PLEASE HELP. Scared my Daughter is going to get hurt.

Tina - posted on 07/11/2010 ( 58 moms have responded )

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Hello ladies, I have a four and a half year old daughter who I have tried and tried and tried with and I need some advice. My daughter gets up in the mornings early it does not matter what ime she goes to bed as I have tried letting her stay up later at night. When she gets up in the morning instead of waking me up she rambles through the house and gets things. I have tried getting up in the mornings before she normally rises and laying on the couch in our living room and that does not help because she just goes to another room and gets things. I have tried leaving things that are alright for her to have down over night so that when she gets up in the mornings she can get them and that doesnot help. We have a baby gate and monitor but she has learned how to open the gate and nver makes enough noise that it wakes me. She in the past has gotten into crushed red pepper and there is now a large stain in our living room floor from it. Has gotten into paints and trust me oh boy was that a fun mess to clean. Has gotten into the refridgerator which I do now lock. I am just scared to death that she is going to get something one morning that is truly going to hurt her or make her very sick. I have all of our cleaning supplies put up but she has gotten stuff down out of cabinets in the past. We have had baby powder everywhere, permenant marker is her latest thing which is what I awoke to this morning. I have talked to her about this behavior, I have spanked her, I put her in time out, taken things away etc, etc. If any of yu have any other ideas or have been through the same thing please please HELP.

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Lisbeth - posted on 07/11/2010

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I would suggest starting to teach her the time with a digital clock and explain to her she is allowed to get up out of bed at lets say 6:00 until then she may have the snack by the bed and a drink and do a quite activity like color or read a book. If she does feel the need to get out of bed then she must come and wake you up. Start a reward chart and give her a star every morning she ether stays in bed or comes and wakes you up, at the end of the week she gets a reward like a special treat or special time with mommy or daddy.

Melanie - posted on 07/14/2010

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A lock is not a good idea. What if there was a fire or something and your couldn't get in there in time. I would't ever lock my kid in a room. That just sounds bad and I am sure it is illigal.

Christina - posted on 07/11/2010

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My first thought is are you spending enough time with her? Most kids do what kids do best and get into things. However they are more likely to listen if they feel they are getting enough time with you. I also like the idea of getting a new kiddie gate.

Also, we have a split door in our part of the house. The top goes up to about waist high so it would be a little harder for her to climb over. There are also the little yard-type gates for indoors. You could get one of those and put it up around her bedroom door. That way she can still leave her room but there will be a confined space for her to play in without causing trouble. The other suggestion I have is to try to think like a four year old. Put up things she doesn't need to get into. Put paints and markers in a locking drawer, and think about putting up a temporary gate to keep her out of the kitchen. You didn't mention it, but I'd also put kiddie gates up to block her from the bathrooms. My daughter has enjoyed unrolling the toilet paper then shredding it into little pieces, so I feel your pain.

She is two and has figured out how to open the mini fridge, undo the classic lift-and-slide lock, and is working on opening the kiddie gate now. I've actually started thinking about a different way to rearrange the furniture so she can't get into quite as much trouble......at least for a few days.

Good luck!

Amanda - posted on 07/11/2010

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Do not put a lock on your childs door, its abusive and illegal (in many places), even if its used to keep a child safe. This isnt the 4 year olds problem, it is yours. She is doing what four year olds are suppose to do, get into everything and learn. You need to wake up when she does and not lay down on a couch. If you need to go to sleep earlier to get up as early as her, then do it.

Andrea - posted on 07/11/2010

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How about waking up before she usually does and don't lay back down on the couch.

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Barbara - posted on 07/17/2010

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I know how you feel on this siltation I have twin girls that are three and child locks what is that. My two can get break every child lock there is out there. In my old apartment I had one on their closet doors they would pull the doors until they would break the lock. I put one on the toilet sit because they would play in the bathroom toilet. They even managed to break that. I even put a child lock on the door handle to keep them in the living room during the day to keep them from getting into my room and the bathroom they even managed to pull those apart and get into the bathroom. So just because it says that it is child proof does not mean that it child proof. When we moved into where we are now their room is connect to my room through the bathroom in order to keep from waking up and going into the living room and kitchen without us knowing I have their main door blocked off so they have to go through the bathroom door and into my room to wake me up. I would like if I could know they would not getting into things and not get hurt but this is the only way I know that they are going to be safe. I understand what you are going through i am right there with you do what you feel is best for you and your family. You are the mother and you have to do what you feel is the best way to protect you family.

