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How to keep older kids from going downstairs at night?

How to keep older kids from going downstairs at night? Topic: Problem solving situations at work
June 20, 2019 / By Juniper
Question: 5 & 4yo going downstairs at night. They've opened all of the gates at top of stairs (even double gates) we've tried so far. We can't install a locked door at the top of the stairs. Am worried they'll do or get into something dangerous without supervision. This is in the middle of the night or very early morning, my husband & I work full-time so staying up all night is not an option. We've tried disciplining by removal of privileges, spankings, groundings to rooms, etc. when it's apparent they have been downstairs. We've tried rewarding when it doesn't appear they've been downstairs. We've bolted the sliding and front doors (up high), locked up all the downstairs rooms we can, but the kitchen, living and dining rooms don't have doors & can't be locked. They are smart and curious kids (and I love that on one level) but have begun climbing on the counters, the table, to get to things they want. I am worried they could get hurt & need ideas to help protect them from themselves. Ideas?
Best Answer

Best Answers: How to keep older kids from going downstairs at night?

Grace Grace | 6 days ago
Sleep with one eye open. ;) Seriously, though, I don't understand why they aren't obeying you, and why they are getting up at such hours of the night & morning. This seems to be the root of the problem to me. My two youngest (girls) are 5 and almost 3. If they were doing this, I would put forth the effort to sleep more lightly, get up earlier, do whatever it takes to catch them WHILE they are in the process of sneaking downstairs. My older kids have a cheap little spy-toy motion detector, which works pretty well and lets off an annoying little alarm when set off. I would put that in my girls' doorway, and sleep lightly. Then I would get up when the alarm goes off, scold them for coming out of their rooms, and put them back to bed as many times as it takes to get it through their heads that they are not to get up (SuperNanny technique). I don't think the situation requires spanking; the consequence should be related to the action. Maybe, when they stay in bed (or at least in their room), I would make them a lovely big breakfast of their favorites to celebrate. When they try to sneak out, plain toast, or oatmeal, and a drink of milk or juice for breakfast. This would probably motivate my two girls, but might not work for your kids. Find the thing that's going to hit home for them, and work your consequence around it. Catching them EVERY time, and being consistent in how you decide to discipline them are going to be the keys to solving this problem. Right now, they are getting caught sometimes, not caught at others, having one consequence today and a new one tomorrow. To them, it's worth the risk of getting caught, because they know that *sometimes*, they won't get caught at all. And they have the run of the house then!! Whatever you choose to do, you need to stick to it and don't make exceptions. Right now they obviously don't take you seriously. Good luck!
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Grace Originally Answered: How to keep older kids from going downstairs at night?
Sleep with one eye open. ;) Seriously, though, I don't understand why they aren't obeying you, and why they are getting up at such hours of the night & morning. This seems to be the root of the problem to me. My two youngest (girls) are 5 and almost 3. If they were doing this, I would put forth the effort to sleep more lightly, get up earlier, do whatever it takes to catch them WHILE they are in the process of sneaking downstairs. My older kids have a cheap little spy-toy motion detector, which works pretty well and lets off an annoying little alarm when set off. I would put that in my girls' doorway, and sleep lightly. Then I would get up when the alarm goes off, scold them for coming out of their rooms, and put them back to bed as many times as it takes to get it through their heads that they are not to get up (SuperNanny technique). I don't think the situation requires spanking; the consequence should be related to the action. Maybe, when they stay in bed (or at least in their room), I would make them a lovely big breakfast of their favorites to celebrate. When they try to sneak out, plain toast, or oatmeal, and a drink of milk or juice for breakfast. This would probably motivate my two girls, but might not work for your kids. Find the thing that's going to hit home for them, and work your consequence around it. Catching them EVERY time, and being consistent in how you decide to discipline them are going to be the keys to solving this problem. Right now, they are getting caught sometimes, not caught at others, having one consequence today and a new one tomorrow. To them, it's worth the risk of getting caught, because they know that *sometimes*, they won't get caught at all. And they have the run of the house then!! Whatever you choose to do, you need to stick to it and don't make exceptions. Right now they obviously don't take you seriously. Good luck!

Devnet Devnet
Is there any way you can get an alarm system installed? If you can, I'd recommend doing that. You can then turn on the motion sensors downstairs overnight, so if any of them go downstairs they'll set them off and you'll know they're downstairs. That will help with teh safety aspect of it. If the alarm itself doesn't scare them enough to keep them upstairs (since its so loud), then if you can punish them on the spot it may be more effective if done when they are caught.
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Candida Candida
Locking them in their room would be dangerous in case of a fire. Put some type of alarm on the kids bedroom door that away you are alerted when they leave their room. you can sleep and be woken up if they are traveling.
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Amber Amber
Have you thought of turning the locks around on their doors and locking them in. I actualy had the fire chief tell me to do that, he said it is safer if there is a fire, as you will know where they are.
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Wally Wally
lock this with a little hook lock in there room all night for a couple weeks they will learn if they dont want to be locked in to stay in bed
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