When Bribery Fails

We’ve been having sleep issues here at Chez J-E. I know, shocker, isn’t it? Neither C nor A likes to go to sleep before the sun, and yet they also insist on waking up WITH the sun. Leading to very. tired. children. Controlling their wake up times has never worked well for us, so in an attempt to get them to sleep, or at least stay quietly in their rooms at bedtime, I resorted to bribery. If they stayed in bed for five nights, A got a (very cheap) princess watch and C got a new maze book. If, after the initial toy was given, they had a “bad” night, they new toy went away for a day. The first night C went happily to bed dreaming of hours of mazes, and A screamed her head off because she wanted the watch NOW, not five days from now.

Tonight, C appeared in the family room about 20 minutes after I tucked him in sobbing “I don’t want the new maze book. I want things the way they used to be. I like getting out of bed and coming to see you better than I like mazes.” What could I do except shrug and admit defeat? And thus ends my experiment with bribery. Clearly, not the technique for us.


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