In every family, some mornings are harder than others. How the morning goes often sets the tone for the rest of the day, so the way all the family members wake up can determine whether the day will be easy and relaxed or stressed and chaotic.
Imagine a rushed morning. You find yourself saying things like, “Get ready”, “Get dressed”, “Come on, put your shoes on”, “We are going to be late”. The kids are late for school, you are late for work, you spill coffee in the car, the kids forget their lunch boxes and when you think it could not possibly get any worse, you find yourself stuck in traffic. You end up thinking if only you had those 5 minutes you wasted hurrying the kids, you would have been ready on time.
It is not always easy to wake up kids. If they went to sleep later than usual, or they stayed up late in front of a screen, it can be even harder. The best way to help them wake up in the morning is to give them time. I know it sounds funny but enough time to wake up at their own pace is all it takes. Regardless of their age, waking up at their own speed is essential for a good start to the day.
Here are some handy tips to help your kids wake up calmly in the morning.
- Set a bedtime that will allow your kids to have about 10 hours of sleep. Be a bit more flexible on the weekend.
- Get up before the child and get ready. This will help them wake up into a calm atmosphere and allow you to be there for them when they need help (or company). Parents who are disorganized and rushed in the morning are a bit like fire
fighters, they are constantly putting out fires which can be a bit chaotic.
- Take into consideration that kids (and grownups) cannot get out of bed the instant they open their eyes. Give them 10 to 15 minutes to stay in bed after they wake up. Let them relax without rushing them.
- Try to convince your kids to go to sleep without drawing the curtains to allow the sun to wake them up naturally. If they like it dark, open the curtains when you wake up and let the sun work its magic. The light from the sun triggers hormones in our brain that help us wake up.
- Buy them an alarm clock that plays music they like, or set music a CD they like to play. If they like the radio, choose a channel that plays music more than it talks. The fast speed of morning talk shows can be stressful, not to mention the commercial every 5 minutes.
- Pick a wind chime and give it a little nudge about 15 minutes before you want your kids to wake up. Their brain will record the sound even when they are asleep and prepare them to wake up.
- If they are particularly cuddly, you can try this strategy: 15 minutes before they need to get up, go to their room, give them a kiss and a hug. Softly sing a wake up song and then leave them to get ready.
- Do not be tempted to lecture your kids in the morning, about anything, especially not about going to sleep on time. The chance of them remembering what you said at bedtime, 12 hours later, is almost zero! A nagging parent is a good reason not to get out of bed.
What kids need in the morning (and in the evening as well) is time. They need enough time so that they can choose whether to get up straight away or stay in bed for 4 more minutes. If they get out of bed upset and edgy, this will set the tone for a very unpleasant morning and a not so fun day, for them and for you. Giving them that little bit of time in the morning will surprise you. In the long run, it will gain you (and them) the most time to enjoy a leisurely morning.
Try these tips and see how much calmer the mornings at your house can be.
This post is part of the series Handy Family Tips:
- Handy Family Tips: Dishwasher
- Handy Family Tips: Pre-Marinating
- Handy Family Tips: Kitchen Scissors
- Handy Family Tips: First use date
- Handy Family Tips: Kids’ Artwork
- Handy Family Tips: Keys
- Handy Family Tips: Smelly bins
- Handy Family Tips: Treasure box
- Handy Family Tips: Glass jars
- Handy Family Tips: On time is late
- Handy Family Tip: Early is on time
- Handy Family Tips: Electric toothbrush
- Handy Family Tips: Make a Note
- Handy Family Tips: Laundry day
- Handy Family Tips: How to Peel Avocado
- Handy Family Tips: Bathroom Art
- Handy Family Tips: Easy Healthy Spread
- Handy Family Tips: Wake Up With a Smile
- Handy Family Tips: Color Coded Keys
- Handy Family Tips: Road Trip Games
- Handy Family Tips: How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables
- Handy Family Tips: What to Do When There is No Shaving Cream?
- How to Control Your Kids’ Mobile Phone Use at Night