What to do if your child gets out of bed. If you are establishing a new bed time routine, your children are going to want to work out where the boundaries are. They want you, the parent, to give them this information.
Don’t send mixed signals by discussing it with them, nor trying to justify why. Here is what to do; put them back to bed... do not talk to them, do not turn the light on, do not get them anything, do not get cranky, do not get rough. Simply put them back to bed and walk out.
This maybe all you have to do. But if it happens again you need to minimise the time that they are out of bed, hang outside their door where they can't see you. When they get to the door, take their hand, walk them back to bed, say nothing and I mean nothing.
If your children are still getting out of bed, sit beside their bed, look at the floor, do not make eye contact. When they get out, put them straight back. Again do not talk to your child, do not turn the light on, do not get them anything, do not talk to them, do not get cranky. If this is you, please give me a call and we can talk to ensure that you are doing all the right things for your child’s age. The first night this could be tough. Again, time how long it takes; it can feel like it is not working but I can assure you that if you are doing this right, you will reduce the time it takes each night, but you must be consistent.
My other advice is to establish this routine first, before you add other people into this routine and ensure that they are behind you doing it exactly the same way. All your hard work can all be undone in one night.
This technique is the same if using time out, do not talk to them, do not discuss the time they have left nor how cranky you are, do not get them anything, do not get cranky, do not get rough. Simply put them back on the chair or spot. Once their time is up, have a hug, discuss what happened, discuss briefly how sad they made you, tell your child that now it is time to clean up the mess, ask if your child would like some help to clean it up (for children under about the age of 5, I would not expect them to clean up a mess by themself unless it is easy). Then you have to forget, if you don’t forget you get angry, frustrated, and stop enjoying your children.
Make sure you spend quality time with your children; if your child is doing things to get your attention then it is working. Ensure that they don’t need to do the wrong thing to get your attention.