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Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 58725
Experience:  GP in the United States
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We need help my 6 year old grandson appears to be a normal

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We need help my 6 year old grandson appears to be a normal child from a loving family, but ta bed time turns into another child. He parents spend plenty of time with him has the usual story, they read or he does, then when told it is time for sleep he starts, following his parents around the house, hitting them, kicking, punching screaming etc they have tried to ignoring him, shutting them selves in there bedroom, talking things away, toys, trips, outings you name it they have tried it,this can go on for 2-3 hours every night, they also have a 9 year old daughter who is becoming affected by it all. The whole situation is destroying there family life, my son is a police officer and works shifts
Thanks for this question.Does the child behave normally otherwise?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes a loving normal little boy doing well at school, well mannered and behaves like a little boy should.
Most likely this comes from a fear at night time. Have the parents considered laying down with him until he falls asleep then leaving? Possibly taking turns doing this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, he just laughs and starts jumping about.
have they tried taking away privileges?or a reward system?Give him a gold star each night that he goes to bed on time and then after he gets 10 stars, he gets to pick an activity
It seems very simply but it often works well with kids
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes they have tried charts stars and all the usual rewards, it might work for 1 night and that is it.
Interesting. This seems to be highly resistant to treatment.what about negative reinforcement?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Such as?
taking away things. Taking away toys or video games and most importantly STICKING with it
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As you can see in my first correspondence to you we have tried all that
maybe he isn't tired.Does he take naps? go to school?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes he goes to school and doing well no he does not have naps
What time do they try to put him to sleep?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
8pm later at the weekend
maybe it needs to be moved back a bit?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So far you have not told me anything we have not tried
Have you tried moving the bed time back a bit to 9 pm?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And it didn't help?What do you think the actual reason is? Is he scared or just playing game?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He does not appear to be scared he thinks it is funny
And what about corporal punishment?Dad is a cop. Has he enforced that?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have told how unhappy he is making his parents and he yes he will stop but is still carries on.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Such as
A firm spank on the bottom
Maybe he needs a wake up call to how this is affecting his family. Seriously what are your other options? You have literally tried everything else. You and the parents are only human.And if he doesn't understand the seriousness of this situation perhaps a spank will let him know
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They have tried that, I do not think that is the answer
what about taking him to the GP and possibly a mild sedative at night? I have seen it done before.Like benadryl or melatonin
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We have some melatonin do think that would help
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This is not a drug available in England
It is over the counter
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is it safe at the age of 6
Yes, it should be. You could ask his GP to be sure.However, benadryl probably works better and is safer
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is it available in England
Yes. It is also called diphenhydramine
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thank you we might have to give that a try.
you're welcome.Well, I'm glad I could at least help a bit!I really feel for you on this one! This is hard.Please don't forget a positive rating. I appreciate it
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