For those of you without children, I’m sorry. But I had to post about this. I’ll do more posts for your enjoyment later. Although… some of these ideas may be helpful for husbands or roommates! 🙂
We have a real problem with getting Aiden to bed. He is not a very good sleeper, and for what seems like forever, he has had to have either Ches or I sit next to his bed until he falls asleep at night. A few weeks ago, I said enough is enough, he is old enough to just go to bed! It took some kicking and screaming the first night, less the second night, and even less the third night, but it was working. Aiden was figuring out that he could go to bed on his own and he didn’t need us to stay in there with him. However, even though I know all the experts say you should have a set bedtime routine, we weren’t so rock-solid on it, so Aiden would often get up with excuses like, “I need to go potty!” or “We forgot to say family prayer!” or “I need to give you a kiss again!”. I was talking to some more experienced mothers (they have teenagers or older now) about this, and I got a great suggestion from one mom. She sat down with her kids and they made a checklist. The kids decided what all went on the checklist, and every night they went through the list. The kids could see what was on the list, they ckecked it off every night, and they had no more excuses to get out of bed (“I need a drink!” “We forgot to read a story!). So Aiden and I spent an evening making one fine looking poster that now hangs on his closet door. Every night Aiden excitedly goes over the entire list, and IT WORKS. Except that he still says “I have to go potty again, Mom”, and then what do you do when you are trying to train him to tell you when he actually has to go potty? So we quickly sit on the potty, and it’s back to bed. Here is Aiden’s Bedtime Checklist:
Put on pajamas
Sit on the potty
Family prayer (this includes kisses and goodnights)
Read a story
Get a drink
The other suggestion that the woman had was to have the kids help make the chores list. She took each of her kids and they got to choose what chores they thought they could do. Every month or 6 weeks (whenever she felt it necessary), they would make up new lists and add on to it what chores they were able to do. Her kids literally fought over what chores they wanted to have (“no, I want to do the dishes!” “I get to vacuum!”), and they rushed to do their chores everyday so they could keep the chores on their list. By choosing on their own, the kids feel more in control and they WANT to do these things.
I swear, this woman is a genius. I had a little bit of an idea of using a list (I wanted to make one up for using the bathroom that included flushing the toilet, washing hands, and turning off the light), but it wasn’t going to be one that Aiden got to choose what was on the list. Seriously, this thing is great.