The other morning, the parent's of the three year old I watch most days awoke to a spooky scratching sound in their room. They couldn't place from whence the sound came but apparently it was as though some one had dropped them right into the middle of a thriller.
Once they were awake enough to get past the goosebumps and bristled neck hairs, they figured it was probably their three year old so (who wakes up very early and usually goes into their room and just wakes them up - something they've been working on for awhile now), but there have been a few instances when he has wandered down stairs and turned on the TV for himself, gone out in the garage to play, or even hung out in the back or front yards.
So, when he was not in his room the two parents started looking. They looked everywhere for him - including their garage and front and back lawns and it didn't take long before they were in an absolute panic to find him - until they heard laughter from their bedroom. He had crawled under their bed and was the culprit behind the scratching sounds as well as the panic to find the missing child.
I think this was the mother's last straw.
Things they have already done:
- Put a bolt on all doors out of the child's reacy so he at least can't escape the house (he can work baby gates, the bolts and other locks, the garage door opener button . . . )
- He has a digital clock that changes color to show him when he is allowed to get up vs. when he is supposed to stay in bed. They've talked to him about how everyone needs their sleep. Then they have given him time outs when he disobeys this rule (which have not worked at all).
- Made sure he has access to water, the bathroom and books so if he is awake in the middle of the night and can't sleep he can take care of a few basics and have something quiet to do until he does fall back asleep.
The are considering putting a lock on the outside of the bedroom door and just locking him into his room at night. He uses a pull-up for sleeping and they would put a training potty in the room just in case.
Are there any other alternatives to try before going to this extreme?