Here at Stately Wasser Manor, we have been having huge problems with pop-ups. No, not the annoying kind you find on the internet. Worse. These pop-ups occur when we tuck Jack into bed, only to have him pop up eighty bazillion times over the course of two hours.
It is maddening. For one thing, by the time I put that wee maniac to bed, chances are, I'm ready for a break. Or, I've got stuff that I need to do that is hampered by having to return him to bed over and over again. And the kid needs his sleep, so spending two hours fighting it is not helping things.
I've tried the "stick" approach to discipline - taking away stuff he likes if he gets out of bed. But even the threat (carried out) of taking away his Buzz Lightyear costume for a day could not keep him in bed. He explained, "I just want to talk to Mommy." Thanks, but no thanks.
Then, I decided to see if he was old enough to be motivated by the old standby, the sticker chart. Jack and I worked together to draw a chart, using his current favorite color of blue. For each night that he stays in his bed, he gets a sticker - princess stickers, since that's what I had handy. After he gets five stickers, he gets a treat. The treat he chose was to go to the movies to see Enchanted with me.
I cannot believe how well it worked. Every morning, he'll come find me, proudly asking for his sticker, and we'll put it up together. He immediately went five days in a row with no pop-ups whatsoever. We're making plans for a Saturday Princess Giselle outing, and have already made his new chart. This time, Jack will earn his very own copy of The Wizard of Oz.
Best of all, he feels a real sense of accomplishment. He is truly proud of doing so well.