Alright, folks. Let’s get serious. We love our kids, we cherish the moments we get to spend with them. But heaven help me, once bedtime rolls around they better keep their cute little bums in their beds or I am gonna have a meltdown.
I have a pretty strict bedtime routine. We have read all the books and blogs. I have watched all the videos and talked to all the Mommas and I know and believe that a bedtime routine helps immensely. Every night we do the exact same thing. But guess what? They still were getting out of bed at least 5 times every night…each!
When you have 3 kids sharing 1 room and each kid gets out of bed at least 5 times it makes bedtimes last 3 plus hours EVERY NIGHT! Now, I am not a drinking woman. But bedtime made me question my choice to withhold from the liquor. Seriously. Bedtime was rough!
After LOTS of trial and error, I think we FINALLY came up with a solution. Well, actually 2 solutions. We rotate between the two methods and bedtime has completely changed at my house!
The first method we use is EASY! Most toddlers are visual learners. My kids have a hard time remembering rewards and consequences. That is until we made it visual.
When we use this method we go buy a big tub of candy such as M&M’s, Starburst, Jelly Bellies, etc. Make sure to pick a treat your kids love!
Each night we set out 5 pieces of the candy on the kitchen table. So, in our family, we had 15 pieces of candy out each night. We explain to the kids that IF they stay in bed in the morning they could eat their candy first thing! But, if they got out of bed we would take 1 candy away each time.
It took a few nights for them to figure it out. But, after a few nights of us walking them to the table and taking away 1 of the candies each time they got up they finally got the hang of it! Word of advice with this method. Make sure that they are physically seeing you remove each candy. The visual of them losing a candy seems to have more influence then the words “you lost a treat”. Seeing their candy disappear made them realize pretty quickly it was best to stay in bed.
This method is my favorite. It does take a bit of work to set up but it has been the most effective in our family.
I know what your thinking. What the heck is Bedtime Baseball? Well, let me explain! It is awesome.
Every night we start a new inning. So, each night each child is given the opportunity to get 3 strikes before they get an out. Each time they get out of bed or are loud and Mom or Dad have to go hush them they get a STRIKE. Strikes are bad. Once they get 3 strikes they are out and don’t get to advance a base that night. Each night they stay in bed without striking out they get to advance a base. Once they have run all the bases (4 nights) they get to pick a toy from the Mom Store. (Mom Store – a basket with Dollar Tree items). If they make it an entire week without getting 3 outs they are allowed to stay up Friday night and watch a movie past bedtime.
Once again, I suggest you do this visually. We bought a whiteboard from the local Wal-Mart where we drew a baseball diamond along with days of the week and a scoreboard. We also got each kid their own magnet that they move in the morning to the next base, if they earned it. So, each time they get a strike we put a mark in the strike column next to their name. If they get an out it goes next to their name and on the day of the week area. By making it visual they are able to remember and decide if getting out of bed is worth the risk of getting another strike or an out.
We have loved this method so much! I think you could do it with any sport too! Just customize it to fit the interests of your kids.
Please give these a try, especially if you are struggling with the bed show! Let me know how they work for you! And don’t forget to tag me @bossinchaos on Instagram!
With Love~ Charley