It’s that time of year again… How, after months of sleeping late, do you get the kids used to waking up early? Getting kids to stick to a back-to-school routine can be a struggle that’s bound to make even the most patient parent want to scream. Well, summer holidays can throw out the whole family’s sleep pattern but a few clever tips can really help you get your little ones out the door faster.
Routines help your kids to know what to expect and how to stay organized. Establish a predictable, relaxing bedtime routine that works for your little night owls. For example, taking a bath, brushing their teeth, and getting into their pajamas every evening before they go to bed, is a set routine that can give them a strong sense of consistency.
Yes, you have to start earlier than the day before school! Don’t make all the changes at once; have your kids go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night leading up to the first day of school and get up 15 minutes earlier each day. Bear in mind that it generally takes about three weeks to get back on a schedule; about a month before the first day of school, you should start setting a standard bedtime and wake-up time.
One item you should definitely purchase for your kids at the beginning of the school year is an alarm clock. By giving your little ones a clock, you’re making them responsible for getting up on time. Yes, you’ll still have to nudge them to get them out of bed, but a fancy, new clock can encourage them to react positively when the alarm sounds!
Wake them up and then hug them; it will make your kids so happy and will start you off on the right foot!
*extra tip: If that doesn’t work, the tickle monster can always get them up!
Aim for lots of bright, natural light in the morning. Any lack of light inhibits the body’s ability to produce melatonin, upsetting the sleep-wake cycle. Let your children soak up some rays as soon as possible after you wake them up.
Rewarding your little ones for getting up on time may serve as a good motivation. And don’t forget that kids love to play games; you can transform each morning into a race, with each family member racing against the clock.