Finding it difficult to get your child up and moving in the morning? From toddlers to teens, there are some children who just can’t seem to leave the comfort of their cozy beds to face the day with a smile. So we let them oversleep and we all end up being rushed and stressed. And instead of sending our children off with a healthy breakfast and a hug, we hurry them out the door with a Pop Tart and a reprimand.
Each one of our precious babies is beautifully made. And there are certain things about their personalities we just can’t change. But we can create a smoother, happier morning routine for our families. With patience and perseverance, your child can learn how to become a morning person. Here are ten tips for teaching your child how to become a morning person.
1. Put your child to bed earlier.
This sounds obvious and it’s easier said than done, but it’s possible your child needs more sleep than you realize. Try setting a fun alarm on your smartphone – like crickets chirping – to remind your child that it’s time for bed.
2. Help your child get ready the night before.
Some kids can walk around half asleep for the first hour of the day, so make it easy for your child to get out the door by preparing the night before. Have him pick out his outfit and pack his school bag. Help him find his shoes, homework, jacket, uniform and anything else he typically loses. You can even have him set his place at the breakfast table.
3. Limit your child’s caffeine after lunch.
This includes soda, chocolate and energy drinks.
4. Create a morning routine.
Just like bedtime routines, the structure in the morning will help your child develop a healthy habit. Try a step-by-step approach in which you follow the same order each day. For example, you might start with cuddle time, morning prayer, getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth and then playing outside for a few minutes before school.
5. Help your child select a fun alarm or wake-up message that helps ease him gently (or enthusiastically if that’s what he prefers!) from sleep.
6. Play his favorite music in the morning as he is eating breakfast and getting ready.
7. Save your favorite stories, jokes or conversation starters for breakfast.
8. Offer a reward in the morning to motivate him.
Maybe he can shoot some hoops in the driveway or play with his toys if he gets ready by a certain time.
9. Allow plenty of time in the morning.
There’s nothing like being late to bring out the grumpy in all of us!
10. Be a good role model and show your child what it’s like to be a morning person!
Wake up before your child and do whatever you need to do to be prepared to greet him cheerfully and calmly.
As you experiment with some of these tips, please remember to extend some grace. You may notice you can change your child’s behavior but not his disposition. Praise him for getting ready on time and let the habit fully establish roots. Eventually, you’ll be rewarded with a smile.
What is your favorite part of the family morning routine?
Theresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur—a mentor to moms who are running a business that supports their values of faith and family. Fueled by an adventurous spirit, Theresa loves to hike, run, bike, and explore God’s country. But she is happiest at home, laughing and cuddling with her college sweetheart and their three children.