Let's face it, we all dislike having to wake up and leave our comfy beds in the morning. And when you're a parent of youngsters, your day probably starts earlier than most. You have to factor in time to feed hungry little ones, fight to get those teeth brushed, make sure outfits match, and so much more.
But what makes mornings even harder for parents is having kids who absolutely refuse to wake up when they hear the alarm. This can put a damper on the entire day as schedules are impacted and kids don't make it to school on time. That's why we rounded up a few tips to help get those sleepyheads up and ready for the day.
10 Use A Star Chart Specifically For Morning Routines
Having something to wake for can potentially help turn your anti-morning child into someone who excitedly jumps out of bed for the chance to earn a special treat. A star chart will allow your child to visually see their progress in the morning as they work towards a reward.
This means you, the parent, need to establish a special reward for them to earn only if they follow their morning schedule. For example, if they love doughnuts, let them know they can have a doughnut on the way to school only if you leave on time. Of course, it can also be something such as listening to their favorite songs in the car or playing iPad on the ride to school as well. The key is immediately reinforcing their behavior if they get up on time and follow their chart.
9 Let Them Pick What To Eat For Breakfast
Most kids love eating things such as pancakes or a fun cereal for breakfast, and letting them pick what their first meal of the day will be can help motivate them to get up on time. In order to eat a breakfast of their choice also means having time to actually eat, meaning they will need to be awake and ready with plenty of time to spare. Or else it's bananas during the car ride to school and that's not fun for anyone.
8 Wake Them Up Slowly (And Earlier)
Start gently waking up your kids before they actually need to be awake. Of course, don't tell them they still have 15-30 minutes to sleep as this will only make the process more difficult. Open the blinds, turn on the lights, and start talking to them to pull them out of dream land before the alarm even rings.
This will give you plenty of time to get them fully awake, dressed, and fed before needing to leave the house. This also means you may need to get up a bit earlier as well, but hopefully not too much earlier.
7 Play Their Favorite Music In Their Room
Start by softly playing one of their favorite songs to gently pull them from the depths of sleep. But if that's not enough to fully wake your sleepyhead up, then start turning up the volume to make it too loud for them to ignore. Sure, it seems like kids can sleep through anything, but the Moana soundtrack playing at level 10 will surely do the trick.
6 Have An Earlier Bedtime
Perhaps your child is simply still tired when the alarm rings in the morning. If this is the case, the only solution is to have them get more sleep. Sure, kids may resist early bedtimes, but will also fall fast asleep when put in bed on a routine.
If your kid is consistently waking up a 6 a.m., they should be pretty tired by 8 or 8:30 p.m., depending on age, of course. Instead of letting them stay up to watch their favorite shows until 10 p.m., start winding down the day with no screen time at least an hour before bed. Routines such as a relaxing bath or reading a story can also help encourage them to fall asleep earlier.
5 Have Something Fun Waiting For Them
Maybe your kid, like most kids, love iPad time. If this is the case, then allow your child to have a few minutes of screen time in the morning as they eat breakfast and or during the drive to school. Allowing them to indulge in something they love is a great way to reinforce getting out of bed on time. It also gives you something to remind (bribe) them with when they are being stubborn. They can't have iPad time before school if they don't wake up early enough to make the time! Of course, it can be a different item or activity they prefer as well.
4 Do Loud Chores In The Morning
Your kids may be able to sleep through their alarm or you telling them it's time to rise and shine, but have you ever tried to sleep through someone vacuuming? It's perhaps one of the most annoying sounds to hear in the morning.
Loud chores, such as putting dishes away and vacuuming, can naturally wake your kids up as they hear life going on around them. It's pretty hard to ignore someone vacuuming in your room, so cleaning up in their bedrooms first is the way to go.
3 Stick To A Daily Routine
As previously mentioned, having your kids go to bed at a regular time and wake up the same time each day can help them be better morning people. Even on weekends, it's important to not let your kids sleep in too late as this can make it harder for them to wake up on weekdays. A bedtime routine consisting of no screen time, reading, and a bath can help them mentally prepare for sleep just as a morning routine can help them wake up on time.
2 Don't Excuse Their Lateness To School
Getting in trouble by their teacher or school for being late is a natural consequence your child has to face when they don't get up on time.
As a parent, it can be hard to allow your child to get into trouble, but this can also be aversive enough to encourage them to start waking up earlier. Letting them suffer the natural consequences of their behavior can work as a punishment and decrease any future oversleeping.
1 No Screen Time Before Bed
Having too much screen time immediately before bed can actually keep your kids from falling asleep. The same is true for adults. It's recommended you and your kids don't have any screen time for at least two hours before bed as the light emitted from iPads and phones can keep a person from getting a good night's sleep.