So, as a mom, after months of extended sleep, how do we help kids get up early for school? How do we get them used to waking up early without creating "civil war" inside the household every morning?
Here are five ideas to help your kids get ready for school.
1. Plan ahead.
At least a week before the school schedule begins, start preparing your kids to getting up early. We, parents sometimes tend to dilly-dally and postpone the practice of leaving bed early for school, until it has become too late. Plan with your kids; let them have also that responsibility to start earlier wake up time. Explain to them that sleep is likewise important as food. Studies reveal that lack of sleep can hinder physical and mental health. Common effects are physical pain, depression, and anxiety. It also affects school performance, inability to pay attention in class lectures. Help the kids to understand that getting enough sleep is only to help them feel good while at school.
2. Set bedtime.
In order for kids to go back to sleep on time, have dinner at a set time and most importantly, limit the time for TV, computers and video games. Expect complaints from them when there is control in the use of computer and cell phones. Once again, talk about responsibilities. Parenting tips suggest telling kids that having cell phones, PSP or any handheld games, and any other gadget is a privilege. But if they keep on using them even after bedtime, it means they can't manage it. To help them, you have to take the gadget/s away from your kid if he or she can't follow the plan.
3. Routine check.
Set alarm clocks during that one week of helping your kids get used to earlier wake up time for school. Let them retire to bed an hour earlier and wake up an hour earlier as well. Set an hour earlier than their usual wake up time. Start your wind down routine day after day until they have gone back to their usual sleeping and waking time for school.
4. A little motivation helps.
Motivate your kids to follow certain sleep schedule. Tell them a reward of their choice is at stake if they stick to the plan.
5. Avoid morning rush.
If there is something that can be done the night before to give way for extra time in the morning, do it. For instance, prepare the school uniform at night in order to free you the hassle of ironing it in the morning. Check for some neat socks and clean the shoes. Are all school supplies needed the following morning inside the bag? Freeing 10 or 15 minutes the least for morning work can help avoid the rush.