Do you have one of those kids … get them all tucked in, last trip to the bathroom, story read – kiss ‘n hugs, night-night sweetie – and you walk down the hall for an hour of quiet time, adult style.
Two, or 5 minutes later comes the familiar call, “Mommy, I need a drink of water.” or “Mommy, I gotta go tinkle.” . . etc., etc.
And this routine gets repeated several times before little Suzy or Sammy finally manage to give it up and settle down for the night.
I had one of those. She would call me back many times before finally giving in. If I insisted that she stay in bed and go to sleep, her little sobs would escalate to screams and tantrums – and then it took me much longer to settle her down!
Back then, I had a rather large glass jar which I kept in the corner of the front hall closet. Any time I came home from shopping, I would hang up my coat, fish any loose change out of my pockets and drop it into the jar.
My daughter caught on to my routine and would hold out her hand for the change.Then she would carefully put the coins into the jar, one by one. She learned that pennies were ‘one’, nickles were ‘5’, dimes were ’10’ and quarters were ‘a whole bunch!’
One day I gave my daughter her own jar with a slot for the coins. Then I told her there was going to be a special way for her to earn coins to fill her jar.
That night, just before I gave her the final kiss good-night, I handed her a little cloth purse. Inside were four pieces of paper which I called her “tickets.”
Then I explained our new game. Every time she called me to get out of bed or get a drink of water or to go tinkle, she would have to give me a ‘ticket.’ In the morning, if she had tickets left, we would count them and I would give her some coins for her jar.
If she only had one ticket left, she got a penny. If she had 2 tickets left, her reward was a nickle. For 3 tickets her pay was a dime. And, if she had all 4 tickets left in the morning her prize would be the big one – a quarter!
I made it clear, no arguments. You get up, you give me a ticket. But that was okay.
The first night she got up twice, and I got two of her ‘tickets.’ When she realized I was serious about charging her to get out of bed, she decided to stay put and hang on to the remaining 2 tickets.
In the morning, when she had 2 tickets still in the little purse, I gave her a nickle for her jar.
The second night Suzy only got up one time, so in the morning I gave her a dime for her jar!
The third night, she called me once and then changed her mind when I asked for the ticket. In the morning I gave her a quarter – the big one! And lots of praise for a good job! She was beginning to enjoy this game, and so was I.
It was not long at all before Suzy would get up in the morning with a smile and present me with all 4 tickets so she could put a quarter in her jar. Sometimes I would give her a choice between pennies, nickles, dimes – mixes that added up to $.25 – or the quarter. It became a fun way to learn about counting, money, and saving money!
One night I heard her crying in bed so I went in to investigate. “Mommy,” she said. “I really have to go to tinkle, but I don’t want to use a ticket.”
At that point I assured her that, if she really had to go, I understood and would give her a free pass! I told her that, sometimes, I even had to get up at night to use the bathroom – but not very often.
Eventually, the jar turned into a fat little piggy bank and the morning routine was to feed the piggy. The night time problem was long gone and our ticket game was not needed – but the game was a fun thing between us.
It also led to further adventures as she grew up. We emptied the piggy and started her own savings account at the bank. That was a proud day for her!
For holidays, since she had lots of toys, she would ask her grandparents for money to “feed the pig.”
Later on, when Suzy needed money for school lunches – or other items, she would always ask for an extra coin or two for the pig.
Nice to report that she now has established the piggy bank routine with her own children!
We are excited to have this book up to share! It will be offered FREE on kindle on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20-21. Please share with others – and, if you like it, honest reviews would be Greatly appreciated!! http://jcy.me/mgge
Please sign up to get some Free pages for the kids to color! and you will get notified when the next Danny Book is out… Find the sign up form on the Home page of this website. . .
We will be having lots of fun with Danny’s little monster in coming books – and asking for your ideas as well. If you suggest an adventure for the monster and we write it . . . we’ll dedicate the book to your child (or grand child). Stay tuned. 😉
Danny’s first little book danced into the top rankings on Amazon in two categories today – #75 in Children’s . . Bedtime and Dreaming and #95 in Children’s . . Stories in Verse. We are very pleased!
And so far we are straight 5 Stars on the reviews as well!