Jeanette - posted on 07/17/2010

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Hi I know it is hard but have u tried the reward chart if she is bold get down to her level and make eye contact and tell her her behaviour is not allowed and if she does it a second time put her on time out 1 minute for her age so 4 minutes and if she gets up put her back and keep doining so until she sits there for 4 minutes and get her to say sorry for what she has done and when she does something good put a sticker on the chart and when she gets so many u decide that u give her a reward u take her out or u give her a present it does work I have two a boy and girl and it does work if u stick with it all I can say is put child locks on everything hope it helps good luck.

Kellie - posted on 07/17/2010

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I cannot give any ideas but my daughter is similar. our daughter wakes up at 5.30 and it does not matter if she goes to bed at 7pm or midnight so we always put her to bet at 7pm so that we at least get some adult time. What has worked for us is we have bought her a mini dvd player and she now has a wee collection of dvds that she loves - old classics like, jungle book, Annie, Mary poppins, chitty bang bang. plus a few aimed at her age like the midnght garden or the wiggles (scary) or hi-five etc... and we talk about it before she goes to bed. She will choose a dvd the night before and then we put it in already for the morning and she will get up and watch it. She might come in and ask us for a cuddle or she will just come out to the lounge and press play on her dvd. its getting better but its still hell. dont know if this helps- all the best xxx

Susan - posted on 07/17/2010

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have you tried taking things away from her that she either likes to play with or sweet things she might get during the day. i found with my kids that always worked. but you must tell her how long she will lose these things for and explain it will get longer each time she is naughty. hope this helps you.

Jessica - posted on 07/16/2010

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i stacked two baby gates in my kids bedroom door so they could not get out and make sure to face them so that she cannot unlatch them put some cereal and a sippy cup in her room for in morning and u may consider a tv with a dvd player that has automatic replay so when she gets up she has a movie to watch cereal to eat and a drink

Rebecca - posted on 07/16/2010

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my four year old was the same when she was 2, she'd eat everything she could find, and get in to, destroy or put whatever else on the floor. anything from 5 doz eggs one time. or a gallon of milk a whole thing of coffee grounds then stomped into the carpet with the left over macaroni. i would have to say the worst was when she ate a pound of raw pork. i understand your fear, some how she survived this and eventually stopped. and never ended up in the hospital for any of this. what i ended up doing was moving everything up high, locking up everything i could. putting locks on the doors up at the top. and bungie cording the fridge shut. if you look threw my pics you can see a pic of her sleeping in an empty cubord, not cuz i didn't have food but because i could not keep anything low. i wish you the best of luck and i hope this helps.and at least it wasn't as bad as i my son at that age thinking he could fly and running and jumping off the kitchen table everyday, on to a tile floor, he broke his nose every time. all kids have there things they do that your surprised they survive and your just happy when they stop. remeber when you look back on this in a year or so you'll laugh

Mandy - posted on 07/16/2010

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I would have to agree. You should wake up when your child wakes up if possible. They are your priority and locking your child inside a room just isn't right. My daughter's two and she never wakes up in the middle of the night. Does your daughter take naps during the day? Many of my friends' kids cannot sleep at night because they nap in the afternoon either at preschool or at home so at night they're not really tired which is why they often wake up half-way through the night.





However, if you really can't do that then I like the alarm clock idea and teaching her to tell time because she's certainly old enough to understand.

Connie - posted on 07/16/2010

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put an extra tall baby gate in front of her door that she would not be able to climb

Susan - posted on 07/16/2010

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put a hook & eye lock at the top of her bedroom door on the outside. this way she can still open it a little so not so scary but in order to get out she has to yell for you. Better safe than sorry.

Dorothy - posted on 07/16/2010

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I dont know if this was already suggested as i did not read through all the rest but at canadian tire i saw that you can purchase bedroom door alarms. I thought you could put this up higher than she could reach and when she leaves the room the alarm would sound. just a thought!

