Call them what you want – rewards, treats, bribes, currency or ‘motivators’ – it all means the same thing. Getting your child to do what you want them to do without yelling/ threatening/ dragging them. I’ve used stickers, TV time, ice blocks and yogurt pouches with Toy Story characters printed on them. Whatever works and is available. But I think I’ve been over-doing it bit lately. Little Mister and Little Miss have started to negotiate what reward and the size of the reward.
It all started with a daytime nap. I mentioned that if they fell asleep quickly, we could all have an ice-block when they woke up. Little Mister said that he wanted a heart ice-cream like the one Papa Bear ate the other day. Then Little Miss sweetened the deal by saying that she’d sleep in the same room as Little Mister and not her usual sleeping arrangement in our room (They cannot be in the same room if they can see each other!). I was hooked. My bedroom all to myself so I could have a nap too??? Deal! I could handle a crazy ice cream induced sugar high from my twinnies if I had a nap.
Luckily (or unluckily), they lasted 5 minutes before I had to separate them. So no heart ice cream. Just an ordinary natural juice one since after that ‘fuss’, they fell asleep pretty quickly. Ah well, maybe next time.
I thought growing up with 3 brothers was a pain but watching Little Mister and Little Miss play, I think having a twin sister may just be a little harder. My little Miss is more emotional then her brother… and louder. Sooooo much louder. There is no volume control. Its screaming at the top of her lungs or nothing with her. Her talk-softly-please voice is a stage whisper. She thinks she’s whispering but she’s really not.
Poor Little Mister is yelled at when she is happy, yelled out when she is sad, yelled out when she is angry and yelled at when she has the case of the sillies. He generally takes it in his stride (strong silent type) but every now and then he gets his revenge by intentionally getting her upset. Favorite teddy bear? Guess who’s running away with it? Little Miss wants to save her milk for later? Too bad, so sad. Little Mister has finished it all. A quiet game of mamas and bubbas? Ooops! The bubbas have been thrown across the room. Cue loud screams and tears.
I would be laughing at his deviousness except for the noise part. Little Miss hurts my ears too!
I really didn’t think a reward chart would work for my twinnies. Not for the bedtime battles. They’re like little uncaged feral animals when they’re tired and psyched. How were they going to focus on a piece of paper and the promise of star stickers? ??? But since I’ve tried everything else from a child gate at their door (does not prevent opening and slamming of door), threats, screaming like a mad lady to holding their door shut while they pull from the other side, I thought I may as well try. It couldn’t get any worse.
Third night in and I think I’m on to a winner. The first day, I rewarded heaps of good behavior so they’d get the concept. That night they had a sleep over at Grandma’ s (woot woot). Second day, I went lighter on the stickers until it was bedtime. Then I pulled out the big guns. Only one more sticker was needed to get a prize *gasp* A prize they could pick. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to end their bedtime fun BUT it was alot calmer.
Today, we went to the shops and bought their prizes. Play money for my money-obsessed little girl and a matchbox plane for my little man. The catch of course is that if they want it, they need that extra sticker so they HAVE to stay in their bedroom and not open the door. And I think its working!!!!!!! Knock on wood, etc, etc. They’re still in their room. Not sleeping but they’re not playing the lets-get-mama-super-angry-by-slamming-the-door-and-acting-like-deranged-monkeys game. I can definitely live with this.
Happiness is a night with no bedtime battles