Stop the Morning Drama and Get Kids Out of Bed!
If you're having trouble waking your kids in the morning, you're not alone. Frustrated parents everywhere are dreading school mornings because their kids just won't get up. It's time to stop the madness in your home. Do you find yourself yelling? Or perhaps you throw a glass of water on your child every so often. Maybe you bang around the pots and pans in the kitchen hoping that your child will get up. And the arguing every day about getting up and getting to school on time is getting so old. Honestly, it's not a nice way for you or your kids to start the day. With some investigating and strategizing, you can make your mornings run a lot smoother.
School issues. Learn about your child. Before you fix the problem, you need to know what is causing the problem. Is your child possibly depressed? Does your child have reasons why he doesn't want to go to school? Is he getting enough sleep? Put on your detective hat and do some sleuthing. Open up communication about school and peers. Is there a conflict at school? Talk to your child's teachers about school work and social interactions.
And if you can rule out school issues, watch your child in other aspects of her life. Is she acting differently in other ways? Is she less social or less interactive with the family? Have there been any life changes that would be a cause for concern such as a divorce, move or death in the family. If your child's difficulty getting up is sudden or different from previous behavior, she may be reacting to a life circumstance and need some intervention. Set up some counseling sessions with a school counselor or family therapist. Getting to the root of the problem may fix the morning issues.
Staying up too late. Maybe your child is merely staying up too late, Is he is involved in too many after school activities and doesn't get to homework until late? Take an activity or two away. Is he staying up in his room looking at his phone or reading? Make sure you confiscate his electronics before bed. Because reading is a wonderful activity before bed, set up some structured reading time right before bed so he doesn't feel the need to sneak it!
Teenage sleep issues.
Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot to do if your child is a teen and just isn't tired early on. Remember that you child's biological clock shifts during adolescence due to a change in melatonin release. If this is the case, be patient and willing to work with your child and the school. During later high school years, some teens can set up their schedules in a more accommodating way. Can your teen adjust her schedule so she doesn't have to be at school so early? Could you possibly drive your child to school instead of taking the bus so she can sleep a bit later? You may need to be willing to call your child in as late occasionally as long as it doesn't interfere with academics. Be flexible, supportive and creative during these times.
What you can do to help the situation.
Use daily routine charts and behavior charts. Daily routine charts are great at helping kids track evening and morning tasks. And you can work on "getting up nicely" as a behavior chart goal. If your child gets up during school days, for example, he can earn a reward.
Maintain a consistent bed time.
Be consistent as much as possible. Even on weekends, stick to a schedule and maintain a similar bedtime and "rise and shine" time.
Establish nighttime routines .
Routines can help a child stay structured, unwind and feel ready to fall asleep. Set up a regular night time bath/shower. Have a family reading hour before bed. Lay clothes and books/backpacks out for the next morning.
Present fun morning food.
Make a weekly schedule of your kids' favorite breakfasts, and remind them the night before of what will be waiting when they wake up. And occasionally, throw in something special like their favorite donuts.
Don't fuel the drama around getting up. Simply state your expectation and leave the room. Once you get pulled into the battle, your child may refuse to get up just to keep the battle going.
Get a fun alarm clock or set a timer. Go out with your child and pick out a fun, effective alarm clock. You can also put a special light and/or radio on a timer. Pull yourself out of the wake up drama and make your child accountable to get himself up.
By making your child accountable and using some structure and creativity, you can make your mornings much smoother.