It is never easy to getting kids out of bed in the morning. Some of the strategies listed in this article can help save both of you time and unhappy beginnings in the morning times. In an age of busy lifestyles and two career families, parents spend a lot of energy trying to manage their time more effectively. However, we rarely consider how important it is to manage our children’s time as well. The morning routine can be particularly stressful.
“It’s like waking a bear from its cave.” That’s how one mother describes the daily struggle to wake her six year-old son and get him ready for school. Waking a child and getting through the “morning routine” is one of the most common complaints of parents. Children have a few special excuses for being so grumpy in the morning. Children tend to sleep more deeply than adults. Research shows that they also need more sleep than adults, with most requiring a minimum of 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Many adults don’t get enough sleep during the week and are in no mood to put up with “nonsense” from their children.
Most strategies require time and effort from parents in the beginning to get their children to follow a schedule. However, by following these strategies, parents often find that the stressors in the morning will be minimized.
Here are some tips for establishing a more pleasant morning routine:
Get up early. Getting kids out of bed in the morning will take work. Make sure you wake up at least 15-20 minutes before your children so you can focus on what you need to get done to prepare for your day.
Make a chart. Include things like washing their face, brushing teeth, getting dressed, making the bed, etc. List all of the morning activities you can reasonably expect your child to complete on the left side of a piece of paper. List the days of the week across the top of the paper. Give your child a sticker or a star for every morning activity they successfully complete on time.
Don’t demand perfection, especially if your child has not performed many of these activities on their own before. Reward them for improvements even if it just means completing one activity per day.
Give them time (3-5 minutes) to wake up. Use your soft and pleasant voice. Set the alarm clock and make sure the volume is low and the music is soothing. Open the blinds or curtains. Focusing on progress rather than perfection encourages your child to become more enthusiastic and take pride in completing their morning routine.
Remember – it’s a learning process for everyone. The more you can spend time on positive communications in the morning, the rest of the day will be much easier for everyone! For more information on children’s issues go to Solutionsforyourlife.com and look up Family Resources.