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What should I do when I've used all my negative consequences to get my kids to go to bed but they still refuse?

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What should I do when I've used all my negative consequences to get my kids to go to bed but they still refuse?

Usually, there are negative consequences that haven’t been tapped into yet. Sometimes, it can be difficult to find the right negative consequences that work for that particular child because a lot of kids just act like, "Okay. That's no big deal. I can sit here and entertain myself in the corner of the room with absolutely nothing and have a great time." But, usually, there is still stuff there that we can tap into. They're accessing something that's reinforcing or rewarding, that's why the behaviors are continuing. If they weren't getting something out of it, the behaviors would stop. So it's really about stopping to figure out what they are getting out of this and how we can make it so they no longer get that. Then we want to figure out a way to turn that reward into something they only get by giving us the behaviors that we want.

With bedtime, I always like to work with a good rewards plan where if their bedtime goes well they get a reward. An effective way to do this is to offer a little reward on a daily basis (and also keep track of every single night that bedtime goes well, either with a sticker chart or a tally). Once they get so many of those days, there can be a bigger reward they can earn as well.

A lot of times with bedtime I've found that the rewards work much better, but if there's bad behaviors, those behaviors are happening because it's working for them in some way. We have to figure out what that is and make it so it doesn't work for them anymore. So that it's not reinforcing whatever those behaviors are that they're doing to stay out of bed. We need to figure out what that is and take it away. From there, we can find some negative consequence that works by taking away what's working for them with the negative behavior.

 
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