Posted on April 27th, 2020
Kids can be a handful, especially when dealing with them in the mornings. Your typical morning begins with your alarm clock going off and the battle to get your kids ready for school as soon as possible.
Most of the time, your first attempt to get your kids out of bed might prove futile; you need to make breakfast, arrange lunch boxes, get yourself dressed, ensure the kids are ready before the bus arrives and still make it to work on time. It’s not yet 8am, but you can already feel your blood pressure increasing!
If you struggle with getting your child going in the morning, you are not the only one experiencing such issues. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need an average sleep time of nine hours every night, but it can be difficult to get them to go to sleep before 11pm. As a parent, do you need to deal with this every day? Here are a few tips that will help you and your kids get ready without having to go through the morning madness routine.
Start by setting ground rules
A lot of parents know kids respond better when rules and consequences are guiding an action. To help reduce the morning madness, the first thing you should do is set up morning routines your kids will stick to, making them responsible for getting up in the morning.
Telling them you won’t drop them off at school if they miss the bus in the morning due to oversleeping, will make them much more likely to stick to their morning routine. Customize the consequence of oversleeping to suit your child’s age, as obviously children of a certain age group cannot be left alone at home.
Make sleep a priority
Going to bed early at night helps everyone wake up early the next morning. Insist that your child who has issues waking up in the morning, goes to sleep early at night. You can say something like, ‘’you seem to have issues waking up early. That’s because you are not sleeping enough. We will be moving your bedtime from 11pm to 10pm to help you get an extra hour of sleep.’’
Making it compulsory for an adolescent to go to bed at 10pm might feel awkward and uncomfortable for the child; the annoyance of being deprived of screen time or their favorite activities and forced to go to bed early might be enough motivation for your child to want to always wake up early for school.
You might need to help your child
Some children (especially those within the teen and pre-teen age groups) might find it very difficult to get out of bed in the morning. To help yourself and help them, you need to come up with a plan that will help make waking up in the morning easy.
You can either change their bedtime, place the alarm across the room as opposed to close to the bed, or make them arrange their backpacks, school lunch boxes and pick out clothes the night before.
Wake up before your kids
Setting your alarm to wake you up 15-30 minutes before your kids, is a great way to start your morning; it means you will have time to get some things underway before your kids wake up. If you have children that depend on you to do everything for them, you might need everything else to be ready before you go to wake the kids up.
Like children, you as an adult will benefit from having a routine and you will be preparing your family for an enjoyable day ahead, every morning.
Establish a morning routine
In addition to setting a routine for yourself as a parent, it is also important that you set a routine for your kids to follow. You might have to use pictures and charts for setting up a routine for younger kids. The routine chart should contain things like:
- Brushing teeth
- Washing face
- Combing hair
- Getting dressed
- Putting shoes on
- Having breakfast
- Grabbing lunchbox
- Catching the bus
As soon as you set up a morning routine for your kids, you can talk them through the process in the morning while preparing; it will help them remember every step and also help you notice any glitches in the routine.
Decide what is for breakfast the night before
To make your morning routine smoother, you should decide on what healthy food you will prepare for your family the night before. Breakfast is important and it requires some preparation most of the time. Deciding on what to eat early on means you have the time to prepare some of the items you need for the meal the night before.
You can also get help from your kids the night before to prepare all the items you will need for breakfast the next day; doing this will reduce your workload in the morning.
Work with the snatch and go theory
The snatch and go theory ensures that nothing is forgotten or left till the last minute. Waking up early is not enough, as you can wake up early and still miss the bus or forget an essential item. Ensure your kids have their homework sheets in their backpacks, shoes ready to go by the door and lunch made the night before, easily grabbed from the fridge in the morning.
Make yourself a role model
As a parent, your kids imitate what they see you do; if you are an early riser or a morning whiner, your actions can influence them. If you are the type that wakes up late and is always grumpy in the morning, how can you expect your kids to be any different?
Get up early, do 15 minutes of exercise or put the coffee on; have a positive attitude that makes your kid know you mean it when you say ‘’good morning.’’
Only do the essentials
Setting up activities that are not essential for your kids to perform in the morning is setting them up for failure. Create a list of things that must be done every morning and schedule the rest for later in the day or week.
Starting the day right helps to make the rest of it easier to bear, which also means you need to help your kids begin each morning positively. These tips will have different levels of effectiveness, so it pays to put some effort into trying as many as possible to see what works best for you.