Dylan thrives on reward charts. Always has. It’s what keeps him going. We’ve done many different sticker charts, treasure hunt charts, charts for school work, chart for chores, potty chair charts and it just goes on and on and they have all been successful. My newest creation is to get him to sleep in his own bed. Really truly do it on his own. But with everything with Dylan, it would have to be done with baby steps, care and a reward chart.
The Plan: I told Dylan he needed to go to sleep on his own without one of us in the room. Usually one of us would read and then Daddy would lay with him until he fell asleep. He could have music or books on CD to help him fall asleep but he had to do it on his own. The first week, one of had to check in with him about every 3 – 5 minutes. Just a ‘hey doing okay buddy?’ or ‘I love you’. Eventually, he would fall asleep.
The Reward Chart: A hand drawn “game” chart with a start, finish and “extra roll stars”. The next morning, if he did as we had talked about, he would get to roll a single die and move the number of spaces on the die. If he landed on a space with a star in it, he would get a bonus roll. Dylan is now on his 3rd chart. The first chart was small and he finished it in a week, each consecutive chart gets a bit longer and the reward is decided upon at the beginning. He loves doing this chart. In fact, I never mentioned about him sleeping on his own but he knew that is what we were working towards. During the 2nd chart, he turned to Daddy and said to him “Daddy I love you but I can sleep the whole night on my own.” I was so excited for him. Dylan then turned to me and said to me “Mommy, do you think if I sleep in my bed the whole night on my own, I can roll two times in the morning?” And I replied of course! And so, that is exactly what we do right now, he gets one roll for going to sleep on his own and one roll for sleeping all night on his own.
Like with any reward chart, he doesn’t always want to do the “thing”. Sometimes, he would ask if one of us could lay with him or he would fall asleep during a book reading or watching a family movie. Those times, he understood, he would not roll the die the next day and this is okay because he knows he can try for it the next night. I am so proud of my big boy!