I Need Your Advice
Dear Internet – I need your advice.
For the past several weeks, we’ve been having a problem with our oldest child coming into our room before 6:30 am.
He’s 6 years old.
He has a clock in his room.
He has a watch in his room.
He knows how to tell time.
He knows that he is not allowed to come into our room until after 6:30 during the week and after 7 am on the weekends. He knows that he can play in his room. He can read in his room. He can do pretty much anything he wants in his room.
He can go to the bathroom (which is right around the corner from his room).
The only rule is that he cannot come into our room until the designated time.
He is reminded of this rule every single night before he falls asleep.
Every. Single. Night.
And yet every single morning he comes into our room at least three times before 6:30 am.
It usually goes like this:
Stumble stumble stumble
Too-loud voice:MOM, Can I play in my room?
Me: It’s 5:45 am. Are you supposed to be in my room?
Him: I forgot.
Me: Go back to your room.
Him: But can I play in there?
Me: I don’t care what you do in there, just don’t come back in here until after 6:30.
Him: So I can play in there?
Even Steven: Go back to your room, son.
Loud Stomp, Loud Stomp, Loud Stomp, toilet seat crash, his door closing loudly.
pitter patter pitter patter pitter patter
Simon: Mom, is it time to get up?
Me: Simon, it’s the middle of the night. Let’s go back to bed.
Simon: I want to snuggle with you.
Me: Okay – I want to snuggle with you too.
Simon: suck thumb, suck thumb, suck thumb…
stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp
Miles: Mom, can Simon play in my room?
Me: It’s only 6 am. Stop coming in here.
Miles: But can Simon play in my room?
Simon: Can I?
Me: Go – both of you out of here – but stay out of Alice’s room and be quiet!
Miles & Simon: Thunder, Giggle, Boom, Giggle, BOOM, Squeal
Tap Tap Tap Tap Tap
Alice: Mom, can I play with the boys?
Me: Alice – it’s only 6:15 in the morning. Dad’s alarm hasn’t even gone off yet.
Alice: But can I play with them?
Me: Sure – but be quiet!
SCREAMING SCREAMING SCREAMING
Alice: MOM! The boys won’t let me play with them.
Alarm goes off.
It’s time to start the day.
I’m not even exaggerating when I tell you that it’s like this 9 out of 10 mornings.
We started a new rule that every time Miles comes into our room, he has to go to bed 15 minutes earlier.
But this didn’t work so well. While it stopped him from coming in for a 2nd or 3rd time, he still would forget and come in the first time – which would lead to Simon waking up – and the cycle starting all over.
And – when he’d go to bed 15 minutes earlier, he started waking up a little earlier too.
I don’t know about you, but when kids start talking to me before 6 am, I am GRUMPY!
I’ve been asking friends and family for their advice, but so far only my mom has weighed in.
Tell him that every time he comes into your room, you’re taking Alice and Simon to the toy store to pick out a toy. And he won’t get one.
Which pretty much makes her the worst grandmother on earth. And is also a little funny because she NEVER would have done something like that to me when I was little.
So – Internet – what’s your advice? Torture him at the toy store? Put up a gate in his room? Set my alarm for 5 am, so at least I’m waking up on my own and not because a 6-year-old is waking me up? Leave your ideas in the comments section – or on Facebook. And thanks in advance!