Nov 5, 2014

A Penny for a Good Night of Sleep

I don't really know the difference in a bribe and a reward but I do know that I would spend a lot more then one penny for a good night of sleep.


My oldest daughter has always excelled at things when presented with a reward chart. For example, she potty trained like a champ when she got rewarded with a sticker to place on the wall. And when my 3 year old started having random (but often) potty accidents, I dusted off my stickers and she loved it and the accidents stopped. I think she loved it even more because her big sister was so proud of her and was ready to help her each time with a new sticker.

Well, I've started a new reward system with my girls... for SLEEP. I love my sleep. And I know how much better my girls funciton in the day when they have a good night of sleep. Kairi has always been one to get up several times a night. To go potty a few times and to come in crying with random hurts. She goes through phases but it would normally be nightly of coming in and waking us up 3 times a night, but then a phase would hit of 7 times a night. Add in a newborn/infant into the mix and my husband and I were not getting any sleep. And I became grouchy. Very grouchy.

So what were we to do to get our 5 year old to not wake up 7 times a night crying? Reward chart! Don't worry, I feel slightly genius. I give each of my girls a penny in the morning if they don't get up at all in the night. And if they wake up several times crying or sneaking out of bed, then they owe us a penny for each time. It took a few nights, but like I said, Kairi loves rewards so after 3 or so nights of owing me 4 pennies she was ready to start sleeping better. Now she will wake up only once and go potty and go straight back to bed. Brayce always has been a good sleeper, and never has had a problem of even waking up once. So her penny jar is pretty full!


However, I do have to remind Kairi to not get so wrapped up in if she gets a penny or not. I don't want her to fear waking up and coming to us for help if she really needs it because she is afraid she won't get a penny. We have taught her the story of "The Boy who Cried Wolf." There are plenty of mornings I give them grace and still reward them with a penny when there were a few crying incidents.

Two nights ago she came to me in the middle of the night while I was sleeping and tapped on me until I woke up and she asked, "How many times have I gotten up? Do I still get a penny?" It was kind of a funny moment. I told her if she wanted a penny then she probably shouldn't come wake me up asking for it.


So this all might sound silly, but the last month I have gotten way more sleep. And a few pennies is worth it to me! They even get one after their hour and a half nap. (That's where Brayce had the problem of kicking the walls and staying awake.) And nap time is peaceful and quiet the whole time!

The girls have a clock that turns green when it's time to get out of bed. Yes, it's amazing. It's been a life saver in our house. The girls were getting up at 6 every morning and it was just getting earlier and earlier. We bought this clock off of Amazon and we set it for 8am and their sleep schedule has adjusted. And we also use it for naptimes. So they know when they can get out of bed. I love this clock!


The girls are sleeping so much better and wake up happy and with a smile. And so do I.


I would have paid a lot more than a penny for a good night's sleep, but my new motto is to keep it simple. They're happy with a penny. And so am I.


So you may not agree with a reward or bribe for something they should be doing anyways. But I have found that rewards are more fun and work better than constant consequences or threats. Now we definitely do warnings and consequences for behavior and actions, but this is one area in our family's life that I have found that I would rather do a reward.


What are some things you do for your children for behavior adjustment?



1 comment:

  1. I think that's awesome. I definitely want to steal the alarm clock idea. My girls do the same thing and get up extremely early. Great post. :)



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