Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Get-Out-Of-Bed-Free Tokens

I originally wrote this post in June as a guest host over at Sweet Peas & Bumblebees.  Just in case some of you missed it, here it is again:

I'm the mom to two little critters who are five and three.  Lately, we've been having some issues at bedtime with the universal problem of them coming out their rooms with, "I need a drink of water", "I want you to snuggle me", "Look at what this toy does", "I see scary shadows".  You get the picture.

I've been running this idea around in my head for awhile now, but didn't know exactly how to execute it.  Yesterday, I decided it was finally time to get this problem nipped in the bud.

Art project!!!  I explained the logic behind the project to them, (which I will also share with you), and then we headed out on a scavenger hunt.  The goal:  10 small, round, flat rocks.  We brought them in, got them washed, and busted out the craft paint.  They each chose what they wanted on their rocks and I painted them while they painted pictures for me.  I used a rattle can polyurethane to seal them.

The Girl chose ladybugs and flowers.   The Kid chose turtles and flowers.

Here's what we've named "Get-Out-Of-Bed-Free Tokens":

Here's how it will work:  I let them each pick out a box from my stash to put their five rocks in.

At the beginning of the week, they will start out with all of their rocks.  If they want to get out of bed once they've been tucked in, they will need to hand over one of their "tokens" to The Mom or The Dad.  Once the "tokens" are gone, no getting up.  If they make it through the week with five "tokens" remaining, they'll get a "special prize".

We did a trial run last night.  The Girl, who normally gets up two or three times, only got up once, immediately after being tucked in, for a glass of water.  She brought a token with her.

The Kid, who also gets up several times, didn't get up once.  This morning he bragged about still having all five and is dialed in on that "special prize".  

I'm thinkin' I just may have solved the problem.

Progress report:  The Kid no longer gets out of bed at night once he has been tucked in.  He has earned three "special prizes".  The Girl has yet to make it an entire week without using a token, but her frequency has gone down from several times a night to only a couple times a week.  I'm callin' that a success.

6-20-2012 -  It has been nearly a year since we first started this system and I am happy to say, the kids no longer get out of bed after being tucked in.  On the rare occasion that one of them does get up for something, they always bring a token with them.  This worked so great for us and we don't even need the lure of a "special prize" anymore.


  1. This is the cutest and most clever thing I have ever seen love it!

  2. So so clever! I'm so happy they are staying in bed for you. My husband wait every night for the all clear before we get some ice cream. 2 of my kids are good about going to bed. 1 not so much. Just might have to try this with him.

  3. Fantastic!!!! I love this so much. Ugh. . it's so nice to know we all struggle with these things and can help each other out. Great great idea.


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