Sleep habits

by Trish
(Ontario, Canada)

My fiancee and I have been together for 4 years. He has an 8 year old girl and I have a 6 year old boy. The kids get along great! The problem is whenever my future step daughter stays over for a sleepover she will not go to sleep on her own. She will cry until her Dad lays with her till she falls asleep. He thinks she'll out grow it, I think he gives in too easy and that she's manipulating the situation.

He says he wants to try and change her behavior but he constantly gives in and lays with her. I think this teaches her that she can cry, or make a fuss and get what she wants, and will only get worse as she gets older.

After she falls asleep, if he hasn't as well, he'll come and spend some time with me and then go back to the spare room and sleep the rest of the night with her. To add to this we are expecting a baby together in Jan, so having to deal with this behavior is not going to help.

He won't talk to me about how he plans on changing her behavior, and won't talk to her about what's upsetting her, and doesn't seem interested in my advice. My child goes to sleep on his own very well. She does however sleep with her mom and/or aunt, who she lives with full time, pretty much every night apparently.

Sleepovers with us are few and far between, I say let her cry, she's old enough. The manipulating behavior continues cause she won't go anywhere without her dad. Can't go downstairs to grab her hair brush, unless dad goes too. Can't wait in the car if he has to run back in the house cause he forgot something. She has to come in and won't even wait in the hallway but has to follow him where ever he goes to get what he forgot.

Her and her dad were supposed to go to the store to get ice for a BBQ we were having, my son and I had gone to get food. She cried, cause she didn't want to go and wanted to wait till we got back so her dad could go on his own...they didn't go! We were supposed to of look at halls for our wedding, she didn't want him to leave, she cried and I ended up going to look at the halls with my future sister in law and he stayed with his daughter.

This is putting a strain on our relationship, he won't take my advice or follow through. Do I just learn to live with it?

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