Well, as I mentioned before we switched Charles to a toddler bed about a month ago. The first couple of weeks he did so good! He went to bed fine and when he woke up he stayed in bed and called for me and wouldn't come out until I went in to get him. Well, things have changed. He no longer likes to stay in bed. He doesn't want to sleep, ever. I tried giving him options: you can stay in your bed with your door closed or open, with your fan on or off, with blankets or not etc. so that he felt like he still had some control, but it didn't help much. He would make a choice and then after a few minutes would disregard everything that was said and would just come out anyways. I needed to figure something out because it's very hard for me to handle going through an entire day without one single minute of alone time.
I asked Scott if we could put a lock on his door, and we were going to but then I remembered we had 2 special child proof door knobs that were much harder for the kids to open. You see awhile ago I took most of the child proof door knobs off because they were pointless; the kids could easily open the door with them on. Those were the ones we bought from Target. But while we were living in Washington I bought a couple that were a little more expensive from a child specialty store and they are quite a bit more difficult to get open...though they have managed it a couple of times. So I put the child proof door knob on just before his nap and told him that I had done so but that if he'd stay in his room we could leave the door open and if he came out then the door would be shut and he wouldn't be able to get out because of the child proof knob. He disagreed and said, "Mommy, if you take me in my bed then I will just open the door and come out."
"Okay, go ahead and try."
We walked down to his room, he climbed in bed, I sang to him and gave him kisses, did everything just the same but left his door open. He came out. So I said, "oh sorry bud, I guess we need to keep the door shut." And I brought him back to his bed. Well he wasn't upset at all because he was completely confident in his ability to open the door even with the special child proof knob. Once I shut the door I sat on the floor just outside so that I could hold it closed in case he did get it to twist and open. I pulled out my book and started reading. Within a couple of minutes I could hear him get out of bed and walk over to the door. He tried to open it. He tried again. He started to get frustrated but kept trying. One time he nearly got it open so I quickly put my hand on the knob so that he couldn't twist it again. After a few minutes of trying he gave up and resorted to laying on the floor and kicking the door. After probably 5 minutes of this he stopped and got busy doing other things in his room, playing with toys etc.
I sat outside his door two times but since then I haven't had to because he thinks he can't open it. He doesn't always go to sleep, and if he does, sometimes it's not in his bed but that's okay with me.(this picture was taken around 9pm...we open his door once he's fallen asleep, which means we usually have a little boy wandering the house in the morning but he's been pretty responsible, well as responsible as a 2 year old boy can be, about his morning activities so we'll let this continue unless in the future we feel the need for a change), He cried a little the first 2 days, but now he's content in there, playing with his toys or resting, and I get a little bit of much needed alone time. Though I wish he would still sleep everyday because when he doesn't he sure is cranky come 4:00. Now that we've done this for several days, when I give him the option to have his door open or closed, he still picks open but now he usually stays because he knows that if he comes out of his room then it'll be closed.