Stop Kids From Jumping on Couches and Beds
"Lisa, get off the couch like that! I told you it's only for sitting." "James, the bed is for sleeping, not jumping." If this sounds like your house, you may be looking for ways to deter kids from jumping on the furniture. Who doesn't like to bounce around and what bounces better than a couch or bed in a kid's eyes? They may not understand exactly why it's such a bad idea.
Explain what can happen. Furniture may wear out from all the bouncing. That could be worrisome for some parents. Furniture isn't cheap. But if you're like me, even though replacement isn't ideal, that's the least of your concerns. When you have kids, it's pretty much a given that things will break. But kids do need to understand that even though bouncing on furniture is fun, it can also be dangerous. They can get hurt. Younger kids might get that message best by singing songs. A good example is "Ten Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed" where the monkeys disappear one by one because of getting injured while jumping on the bed. Older kids should know better. However, a reminder can do them some good if they are still jumping on furniture.
Choose a punishment and make it clear. This is key to making the point that furniture is not for jumping on. Choose a punishment according to your child's age and abilities. Your child needs to know that is what will happen each time he jumps on the bed, couch, or other furniture. Establish this from the very beginning if possible. If your child has already started to jump on the furniture, be sure he knows this new rule. Some ideas may be time out, loss of a privilege, and even an allowance markdown.
Be consistent with your rule. If you tell your child the rule but only enforce it sometimes, it doesn't actually help to have the rule. If you want your child to take you seriously, you need to take the chosen action every single time she jumps on the furniture. Letting it go even once can cause a backslide and it could make it even more difficult to get the situation under control. Being consistent also applies from room-to-room. If you don't allow couch jumping, then don't allow bed or chair jumping either. Changing things from one area to the next can be confusing for a child.
Give them an alternative. Perhaps the kids are jumping on the furniture because it's simply fun to do so. Give them another option. You can't really expect them to want to stop something fun without an equally enticing option. A kid-safe trampoline is one option. An inflatable bounce house or a pogo stick are also great for bouncing. Whether you choose one of those or something else, make sure it's as fun as (or more fun than) jumping on the couch or bed. If the alternative option is less fun, its not going to deter the kids from the furniture for long.
Let them expend some energy. Maybe the kids just have extra energy to waste. Since they are indoors, the furniture is their first target. Let them run around in the backyard or take them to the park. Whenever my kids have extra energy, I like to take them for long walks on local nature trails. If kids aren't allowed to let out all their energy, they will begin trying to let it out in creative ways. Allowing them plenty of physical play can help prevent them from being too energetic indoors, which could be good for your furniture. It's not 100% foolproof, but it should at least cut down on these instances.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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