Waking kids up

School isn’t over yet, but we bet it’s getting more and more difficult to wake your kids up and get them moving in the morning. If the usual routine isn’t working, then switching it up could make all the difference.

In a survey of 2,000 parents done by Feather & Black, a designer of children’s bedroom furniture in the UK, asked parents what they did to get their kids up in the morning Bedtimes).

  • 41% used sunlight from opening curtains.
  • 25% used an alarm.
  • 24% used breakfast.
  • 7 % used a splash of water.
  • 4% used bribery (Bedtimes).

Surveys are great, but they can be limited. While opening curtains, setting alarms, and splashing kids with water may work for some parents, it doesn’t work for everyone. So, what are some other options?

The best advice we have seen for long-term success is building a routine for the day and not just for bedtime. Family psychologist David Swanson, author of HELP– My Kid is Driving Me Crazy said, “If we approach sleep appropriately we look at a kid’s whole day. If you want your kids back to sleep on time, have dinner at a set time and limit the computer, TV, and video game time. You’re not just trying to get them back to bed, but into a routine.” He goes on to explain that while it may be difficult to initiate the routine it does make it easier in the long run. Besides that, it also has health benefits as kids need sleep and not getting enough can lead to issues with depression and other health concerns (Zamosky).

Of course, what else does Swanson suggest? Bribery! That’s right, the 4% may have had it right all along. Everyone looks forward to something. Then what is the best way to help keep with the routine? Bribes and consequences.

What could you say if your little one puts up a fight? Swanson had an answer to that as well. He suggested saying something like this: “I’m not looking forward to getting up early either. But I think video games are getting in the way and are amping you up. Do this or lose the game’” (Zamosky).

Finally, what can be done the morning of to actually get them out of bed? It’s simple, make getting ready easier by planning ahead the night before. Have the backpack ready, the clothes laid out, and breakfast planned. It reduces stress and the need to make decisions with a groggy mind. Lastly, make sure your little one knows he or she has done well. This could be as simple as a hug or a happy high five (Zamosky).

It’s time to strop stressing over sleep and start looking forward to the summer months ahead! Sweet dreams!


BedTimes. “How to wake children up in the morning.” BedTimes, November 2012, https://bedtimesmagazine.com/2012/11/how-to-wake-children-up-in-the-morning/. Accessed 20 March 2018.


Zamosky, Lisa. “5 Tips to Get Your Kids Up for School.” WebMD. December 2012, https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/get-kids-up-for-school#1. Accessed 20 March 2018.

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