This is a common issue for parents of toddlers and preschoolers. Kids often get scared in the middle of the night or they just want company. They get up, go to mom or dad and want water, snuggles, to go to the bathroom, and endless list of sleep interruptions. Ugh... We love them but... UGH!
One set of L&L parents took a combination of CHOICES and ENERGY DRAIN to help encourage their 4 year old to take control of his actions in the middle of the night. They've had great success!
Each night BEFORE bed they give him all sorts of CHOICES about what books and activities he'd like to put beside his bed. If he wakes up, he immediately has something that he'd enjoy doing. He's allowed to turn on his light and look at books or color if he'd like. He can fall back asleep when he wants to.
If he does need comforting in the middle of the night, that's fine. However, he knows that it might cause and ENERGY DRAIN the next day when he wants his parents to play with him. He loves to shoot baskets with daddy and some days daddy is just too drained from having been woken up too many times at night. His son understands and can still enjoy shooting baskets just not with dad that day.
Both parents said their son is getting much better and is more relaxed knowing he has choices about what to do when he wakes up. He used to only have one thing he could do... now he has lots!