We had a very long evening last night. Thank you, Sydney Elaine. We've had trouble getting Sydney to go to bed each night for a while, but it really kicked in to high gear last week and hit a peak (I hope) last night. She is adamant about not staying in her room. After trying all the "tricks" suggested, we are at our wits end. We know it is a phase, but we are tired and left without a plan.
Step 1: Establish a routine. Yeah yeah yeah. We've had the same routine since she was a little less than a year. It has only varied slightly with the birth of Nathan and, of course, during vacations and visits to the homes of others. (CHECK!)
Step 2: Eliminate sugary snacks and caffeine before bed. Seriously? My kid is four. She doesn't eat a lot of candy and she definitely doesn't drink caffeine, unless of course you count the two cups of coffee she drinks before school. NOT! (DUH and CHECK!)
Step 3: If the protest, return them to bed over and over. We've done this one a hundred million times. One night, I did it with ipod earbuds in so that I wouldn't get ticked after 1.5 HOURS! NEXT!
Step 4: Sit in the hall and return the child. It goes with Step 3, is just as useless, but at least I get to read a little.
Step 5: Create rewards for good behavior. Great. Sydney is interested in the computer. So, we bought the same educational game the school has and created a reward system that enabled her to earn time on the computer each weekend. It worked for two weeks. Then, she told me she didn't care. Perfect!
Step 6: If they are scared, eliminate the "bad." So, she decided a while back that there were porcupine bunnies in the house. So, mom made a "trap" for them out of a plastic basket and a recorder. Nothing caught and nothing gained.
Step 7: Take away privileges. We've taken away fruit snacks and other junk I cannot recall right now. "Take 'em!" She says.
Step 7: Take away her toys. Her room is now empty.
Step 8: "Spank her butt and that'll fix it!" Some have said. Yep, we tried that too. It didn't work and now we feel bad about it. Thanks!
Step 9: ________________?????????????????????? I have no idea what goes here.
I need help. Ideas please! I really don't know what to do.