Elizabeth - posted on 07/15/2010

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My son would wake up and try to go outside. I had to put locks on the tops of the doors to keep him from going outside. This may be a good idea while you are trying to get her under control to make sure she doesn't go outside. If she is smart enough to open the baby gate. The front or back door will be next. Also is there anything that could be waking her. Someone getting up early for work, or her sister in her room with her could be waking her. You are going to have to start getting up before her and just go ahead and start your day. Also pick one type of punishment and stick with it. Different types of punishment can be confusing at her age. Hope this helps.

Alison - posted on 07/15/2010

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You've got a lot of answers here, but I need to add my opinion!

I agree that it sounds like your daughter is begging for attention. She knows very well which behaviors you like and dislike. Try finding a one on one time with her every week.

If that doesn't improve things, you might want to consider taking her to a child psychologist to get some expert advice.

Stacey - posted on 07/15/2010

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get a baby gate there really great to have i have a dog gate cause it is harder for my child to get it undone i thnk there better than the ones they make for babys

Melanie - posted on 07/15/2010

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I have 3 kids and they know in the morning to come wake me up as soon as they get up. Its been a habbit ever since they were in toddler beds. They have a routine in the morning to wake me up and then we go downstairs and I put cartoons on and make them something to eat. My kids never climbed a baby gate either. My daughter is 6, my son will be 3 tomorrow and my 5 month old, well I don't have to worry about her yet.

Kristin - posted on 07/15/2010

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My oldest son was a little bit like your daughter. He crawled at 4 months and walked at 8. Learned to climb at 9 months and he hasn't stopped since. When he was little, we would leave a bowl of cereal on the table that he could eat when he woke up. His dad and I worked opposite shifts. I worked days when dad got home from working a graveyard shift. My husband would play with him a little while in the morning and then they would both take a nap in the afternoon until I got home. I would take him outside to play until it was time to fix dinner and daddy would go to work. This daily routine seemed to solve some of our problems of him getting into stuff.
One day my husband fell asleep before my son and woke to find an entire carton of ice cream melted all over the living room floor where our son had left it right before he fell asleep with the spoon still in his hand.
Kids do get into stuff, but I think that your problems may stem from boredom. Try a coloring book in her bedroom that she has access to. You may end up with crayon or colored pencil on the wall, but Magic Erasers work really wonderful for those situations. They will even get permanent marker off of most paints.

Kim - posted on 07/15/2010

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Have you tried letting her sleep in your room and alarm the door or put on a lock she can't reach.

Carise - posted on 07/14/2010

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I had to put a lock on the outside of my son's door for this exact reason. I felt bad doing it, but after he woke up one saturday morning in October at 6:30am, stripped naked, took the dog outside with him and began to mow our front yard with his bubble mower.....I had to!

Renae - posted on 07/14/2010

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PS for the record I do agree with the other moms that she is old enough to know better and old enough to be punished for this behaviour. But changing behaviour takes time, so the breathing monitor will give you a quick fix for now.

Renae - posted on 07/14/2010

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My first thoughts are, what a clever little girl! I'm assuming you have done your best to childproof your house and she still manages to get into things?? You know the worst part about having bright clever children is that they are horrid toddlers!

This is an expensive solution, but I believe it will solve your problems. Get a breathing monitor for babies (set it up under her mattress when she is not around and dont let her know its there or she will just learn how to turn it off). It senses the child's breathing and sets off an alarm if it does not detect breathing for 20 seconds. So 20 seconds after she gets up the alarm will go off and wake you up. Hope this helps.

[deleted account]

Simple answer supervise her that way she won't get her hands on things she shouldn't. Also put those things in places she can't reach. Spanking her is only teaching her that it's ok to smack and she may start doing that instead but at the end of the day if that works for you fair enough.

