When your child gets out of bed put it back in its bed. That sounds simple but what the child wants is your attention so the key is not to reward it. Pick the child up without engaging in conversation with it. In other words don’t say, ‘oh, what’s the matter, darling?’ or ‘are you ok?’ or ‘what can I get you?’ Pick the child up and firmly say, ‘It’s bedtime’ and put them back in bed. Do not engage in any other activity or conversation and leave the room and close the door.
Be consistent in doing this. If your child can get you to engage with them they will continue. It may require you sitting outside the door or on the top step to intervene quickly until your child understands that what you say is what you mean. You must be consistent in your actions. If you do this for a few days and then can’t be bothered with making the effort, your child will know that the boundary isn’t firm and will continue to push. You need to establish your authority by consistency. You need to lovingly set in place boundaries that you firmly and consistently reinforce.
For older children you might want to set up a star chart with rewards attached. If the child sleeps through the night or stays in bed till the designated hour you could give them a star or sticker in the morning. We would often say to our children that they couldn’t get up until the big hand was at the 12 and the little hand was at the 8. If they woke up they could read but not disturb their siblings or us.
As a reward for 7 nights of sleep take them for an ice cream or bake together or play a game of their choice. Whatever would be age appropriate? Don’t make it anything pricey, time with their mother or father would be a winner.
If you combine these two methods, putting the boundaries in place and rewarding the correct behaviour, and you do it consistently your child will respond and you will have a more peaceful home.