Our 10 year old stepdaughter has trouble going to bed at night. She refuses to go to bed, and fights us very hard, to the point where our only hope of her going to bed is to physically pick her up and put her in her bed. Then, we have to keep picking her up and putting her back into bed, up to a couple of dozen times.
Her attitude and behaviour are fine until we ask her to go to bed... it's like a switch.
The routine goes a little like this:
We say godnight and ask her to go to bed. The first one or two requests are usually ignored. When we stop requesting and start telling, she responds with "No", "make me" etc.
This is usually followed by delaying tactics or inventing reasons to come back downstairs. We reach a point where the only response she will receive is the word "Bed", followed by physically putting her there if necessary.
It can go on like this until after midnight, and she will vehemently complain, insult, argue, scream, shout, hit things, slam doors, say hurtful things, throw stuff, and has at one point struck one of us.
We have recently suffered through 3 weeks of this with only a single night off (which was rewarded). We have been consistent with not budging on bedtime while allowing other things that aren't as important, so the frequency started to lessen. However it crops back up and is a real pain on a weeknight - and I don't want to give over any random weeknight to keeping one of the kids in bed.
Is there a better way to deal with this other than our current method of asking nicely up to 3 times, then telling, then physically putting her in bed?
We do think that she just wants more attention and are doing our best to give her as much as possible. Assuming we can find & help with the root cause, how do we deal with the symptoms without losing our sleep-deprived minds?