Peita - posted on 07/14/2010

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I agree with Sarah! At 4 1/2yo, she should know better, she should be able to follow rules! I don't think it is a good idea for her to share a room with her younger sibling until this behaviour has been sorted!! I argree with bells on doors and gates so she can be heard when she gets up! I have 3 children, the oldest is 6yo, next is 4yo and a 8 1/2 month old! The older 2 always stayed in their beds when they woke until I went and got them, it was just something they did until they were about 2 1/2! After that they were told they had 2 choices, either watch tv or stay in their rooms and play! They did as they were told, but I still had safety latches on everything just in case! I think that the bells would help to wake you up, and then supervision is probably the only thing that can break this behaviour! I worked in childcare centres for years and we even taught the chiildren to stay on their beds until we quietly got them up and things just worked out! I hope things work for you, you must wake to chaos every morning lol!! Good luck!!

Sarah - posted on 07/14/2010

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sounds like a behavior problem to me! at almost 5 years old (school age) she should be able to follow the rules and should be able to know what things she can and cannot do! after all she won't be able to do as she pleases in school! sounds like she knows that she can't do those things when you are awake so she does it so quiet you can't hear! i have been doing daycare for 3 years now and my mother has been doing daycare for over 10 years (besides raising my brother who is 21 and me (i'm 23) she's had kids that age that did things when they knew they shouldn't but after telling them time and time again that they can't do it and what the rules are they started to behave! use positive reinforcement when she does things that are okay to do! explain to her that if she does things when you aren't there that she might get hurt and you wouldn't be able to help her right away if you are sleeping! as for the snack and drink by her bed... a kid waking up in the middle of the night and trying to eat sounds like a great way for them to choke because they aren't fully awake! i think you just need to stick to telling her what the rules are and explain to her why you have those rules! she won't learn over night it will take awhile! but hang in there!

Zoe - posted on 07/14/2010

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well said Meanie, locking your children up becouse its the best you can think of, seems a littel extreem. and as for smaking or "poppn". what has she really done anyway, she has been left, full of energy and curiosity unsupervised and without instruction. my 3 1/2 year old gets up every morning before me, she knows what she is allowed out of the fridge, all of her toys are on her shelf. i have no locks anywhere in my house, save the external door locks.

Emilie - posted on 07/14/2010

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My kids alway could climb a baby gate. The best kind to get is the kinds that botls and locks to the door way and it is hard to open. Since my kids could climb the baby gates we got 2 and stacked them one above the other, when they learnd how to climb those we put vaseline on them so it was harder to climb, because my son had a door but it wasn't a good one the door was messed up and wouldn't open easly if it was shut so we couldn't shut his door so we had to put up baby gates. That was mainly for when he was a toddler and would wake up in the middle of the night and come in our room, we didn't have much of a problem with him by the time he was 4.

Kim - posted on 07/14/2010

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Hi I know how scared you are My daughter was like that when she was younger than 4 the problem was she went bed at about 2or3 am and was up by 8AM what I did was to lock all the other doors left mine and hers unlocked and left out her toys for her to play with. I do not know how your home setting is but it may help if you can lock the doors. That will give you a peace of mind. Knowing that she can not get into the other rooms to take things out.

LAQUETTA - posted on 07/14/2010

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I HAVE FOUR KIDS MYSELF TO STOP THAT PROBLEM IS THERE IS NO SOLUTION EXCEPT FOR A GOOD OL FASHION POPPN ON THE BEHIND AND MAKE HER SIT IN THE BED WITH YOU TIL YOU R UP AND STARN CALL ME 919-288-0065

Erica - posted on 07/14/2010

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she may be lashing out cause of the younger baby in her room. she may want a room to herself. she prolly wants here owns space and not have a sibbling in her room. i would try maybe taking the baby out of her room and putting him/her in a different area. is say if she keeps it up then i would try to put some kind of an alarm on the door that goes off when she opens it.

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You can bolt some baby gates into the door frame. Better yet, you can also get one of those chime devices that make that big "ding dong" sound every time someone walks thru a stores door, you could put one or two on the door frame so if she walks thru or opens the door it will chime and alert you. If you set 1 or 2 in the door frame at 1 & 2 foot up you would still be able to step over the connection sites as to not set the chimes off when you go to feed the younger baby. They really aren't that expensive, I will google around to see where there might be some.

