Wednesday, October 1, 2008

All About Mornings - Waking Up 101-1

Mornings are all about getting everyone out the door in time for school and work. That's always a challenge if there is a sleepy head or dawdler in the group. Most parents also want the morning to be happy and smooth so everyone gets a great emotional start to their day in addition to having had breakfast ("the most important meal of the day") and making sure all leave without forgetting important papers or books. AHHHHH! Hence this series...

Here's the goal: Children should be in charge of getting themselves out of bed as soon as they are able. That's an important life skill for all of us. Certainly by age 10 parents should no longer be waking children up. Many children can handle this at 5,6,or 7. You know your children best but here are some tips:
  • A child who cannot wake up on their own easily has generally not gotten enough sleep. They may need a bedtime routine that includes an earlier bedtime.
  • Warning: You are a night owl and might figure that your child has inherited your owl behavior. But you are doing them no favors by not setting good sleep patterns now. Things get more challenging in adolescence so the sooner you get them in a good pattern the more fun the teen years will be.
  • Consider making a gift to your child of a shiny new alarm clock. This could be a fun joint shopping project as you listen to ringers together, consider timers, music options, budget etc. Give them all the choices (Except maybe for price. Establish a price range before you shop.)
  • Ask, "Where would the best place to put the alarm clock be?" Some children will try having it next to their bed so they can turn it off easily. Some children will decide now or later that it needs to be on the other side of the room so they have to get up to turn it off. Be sure you let them decide.
  • Ask, "What time do you think you should set the clock for?" Again, this is a problem solving discussion with them making the decisions based on how fast they move in the morning and how much time they need to get dressed, eat breakfast, for grooming, etc. Just keep asking questions but let them decide.
  • Pray that they make some bad decisions ... more on this in the next blog. (give me 2 days to get it up here)

Blessings for smoother mornings! Jill :)

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