Work for Me Wednesday: Thirty Minute Rule

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Tell me we’re not the only ones who have problems getting kids to stay in bed at night, please! The older two do pretty good about staying in bed and, as a result, they get to stay up a little later. We tried letting Megan stay up a little later, but she won’t stay in bed at the later time — or the earlier time, for that matter.

The fact that staying in bed at your earlier time is a requirement for being rewarded a later bedtime apparently means nothing to her. So, a few weeks ago, we instituted a new rule: the thirty minute rule. For each time she gets up, she has to go to bed thirty minutes earlier the next night.

Now, I’m not talking about legitimate needs, here — bad dreams, thunderstorms. I’m talking about your common, ordinary I need a drink (because I wasn’t thirsty thirty seconds ago when I got into bed) or I have to go to the bathroom (because, although I can go hours without a bathroom break during the day, my bladder fills up exceptionally fast at night) or I just wanted to give you another (like, as in, number fifteen) hug. You know those needs that all add up to, I just don’t want to go to bed right now.

So far, the thirty minute rule is working wonders. Megan has even told me a time or two that she really, really wanted to get up, but not bad enough to lose thirty minutes the next night. See? It’s all a matter of choice.

That works for me. Visit Kristin at We Are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday tips.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Great idea! We’ll have to try this…because some nights we spend an additional 45 minutes getting out of bed for “just one more…”! ARGH! Thanks for the tip! Love your blog!!!

  2. This idea for definitely work for us! I don’t think my kids would be wandering out of bed if we did this idea. Thank you 🙂

  3. My boys are of the age now that I say, “when I check on you in 30 minutes, if you’re awake – you lose that much time on your computer tomorrow.

    Works like a charm. 🙂

  4. For some odd reason, my kids have no problem with bedtime. It might be because I dont make a big deal of it. I do make sure that nothing exciting (t.v. or anything )is going on. We read a story together and then they go off to bed. I go to each room for about ten minutes, which adds to 30 minutes total, for 3 kids. I DO make a big deal about waking up early, so maybe that is why they want to get to bed early!
    I thought that I would share this with you in hopes of helping you out.

  5. @ Kari — I would take a kid not staying in bed at night over one getting up early any day! LOL We are *so* not morning people.

  6. The bear picture on this post is of the same bear I grew up with, although mine has matted fur and only plastic on the nose because I drug him anywhere and everywhere until I was 20 and got married. He still has a special place in my heart. I might just pull him out of the toy box and display him as my special bear. I have never seen another like him, thank you for posting this picture!

  7. I LOVE It. Thanks! I’m going to look around for more parenting tips. man, do I need some creative solutions. I get tired of time outs and spankings.

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