How to Help Your Kids Get Up for School on Mondays
While your children may be up at the crack of dawn when they stay home with you all day, getting up on time for school can be a challenge for many children once they begin their formal education. If Mondays seem to be the absolute worst for getting up on time, employing these simple strategies could help you help your children get out of bed without any tantrums.
Set a reasonable bedtime
When the people living in your household span several age groups, it can be difficult to know exactly how much sleep everyone needs. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has provided the following guidance:
- Newborns – 16 to 18 hours
- Preschool-aged children – 11 to 12 hours
- School-aged children – 10 hours
- Teens – 9 to 10 hours
- Adults – 7 to 8 hours.
Based on these figures, a teenager who needs to be up at 7 should get to bed between 9 and 10 at night, while a preschool child getting up at the same time should be to bed two or three hours earlier.
Create an evening routine that works
If your child is getting adequate sleep at night and still has trouble getting up for school on Monday morning, it’s time to take a closer look for how they spend the hours before bedtime. If your child gets a lot of screen time – be it the television, a computer or another lit device – the sleep that they receive may not be as restful as it should be. This is because the blue light these electronic devices emit tricks the brain into thinking the sun is still up, meaning it should stay awake and alert.
To create an evening routine that works for your child, consider banning screen time and electronics at least one hour before bed. Substituting bath time or reading time for other pre-bedtime activities can allow children to naturally relax and fall asleep easier, which can mean receiving higher quality sleep during the night.
Maintain the routine
While there will always be the occasional out-of-town guest to accommodate or special weekend events to work around, try to keep your child’s routine as close as possible to their weekday schedule. Keeping your children out far beyond their bedtime during the weekend can create a disruption to their schedule that’s difficult to quickly rebound from, especially when you have a child who requires more sleep than other children their age to function in the mornings.
Remember, your children may want to stay up later to play or watch a movie with you on the weekends, but their bodies need every hour of rest they can get, even if their growing brains don’t realize it.
Use a rewards system
If you already use some kind of a rewards system for teeth brushing, chores or homework, you can easily add a goal of getting up for school on time each day. When your family doesn’t already have a reward system, talk to your children about the types of rewards they’d enjoy. While extra dessert or more video game time may be popular requests, you may find that your child is also willing to get up for school each day for a month when they know they’ll get to visit a museum or the zoo as their reward.
Note: Keep the reward period attainable. Teenagers may be able to see the value in getting up on time for a month in order to get something they really want, but 30 days can feel like forever to younger children, and thus won’t provide the same level of motivation.