tend to explore fears during the day but if they are so scared, we stayed together.

Hope you manage to sleep.

Magicisintheair February 26, 2022 23:13

Hi Apage, hope you and your boys manage to get some sleep.

This hasn't happened in 3 years (used to happen quite regularly) so its just came out of nowhere.

I don't know if I should stay here in her room where I am now or get into my bed and make her a bed on the floor in my room or have her in my bed if she wants, I'll have to decide soon though

Agape February 27, 2022 01:15

It’s indeed hard to know what’s best to do in the middle of the situation. In terms of sleeping and having had multiple problems to deal with, I do what help all of us individually and as a family to sleep. A bed on the floor for one of them and/or allowing one to sleep in my bed has worked for us.

What I do do the day after is explore the fear during the day.

I hope you are sleeping now. I’m going to now as boys are eventually sleeping. Thinking of you.

Magicisintheair February 27, 2022 07:38

Hi Agape, hope you managed to get some sleep.

Unfortunately I ended up having to stay awake as my daughter was awake all night and didn't sleep on bit.

Have you got any advice on how to explore the fear?

What if she wants me in her room all night tonight again?

Serrakunda27 February 27, 2022 11:09

Is she aware of current situation in Ukraine? A 15 year old I know has been having major meltdowns for a week or so, her mum finally got to the bottom of it, she’s terrified we are going to get bombed

Magicisintheair February 27, 2022 11:11

Yes she's aware of it, I hadn't thought it could be about that, how should I go about getting to the bottom of it?

Also I hope the 15 year old you know is now feeling a bit better

Agape February 27, 2022 11:22

Good morning,

It seems I managed to sleep more than you did! My third boy woke me up several times looking scared, crying and calling me and dad every time I left the room. Eventually, he spent the rest of the night with dad as I had our middle one with me.

I recently came across a let’s call it approach to exploring anything really. It’s called CPS by Dr Greene. It is not specifically for traumatised/adopted kids but it gives a lot of insight on how to approach “exploration”. It requires a looooooot of patience. If interested, we can chat about it later.

In the end, I had to wake up relatively early as my eldest (the one who slept) woke up on time!

Best wishes,

Sleepy mum

Magicisintheair February 27, 2022 12:21

Morning Agape,

I'll research that let's call it approach now. She's still saying she can't say why she's scared.

Also I hope you get some more tonight.

Hoping I get some more sleep tonight but I've got a feeling it'll end up being like tonight.

Take care Agape

Magicisintheair February 27, 2022 17:14

Tried to explore the fear today but she still won't tell me.

Just hoping she sleeps tonight as she's in school tomorrow

Safia February 27, 2022 19:10

I think the thing is they don’t necessarily know where the fear comes from - it may be a deeply entrenched feeling as a result of early experience. Something may have triggered it but again she wouldn’t necessarily know what. It’s a long process to try to help her understand what’s underlying it l- a lot of “I wonder if…”. If it happens regularly at night you need a plan that as someone above said works for everybody - so everybody can get a good nights sleep. So it’s just accepted that when she is really scared you can deal with it and support her. You don’t necessarily need to know the reasons - as with a baby it’s the reassurance and comfort that helps.

Magicisintheair February 27, 2022 19:22

Hi Safia, hope your well?

I completely understand what you mean, she hasn't scared at night for 3 years but back then it was every night so i had her in my bed with me pretty much every night for years.

It just came out of the blue last night as it hasn't happened in 3 years.

I think I'm going to have her in my bed tonight so we can all try and get some sleep.

Do you think it's likely she herself doesn't know where the fear is coming from?

I hope this isn't making me come across like a bad mum because I do love her

Safia February 27, 2022 19:43

Of course it doesn’t make you come across as a bad Mum! Exactly the opposite. I think it’s quite likely she doesn’t know / realise what’s behind it and so trying to get to the bottom of it may not work - so reassurance is the key. Someone above mentioned a particular approach that worked for them - I haven’t heard of it but it’s worth looking into / discussing it with them. Also I can’t remember if you’ve said whether she has any form of therapy - if not it’s be a good time to request it - and if she does then it’s be worth letting the therapist know of her recent fears and how they’re affecting her

Magicisintheair February 27, 2022 19:50

Hi Safia,

I completely forgot to look into that approach, I'll message Agape about it in a minute.

She hasn't got any therapy at the moment, what's the best way to go about requesting that?

Magicisintheair February 27, 2022 19:53

Agape - just messaged you about the let's call it approach xx

Magicisintheair February 27, 2022 21:07

She's decided to go to bed but she's asked me to stay with her again so I'm going to have her in my bed tonight

She's still scared but can't say why

Agape February 27, 2022 23:02

Apologies to all,

I was too sleepy (or a bit lazy) to get my facts before posting hence “let’s call it approach” which is not the name.

The real name of the approach is “Collaborative and Proactive Solutions” by Dr Ross Greene. I firstly read his book “The Explosive Child” (Audible) and then attended one of his courses (on line from the USA).

It is a way of exploring and working out solutions to specific problems a child/family maybe encountering taking into account the child skills (not what he/she “should” be doing), specific problems, the child and parent expectations and concerns and coming up with a plan (he calls it Plan B). This is a very (and I mean very) short explanation of what it is.

He has used this approach with kids with different diagnosis like ASD, ADHD, FASD, ODD, Attachment disorder, developmental trauma to name a few. What matters is not the diagnosis but understanding what are the lagging skills that lead a child to have the behaviour they are having. In this case fear.

Having said all of that I would agree with Safia that this might be an opportunity to engage with therapy. The way we’ve been going about it is by using the Adoption Support Fund (ASF) managed by the post adoption SW. Have you ever been in contact with them?

This is the link to the ASF.

Hope this is helpful.


Magicisintheair February 28, 2022 21:01

Hi Agape,

Sorry for not replying sooner. I will take a look at Collaborative and Proactive Solutions for future reference.

She was in my bed last night but kept waking every 30 minutes or so

I've been able to get to the bottom of what her fear is, it was what Serrakunda27 suggested it may have been, she's worried about "something happening to us" because of what's happening with Ukraine.

How do I reassure her? I'm not entirely sure what to say myself

She's asked to be in my bed again tonight so just hoping we get a bit more sleep than last night.

For therapy, i have tried the adoption support fund in the past and they we're not very helpful, is it worth trying again?

Safia February 28, 2022 21:09

With the adoption support fund it helps to know what you want - to have done some research first. And yes you can apply again. As far as reassuring her - you can reassure her that you are there for her and always will be - none of us can promise nothing will happen although hopefully it’s unlikely. I think it’s a good idea to keep her close at the moment as you suggest


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