6 Tips to Help Kids Wake Up in the Morning


Who knows who decided stuff like school and work needed to start so freakin’ early, but the do. This means no matter how you’ve chosen to educate your kids, chances are you have to wake them up in the morning. The stereotypical vision of a parent with pots and pans being ignored by a blanket covered kid is not so far from the truth—a squirt gun works well too but brings on some screaming. The truth of this stereotype is many kids are indeed pretty hard to pry from slumber land.

If your child is one of the many, here’s a few ideas that might be a little less fun than a squirt gun, but are also quieter.

tips to help kids wake up

Get them on a decent sleep schedule.

If your kids aren’t getting sufficient sleep, it’s pretty logical they aren’t going to want to wake up in the morning. The single most helpful thing you can do to avoid wake-up battles, is to get your kids to bed on time with a decent sleep schedule. I have some tips on just how to do that you can read as well.

Hide the alarm.

Don’t have your child’s alarm right next to the bed where they can just slam it off and go back to snoozing. Put their alarm across the room, under the bed– anywhere out of reach. Bonus points if you change the location of said alarm every night. They even make alarms that will run away from your kids these days. This eliminates snooze buttons, breaking alarms, and redirects the I-don’t-want-to-be-up grumpiness to the alarm and off of you.

Breakfast in bed.

While not all parents have time to make a steaming pile of fruit-laced waffles every morning, having some sort of food ready when your child wakes up can really help them wake up, especially if its accompanied by a c ice-cold drink. High-carb options such as juice give kids some extra, well, juice in the form of a quick blood sugar rise and resulting energy boost, but milk, water– any drink will do. Just make it cold. If your kid can just wake up and kind of sit around when they first wake up they’ll stay groggy and grumpy longer. Eating unlike showers or getting dressed is often something children want to do, so it doesn’t create one more battle, it just gets a morning necessity out of the way earlier.

Play with the heat.

Some kids seem to wake up better if the house is nice and toasty, because there’s nothing appealing about a freezing house. While others find a cold house invigorating—even if it’s against their will. Experiment with different morning temperature levels and you may find one works better than the other. A programmable thermostat can be a great way to crank the heat down while everyone is warm and cozy in bed, then turn it up or keep it down in the morning hands free. These can also help reduce your utility bills.

Turn up the lights.

Light helps the brain signal sleep and wake times. High light, especially sunlight, as a result helps kids wake up in the morning (though directly in their eyes is usually a bad play). Opt for sunlight bulbs in your home, open curtains in the morning, and consider moving your child’s bed to a position where light from said open curtains hits their bed.

Make it worth it.

Finally, you need to find some sort of incentive for your kids to get up in a timely manner. For my kids, it’s the first one up and ready gets first seat pick in the car and  hot-water usage in the shower. For your family, you might consider adding it to your chore list or behavior chart, if you have one, which offers some reward for completion. If not, find some natural enticement like the one I mentioned above that you can just point out to your child. Your goal either way is to make getting up more appealing than sleeping.

How do you get your kids up in the morning?

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