A few weeks ago we shared this great article on our Facebook page written by npr.org, that gave a fun and creative way to reduce the crying and negotiating at bedtime with your toddler or preschooler. The concept is to give your child an actual bedtime pass for them to use whenever they would like during the night. They decide when to hand over their pass for an opportunity to receive an extra hug, kiss, snuggle, tuck-in, drink of water, etc... It gives kids a sense of control as THEY decide if and when to cash in their pass.
As you hand your child the pass, discuss with them what the consequences will be if they get out of their bed after the pass has been used and the reward will be if they went all night without having to use the pass! By making a firm expectation of the rules of the pass, you will find it more successful. Since toddlers are the best little negotiators, we suggest giving only one pass to use for a ONE TIME ONLY use. If you don't stay firm, the concept of the pass won't work.
Once you say your goodnights and have given them the pass to use, continue on with your normal bedtime routine method. You can walk out and shut the door behind you (or leave the door opened as they normally have it). The most important point to this method is letting go of the control and giving your child confidence to make a wise choice. While your child may push limits once or twice but if you stay firm, you will notice bedtime getting easier and easier.
We've created a bedtime pass for you. Click Bedtime Pass to print off your own and start tonight!