Kathleen - posted on 07/14/2010

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I agree with Joanna, a new more complex gate and bells on it!! I lost a child due to this very problem, he opened a locked door and went into the pool at 4 am. Our remaining children were dosed with Benydrl by the Dr, and we used bells on every door. you can now get window alarms(magnetic) to help keep track of which room she is in. She is not going to stop you have to adjust, I wish I had not trusted in a lock.

Ashley - posted on 07/14/2010

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You can try a few things... They work with my 2 year old. I always leave the tv on gpb at night and when she wakes up its already on her fav shows. It will keep her busy for a little while at least till you get up. If you don't want to waste money on a tv left on all night, you can try putting blankets over all the windows to make it dark in the rooms you dont want her getting in to. There are also gates that you can get that are harder for children to open and are also taller. They are costy, but worth it when you know your child can get hurt. Since she is 4, try asking her to wake you up in the morning right when she gets up so you can watch tv with her. I'm sorry I'm not a mother of a 4 year old. Good luck

Lorri - posted on 07/14/2010

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do you thank your child could be sleep walking you might want to check for that and put a lock on the out side of her door so she cant get out

Shila - posted on 07/13/2010

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My son used to do the same thing. He was in his own bedroom until we decided to put him back in ours and had to buy and install a brass latch lock and put it on the top part of the door where he could not reach. This was the only thing we could think of, as nothing else worked. He slept in our bedroom until he was about six, (maybe 7). He's 9 now. Still gets up super early, but only gets cereal and watches cartoons or plays X box until everyone else wakes up. Its a bit of a headached until they learn impulse control & what things not to get into. Hang in there, it will pass. ;-)

Lucy - posted on 07/13/2010

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might be worth moving the baby in with you for a while and making it clear to your daughter that if she wakes early she is allowed to play in her bedroom but nowhere else.

Also to stop her going into rooms that she is not allowed to when you are not around i.e kitchen etc try putting the handles on upside down so that they have to be lifted rather then pushed...this is safer then actually locking the doors and if you ensure that she does not see how you open the doors you may find that you can stop her accessing things that she shouldnt!!

Elisha - posted on 07/12/2010

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I agree with the closing of her bedroom door but the child safety doorknobs don't always work my son just turned 4yr on july 2nd and we have the safety doorknob on our front door and he can open it I woke up one morning about 2 weeks ago to find that he had unlocked the door and walked down to my grandmas house (she lives next door) so now we put a chain lock on the door which may work for her bedroom door to cause she'll make alot of banging noise trying to open the door and maybe that will wake u up....my best friend had the same issue with there 3yr old they turned her doorknob around and locked her in her room when she went to bed they did that for about a week and now she's learned the only room she can go into is mommy and daddy's room to wake them up

Tania - posted on 07/12/2010

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my son is 4 and stays in his room with no lock on the door and the door open and plays with his cars or comes to the living room and turns on the tv or goes and plays on the computer he has never got into nothing and he comes wakes me when hes hungry

Jacquelyn - posted on 07/12/2010

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There is a product made that is actually used for hotel rooms that emits a loud alarm when a door is opened. You might try looking for something like that to alert you to the fact she is up. Show it to her and warn her of the consequenses for not waking you. Booby trapping the gate or any other door to give her a little fright, (not unlike the fright it gives you to find she has been up and into things), may alert her to the fact that you need to know she is up. Let her know, after a few loud awakenings, that you will remove the device if she promises to come and get you when she gets up.

Angel - posted on 07/12/2010

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Well sounds like you have a bright, open minded creative child. Plze do not spank, if she is gifted this might get her to believe that what she knows and can do is wrong and she will bury it within her someone where. I have two grandsons and believe me they can find a needle in a hay stack. I just went and bought before they came for summer containers and put all our paint supplies in and anything that I though would harm them. Cleaning supplies was place in the garage in a container also. My husband went and bought baby locks on the door. The locks I am talking about are the locks they have in hotel rooms. You flip over the bar with the groove and it only opens as far as you install it. He placed it high up on the door so the babies couldn't get to it which was at the very top of the door way. They sale them at Lowes and Home Depot. I know it seems like it would be better to do the time out thing or whatever but spanking and yelling with kids today just don't seem to work. My daughter is 26 yrs. old and I have never spanked her same with my son who is 27yrs. old. I call and tell them things to do for their Nanna and it gets done. Talk, you might have to talk to her everyday but talk, love her and let her know No matter how big of a mess she makes its wrong but you still love her. You will just have to take all the precautions. Place your markers, pens, pencils and all in your bedroom. You will have to think like her to help her. Plze let me know how it works. Hugs and Good Luck---Beth