Thanks to all that have purchased the book and special thanks to those leaving reviews! Of course, it’s not too late for either. Just go to http://jcy.me/ipnw
You will be able to purchase or leave a review there. Love to hear your comments. My granddaughter had a grand laugh when we read the story together but she just doesn’t think her socks or panties go dancing at night. But on the other hand, the park is just across the street . . . 😉
News Flash! Danny’s Dancing Socks is now Free on amazon kindle! Share the news … http://jcy.me/ipnw
Nice word – imagination. It has “image” in it and allows us to ‘see’ things in our minds. They can be beautiful things, funny things, fantastical things -and they can be scary things too.
Children have great imaginations, at least most of them do. I believe they should be encouraged to use their imaginations in play and stories as they grow.
We used to play imagination games: can you see a funny animal? and then have the child describe what they imagined – color, features, size, sound it makes, where does it live, etc.
And then we would all go on to make up stories about this new ‘creature’ of ours . . . what was it’s name, what food did it like, what games could it play, and so forth.
If they imagined a scary or mean creature we would do the same thing. Find out all about it. Why was it scary and then, of course, we’d learn that things we just make up are not ‘real’ and certainly won’t harm us. How could we make friends with “scary” and why was it mean? Perhaps it had a toothache? Maybe it was just lonely. Maybe it wanted a friend!
I am quite astounded by the toys these days and all of the things that they do. My granddaughter has a complete (child sized) kitchen with pots, pans, dishes and even plastic food! Good grief. We “pretended” all of that – and had lots of fun without the huge financial commitment to loads of plastic junk.
When my daughter was old enough to want an “easy bake oven” I bought her a box of Jiffy mixes and let her whip up little cakes and brownies that were big enough for the whole family to have a piece. It took more interaction and supervision, yes, but the end result was rewarding for everyone – and cheaper than the easy bake stuff!
Here’s a smile memory: My oldest son wanted to bake too, and would have fun with mixes. One time when he was in 5th grade or so, he decided to bake a cake ‘from scratch’ as we were all out of mixes. He did a fine job – EXCEPT, he put in a cup of SALT instead of a cup of SUGAR!! Needless to say … that was one cake that never got eaten. 🙂
These days many families have an entire room just devoted to the children’s toys. Every other object blinks with colored lights, talks, roars or makes music. Not much is left for the children to imagine!
However, bring in a nice big empty box to cut openings and make a ‘house’ – or some old blankets to drape over chairs and make a ‘tent’ and watch the kids abandon the fancy stuff and go for the box or blankets! (Plain old wooden blocks are great too)
Truth be told, children don’t need a room full of toys. They need a few special things that they enjoy and they need the interaction of their families – play with them. Read with them. Have tea-parties or road races with the little cars. Do puzzles. Play board games or card games. Go for walks. Let them help in the garden. Collect bugs together. . . have fun!
Teach your children that there are marvelous things to learn and do. Keep the TV watching time and computer game time to a minimal.
Life is calling – nature, friends, pets, family – it’s a wonderful life! Now, use YOUR IMAGINATION to help your children learn and grow!
If you haven’t gotten your copy of Danny’s Magic Monster yet, be sure to get it now! http://jcy.me/mgge
Good news or bad news? I know parents who struggle for hours every night to get their child to go to bed, while, for other families, it’s easy peasy!
Every child and every family are different – that’s a given. And there are always ‘special’ circumstances, of course. But here’s my take on bedtime for kids. . .
Mindset is key. Going to bed is a good thing. Everybody does it. It’s a special time – special routine, special clothes, special blanket or soft toy, etc. (Special book to read, of course!)
Never, ever make going to bed a punishment! And never make it an argument – it shouldn’t be. Who’s in charge? If a parent says it’s bedtime, well, then it is! Great. Grab the toothbrush, the pajamas, the special toy, let’s read the book – and goodnight.
Don’t waver, especially with little ones. If one night their fit-throwing tactics win them extra hours then of course they’ll try it again, and again. . . Get junior used to a good healthy routine. 😉
Parents need their time too! Having a peaceful time to share together or to simply relax before your own bedtime is a good thing. You don’t need to feel guilty because you work all day and only get to spend a couple of hours with the kids at night.
Letting kids stay up late will only make you, and them, tired – and probably cranky too.
Make the hours that you do have before the children’s bedtime be good ones. Find out what they’re up to. Talk to them! Play games with them! (real games like in the old days. 🙂 Then plan some good time to do things together on the days when you’re not working.
So how about you? Do you have a special routine at night to send your child off to sweet slumber without a battle? Let us hear about it.