Reward charts

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Reward charts

Postby ChristmasGift » 04 Jul 2016, 19:00

We've been having a few bedtime issues with the Babs. Routine is that we read her a couple of stories and then stay with her until she drops off to sleep. She's been playing up a bit, especially when I'm doing bedtime. She's not settling and dragging the whole process out. I think it started because she was feeling unsettled about the prospect of school but I think it's becoming a 'thing' and I need to do something to change things. I've never done reward charts as it hasn't but do you think it might work in this situation?
Or does anyone have any other strategies which might work in this situation?
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Re: Reward charts

Postby StJuniper » 04 Jul 2016, 21:41

I used bribes of mini marshmallows for desired behaviours, like, "If you can go all night without calling me," or "If you can take yourself to the potty," then he would get a marshmallow in the morning. I used a sticker chart with a treat of his choice as the final reward for a week of dry nights when he was having a nighttime regression. They worked well, and when I felt the behaviour was habit, I'd phase it out by being 'forgetful' about it and then if he brought it up, just saying he'd learned to do x thing so he didn't need it anymore. Which might not work on a more wily kid...
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Re: Reward charts

Postby ChristmasGift » 05 Jul 2016, 07:27

Thanks for that SJ - especially how you phased it out as it was bothering me slightly that once we start it will be hard to stop!
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Re: Reward charts

Postby Lily » 05 Jul 2016, 07:34

I also used sticker charts for various aspects of potty training. They worked well for us, but I'm not sure I'd use them for bedtimes as I think the sticker was useful as an immediate reward for a specific desired behaviour; I think that giving a sticker the next morning might be too far removed from bedtime to act as an incentive to settle. Also, it seems to me you're trying to discourage unwanted behaviour (general acting up and timewasting), rather than reward anything specific.

If it were me, I'd just remove my attention as long as the behaviour continues. Leave the room, let her calm down, and then go back and sit with her as long as she stays settled. She's old enough to understand that if she's quiet you'll come back - it's not like abandoning a tiny baby with separation anxiety.
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Re: Reward charts

Postby mamapup » 05 Jul 2016, 20:02

Little croc is a trickier bedtime kid than the puppy. We never stay with our kids until they sleep, we are super mean!

What I do when they're tricky is I promise to go back in one hour and if they're still sad or awake then they can come in to my bed. That's our deal and it works very well as they always think they'll be awake but they actually never are!
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Re: Reward charts

Postby ches » 05 Jul 2016, 20:27

At this age, J started dragging bedtimes out wiggling and talking etc. and we had to go cold turkey on him going to sleep alone. First night he did angry shouting for 30 min, second night he did angry shouting for 5 min, third night he went to sleep. If he had switched from angry shouting to upset crying, we would've gone in, but we'd explained he needed to go to sleep and had to do it on his own.
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Re: Reward charts

Postby EnigmaFish » 05 Jul 2016, 21:04

As far as reward charts, we've gone all twenty-first century and use a reward charts app on our iPhones. The one I picked is called Chore Monster, and I'm really happy with it. It's based on an online login, so anyone can reward the girls from a phone or the web if they have our logins. It was important to me to be able to use meaningful pictures, since they can't read yet. This one allows me to customise the pictures for challenge and reward. I can set challenges and the points value, and also the rewards and their points value.
So, an example: Kleintje was really acting up for DH at bedtimes, so we gave her a challenge of "Good bedtime with Daddy". It has a picture of DH so she knows what the challenge is. Every time she did that, she got two points. She could choose to redeem five points for a handful of raisins, or save up twenty points for a Paw Patrol teddy (bought on eBay from China for €3 - bargain!).
We can set as many challenges as we want and we currently have eight on the go. They are all things she is capable of working on and needs to improve. I also phase out rewarding behaviour when she has a handle on it.
The only criticism I'd have of the app is that it can be sluggish, especially if the Internet connection is slow. Still, we are really happy with it and I'd recommend it if that's something you're interested in.
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Re: Reward charts

Postby Kitcameron » 06 Jul 2016, 07:28

Ooh I like that idea EF.

I tried using a sticker chart for SM for not waking me up in the night over things she could sort herself, like using the potty, but it got to be more of a hassle because if she did call me through shed then ask if she could still have her sticker and if I said no she's start to scream and cry and after a few nights if me saying "we'll discuss it in the morning" she cottoned on to that meaning no too. I think Lily's right, that a sticker in the morning is too far removed. I like MPs tactic. Both of mine usually settle reasonably well, it's the middle of the night that are still an issue, and getting worse cos CMs joining in on the fun now too.
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Re: Reward charts

Postby LucyLastic » 06 Jul 2016, 13:00

Not directly related, but sort of, if you see what I mean. Bedtime seems to be a bit too abrupt for C - we do teeth, toilet, pyjamas, read a couple of stories and then lights out, but she is often still wide awake at this stage so I just ask her what she is going to dream about - I tell her things we are going to do the next day or in the future and she is then excited about going to sleep so she can dream about those things! The other night, after about an hour of quiet, she started crying for me. When I went in to see what was up, she informed me that she had wanted to dream about something we had mentioned, but she had been dreaming of the wrong thing so she had woken up. Too. Flipping. Cute.
I haven't had enormous success with sticker charts, but I did buy a bulk load of large marbles and when she's done nice things or helped out, I put marbles in a tub and when it's full, she can choose a reward (I buy stuff when I see it and keep it in a box). Also, she can have the marbles to play with when she's older. A stern reminder of "Marbles!" can also stop her doing something she shouldn't be doing, even though I don't take any away for bad behaviour.
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Re: Reward charts

Postby ChristmasGift » 06 Jul 2016, 17:09

Thank you all for thoughts and suggestions. I'll let you know what we we do and how we get on. I know I probably ought to start getting her to go to sleep without us but I know she's feeling apprehensive about the prospect of leaving nursery and starting school and I don't want to to make too many other big changes for her at the moment. She fine throughout the night but that's probably due to the fact that we co-sleep :)
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