Helen - posted on 07/12/2010

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My friend has a clock for her little boy. Its a Thomas the Tank Engine clock which you can set like an alarm clock, but instead of an alarm going off Thomas opens his eyes. She then tells him that unless hes poorly or needs the toilet, if hes awake he can play in his room, but mustn't go downstairs or disturb mummy and daddy until Thomas is awake. She then makes this one of the things on his reward chart, so there's added incentive.
(She also sets it slightly later for the weekends, but I think he's too young to have worked that out yet!!)

Manuela - posted on 07/12/2010

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Hello. I never ever had a problem with my girls doing that, but my boy, Gosh he did everything and more then his sister combind did in 4 years. He is 2 now, but he is a little monkey. He did fuiger out how to open a door with the "child safty lock"(i only have it by the door that goes out the house, not his bedroom) but I just went to buy a difrent one and I make sure the deadbold is always locked if I dont want him to go outside. Dont lock your kid in to her room, it will make her feel unwanted, and she will think/feel that you dont trust her and she might act up because of that. Maybe she does it to get more attention cause she has a baby sibling that gets somewhat more attention (cause you must still feed the baby, change it and she can't really do anything herself) and she may feel left out. Cause she has been the baby for over 3 years and got all the attention of mom and dad. I would also say, just put a difrent baby gate in to the doorway of her bedroom. About leaving your baby in the same room, I would not worrie. I dont think a big 4 year old would hurt her sibling that much. I know my 4 year old girls and my 2 year boy dont hurt there 4 week old sister, they love her to much and dont like to hear her cry. Your little girl does have feeling too for her sister, so why would she hurt her? Hope you can fuiger it all out. Good luck

Michelle - posted on 07/12/2010

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So many ideas in my head so I'm sorry if this goes on a bit.

I don't necessarily agree with putting a drink or snack by the side of a childs bed as, if she wakes up in the night and decides to eat/drink, she may wake even earlier in the morning as she needs the toilet.

Make your house as safe as you possibly can - put everything that she shouldn't touch out of sight and reach and, if possible, locked away. Put everything that she won't easily hurt herself with in the cupboards that she can reach, eg. saucepans in the bottom kitchen cupboards and cleaning stuff in a securely locked cupboard.

Definately get some childproof plug socket covers - my girls were never able to take them out.

Basically, make your house as safe as you possibly can. Children will be into everything as curiosity with take them that way. My eldest daughter once woke her dad up by saying "look daddy i've got new skin" and when he looked she was totally naked and had coloured herself in with felt pens from head to toe. When he went downstairs she had tied one of the cats to the chair and coloured her in too - the cat was white and black but, for a little while, she was white, black and blue LOL.

Buy some chalk board paint and paint a section of wall with it then tell her that's the area that she is allowed to draw on, then just leave her some chalk out to use (chalk is also a lot easier to clean off walls than permanent marker).

To me it sounds a little like your daughter just wants to be independant so teach her how to do things independantly. Teach her how to make her own sandwich - you can butter a slice of bread with the back of a spoon.

Get her to help you do things around the house during the day - sweep up, help you wash the dishes (not knives of course), dust (using a dry cloth with nothing on it). There are a multitued of things that a 4 year old can help you with and be safe at the same time.

I'm just thinking that if she can do something that mummy does then it might make her less likely to do the things that you don't want her to.

