Bribery Will Get You Everywhere...

By: David Hosay
By: David Hosay

Polly and I have had trouble getting to sleep lately. Isaac keeps us up with tales of monsters and creatures coming in his room. He hears noises and just knows they are monsters coming in to get him, no matter how many times I tell him there are no such things as monsters. After a while you get tired of talking and give in. To get some sleep of our own, we give in and let him sleep in our room. We fix a bed for him in our walk in closet. He really likes it because it’s more like a "fort" for him. He takes some of his stuffed animals and places them all around him. He usually goes right to sleep, which allows us to get some shuteye.

From the beginning we knew this was not going to continue and we had to think of something to convince him his room was the best place to sleep at night.

Polly and I went back to bribery. We used this method before. We had a difficult time potty training Isaac, until we started bribing him. Isaac had a few Transformer toys he really enjoyed playing with. The price was about $6 for two in a package (one Autobot good guy and one Decepticon bad guy). The next time I went to Walmart, I bought a bunch of Transformers we didn’t have and hid them in our closet. We told Isaac if he would use the potty for five days in a row, he could pick one Transformer. Polly and Isaac made a chart with the days of the week. Every time Isaac would use the potty, he would put a Transformer sticker under the day on his chart. To remind him of his goal, I would place the package of the two Transformers on the top of the refrigerator. To let him know we were serious, if Isaac did not use the toilet, his five days would start all over again. After several weeks, we didn’t have to give him Transformers anymore. The pattern was established and Isaac wanted to use the toilet for his own comfort.

So Hasbro has came out with little G.I. Joe figures, much like the small Transformers. Isaac’s mission is to stay in bed, only to get up for bathroom visits, for the whole evening. If he gets up to check on us or tell us what’s on his mind, the five days starts all over. Isaac did good for the first one. We’ve had some episodes the past week or so. The last few nights he seems to be on a mission to get "Zartan" before we leave to visit my parents in Ohio for Thanksgiving.


While we hope to get some undisturbed sleep from this exercise, it teaches Isaac to work for something he wants. It also helps establish the pattern for sleeping in his own bed. He’s very excited the morning after he’s had a successful night. There’s hugging and high fives because we got some sleep and Isaac was triumphant over the monsters in his bedroom. Yo Joe!

If you have little ones that would like these small Transformers and G.I. Joes, check out  Search for Robot Heroes and Combat Heroes.


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