"A child without rules is like a fish out of water. "

Early 4 year old riser waking up the house

Question

We have been using the ticket system for a while now (~2 months) with our 4.5 year-old. It is common (a few times a week) for him to lose all five tickets by early-to-mid-morning (sometimes by 8am), therefore requiring him to spend the rest of the day in his room. We are committed to remaining disciplined about the tickets and not giving in or creating excuses to not enforce the system. However, I’m wondering if part of the problem is not with him, but with us.

Some more context. Bedtime for our 4.5 year-old is around 6pm. The problem isn’t with going to bed, it is the waking up. Often he wakes up anywhere between 4 and 5, earlier than my spouse and I. We live in a very small house and any noise created by him easily wakes my spouse and I up. So we give instructions that he is not to come out of his room (except for the bathroom), until my spouse and I wake (usually between 5:30am – 6:00am). His continuous disobeying of this instruction is what often leads to the loss of tickets very early (sometime loses 3 of 5 before 7am). Are we being too overzealous? Are we creating part of the problem, meaning that our instructions to stay in bed is unreasonable or too harsh?

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