Reward charts are absolutely wonderful so perhaps set some rules (not too many) and work with them. My youngest had a problem for a while with behaviour at school, which was linked to the fact that she kept messing about at bedtime and not getting enough sleep. The school give the children good behaviour stickers at the end of every day if they've been good. My youngest was missing a lot so I got "little monster reward charts" and now, every time she gets a sticker at school I put a tick on the chart and, every time she goes to sleep like a good girl she gets a tick on the chart. If she doesn't she gets a cross. At the end of the week she gets a star and, as recently agreed by both girls, each star is worth 50p so after each half term at school I exchange the stars for money and they can go and buy themselves a little something. Before they decided they would like money we used to work towards a family day out - safari park or zoo, etc. My youngest now is getting ticks across the whole week and no more crosses. The chart isn't needed for my eldest but we do it anyway so my youngest can see how well her sister is doing, which encourages her to do the same.

Sorry i've gone on so long but i've get to teach myself how to say what I need to in a shorter way. I hope it's helpful though. Feel free to email me if you want.

Amber - posted on 07/12/2010

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My daughter used to do this at 2 years old. Luckily she never got into anything she wasn't supposed to, that we knew of. I'd normally hear the television going in the mornings (we'd set it to her cartoon channel so as soon as we got up and turned it on, it'd be ready for her) and I'd get up, only to see her on the couch. I accidentally left a box of cereal out one night, and when I awoke to the sounds of the television, she was on the couch with the cereal munching away. She didn't do it often, I guess she just sensed mom and dad needed a bit more time to sleep or something. I like the idea of you leaving a drink and snack next to her bed at night for when she wakes up. I don't know how illegal it is to lock kids in their room seeing as I'm from IL and MO and it's not illegal in either state so long as it truly is for your childs safety. I also agree in moving the younger sibling out of the room. On top of those, maybe try setting your alarm for a certain time LONG before she's due to wake up, turn the television on to Channel 9 or whatever channel she likes to watch and leave it on. It may distract her until you are able to wake up from it and tend to her needs.

Kelina - posted on 07/11/2010

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My sister has the same problem with my nephew who is six. They've put a lock on his door so that he can't get out in the midle of the night as he will go into the ktichen and eat them out of a weeks worth of food without either of them waking up. It's effective, but I don't recommend it. It's also a major safety hazard. I would recommend trying a new type of gate. We have one from safety 1st that is awesome, you can mount it on the wall and it swings into wall brackets. If you don't want ehr opening it, then you can adjust it so the pressure mounts won't come out of those brackets and the gate needs to be adjusted to be moved which is difficult even for an adult. (My mother in law was here for the weekend and had to climb over the one at the top of the satirs for a day ana half cause she couldn't adjust it.) I'd also recommend moving baby out of her room. She could hurt her not even meaning to. I would also try setting up a reward system. Give her the rules. She needs to stay in her bedroom until you are up or let you know she is awake, and she's not to touch anything but her toys until you are there. If she can do this for say 3 days then she can have a friend come over and play. Slowly extend this amount of time. Also thank her when she does what you ask her to. Positive reinforcement goes a long way with young children. And if you aren't already try and spend some one on one time with her a couple of times during the week. It will pribably go a long way towards having her listen to you. Good luck!

[deleted account]

Have you tried a baby gate so that she can't get out of her room? I have read where moms will use one on top of the other so they can't climb over. But, first I would try using a baby monitor in the room so you can hear her get up. You need to get up with her. It sounds like she can't be unsupervised. You also need to teach her to come wake you up before she does anything else.

[deleted account]

Have you tried telling her to come get you up when she gets up? If so then it sounds like a disobedience problem to me. My four year has strict instructions to wake us (me and her daddy) up when she gets up in the morning. She wakes us up every morning that she gets up earlier than we do. If she is disobeying, I would assess the problem.

Vanessa - posted on 07/11/2010

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I would get up before she does, and not lay back down. I also think that its a bad idea for her to share a room with the younger one. She could hurt the baby and not know she was doing it.

Joanna - posted on 07/11/2010

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Have you tried a new baby gate? She knows how to open the one you have, why not buy a new, harder-to-open childproof-type gate?

[deleted account]

What about

1. blackout blinds to make it darker and

2. leaving a snack, drink & special toy beside her bed for when she wakes?

Andrea - posted on 07/11/2010

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Well said Amanda! When my kids were there age I always set my alarm for about a half hour before they normally got up that way I insured that I was the first one up. If your awake before her she can't get in to anything.

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