Wednesday, November 04, 2009

How to get most of your kids to stay in bed at night.

Not too long ago I was pulling out my hair because my kids wouldn't stay in bed when I tucked them in. They were like super rubber bouncy balls, I'd tuck them in and ... booooiiiinnnnnggggg, they'd bounce right back. All evening long I was listening to "Mooooommmmmmm, Geo came in my room" or "I can't sleep, Eli is bothering me." Multiply that by a hundred or more creative variations of reasons not to stay in bed and you can see why I was starting to get a little stressed.

Out of desperation I went searching on the net and found something I thought might work. It suggested giving your child 3 tickets that they can use for coming to see you, if they want water (and didn't get it before going to bed), they can use one ticket, if they're afraid of the dark, they can use one and come see you, if they just feel like getting up, they can use one more, but then after that, they have no more get-out-of-bed-free coupons. If they get up any more times after that, they don't get any tickets the next night (I was SO hoping my kids didn't just say "so what?").

To sweeten the deal I decided to throw a reward into the mix so I told them that they had 3 tickets to use how they wanted, but IF they didn't use any of their tickets, they would get a sticker on a chart the next morning and when they filled up the whole line (10 stickers) they could have an ice cream cone after lunch, (if they were sick, they would get an ice cream rain check to be used as soon as they were sufficiently well).

Well, that really motivated them! My older 2 said "Mom, this is easy, it's easy to stay in bed." I wondered to myself why, if it was so easy, hadn't they done it before? Anyway, they haven't been down one night since I started it about 20 days ago, we're still working on Eli, he only 1/2 gets the concept that if he even uses one of his tickets, he forfeits his sticker, but he really is getting better.

My evenings are more peaceful, I'm less stressed, much happier; they stay in bed, go to sleep sooner, get more rest. ♥☺ Of course your mileage may vary, but I just had to share what's working for me.

1 comment:

Saltbox Scents said...

I really like your style and posts; very informative - but you have no follow button ?