I have three children, all boys. Two of my sons are early risers but my oldest who is 11, would be happy if I let him loll around in bed half the day. On the weekends, that’s not a problem but on school days… Well let’s just say it can be a hassle getting him out of bed and more often then not, a bad attitude follows him since I have to yank him from bed, which causes him to move more slowly in the mornings due to being tired or from sheer stubbornness.
Finally I’d had enough. I got tired of rushing him out the door at the last minute to get him to school. I had to figure out some ways he could be ready to leave for school on time. This article will give you a few suggestions based on what I did with my son to help your child get on their way so you can get on with your day as well.
#1: Put Out Clothes the Night Before
My son used to drive me crazy when he got dressed for school. He knew where his clothes were but he would take a painstakingly amount of time to get them and put them on. It’d go check on him 10 minutes later and he’d only be in his underwear, slowly looking around at everything in the room. To help stop his getting distracted, I had him get his clothes for the next school at bedtime. He lays them out in a designated area so that the next morning, he can grab them, go into the bathroom and get dressed.
#2: Give Your Child a Time Frame for Breakfast
If your child eats breakfast at home then put a time limit on the latest time that they can eat breakfast. While they should enjoy a good meal at the start of the day, don’t let them drag it out until the last minute to eat. If they skip breakfast a couple of times they’ll quickly learn that you mean business and will start to eat on time. In our house, if the kids are eating breakfast at home, they have to eat it or be almost finished with it by 7:30 AM . If my son comes to me at 7:35 , I tell him that he is old enough to keep an eye on the time and that he is past the 7:30 rule and will have to grab breakfast at school in the cafeteria or wait until lunchtime. Most of the time, having a time frame works like a charm.
#3: Set the Alarm Earlier
My son used to listen to the alarm drone on and on for a good ten minutes before getting out of bed. If your child has a hard time getting out of bed when that dreaded alarm goes off, set the alarm earlier. In theory, it should work that they’ll be getting up around the time you want them to get up. This works for us most of the time. You don’t want to tell your kids though the reason they are getting up earlier. Don’t lie but just tell them that they need to get up a few minutes earlier each day.
#4: Limit TV Time before Bed
One of my biggest mistakes in my son getting up on time is letting him have an hour of TV time in his room before going to bed on a school night. I thought at 11 years old that it would be nice for him to have a little perk but I soon realized that it was making him more tired and sometimes he would sneak extra TV time in which meant less sleep at night and slower in getting up and moving around in the mornings. He may not like that he no longer gets TV time on school nights but I’ve certainly noticed an improvement in him the next morning.
It’s OK to reward your child, you just don’t want to do it often or they won’t do anything unless they are rewarded for it. Make a deal with your child. Tell them that if they can get themselves up on time and ready for school that you’ll give them a special treat like a book or special time with Mom or Dad.
Punishment is never fun but sometimes it is necessary. If your child is not getting ready on time, you have to take a more drastic step in getting your child’s attention. Take time away from something they really love like watching their favorite show, playing a game system or a favorite toy. They won’t want their favorite items to be taken away and may strive to do better.