Is there anything more stressful for parents and hated by children than the morning wake-up calls for school? Do you believe it is impossible that this part of the day can ever be calm and joyful for everyone? It’s time to fix some home habits and make the mornings really enjoyable! Check out our proven strategies!
Sleep is not a punishment!
For most adults, sleep is salvation and sometimes the most longed-for pleasure of the day; however, for many children the words “you have to go to bed now” sound like punishment. Instead of spending ages trying to persuade a toddler to go to sleep every evening, let’s just spend 15 minutes reading together, looking at some photographs or simply chatting about dreams and plans. We should also bear in mind that the children remember and imitate what they see and hear. So, if we complain about hitting the snooze button every 5 minutes, about early waking, morning traffic, and fatigue, then our children also begin to perceive this part of the day as stressful. They will also look for negatives and pay more attention to them. We need to talk about waking up as something pleasant, as a “fresh sheet of paper” with all new possibilities, and in the end, our children will go to sleep willingly, ready to face a new day of adventures.
The strength of nature and rhythm of the day
We should try to live in harmony with the forces of nature. Allow it to set our rhythms and teach us the harmony of balance. Remember that it once completely determined our pace of life. When we abandon biology and act against its law, our bodies begin to rebel. When we expose ourselves to blue light before bedtime, the body reduces the level of melanin responsible for fatigue. When we go to sleep at all different times, we may feel rested but for different time slots. So, in effect, it is hard for us to get up at the same time each day. If you want your child to wake up full of energy and without complaining, then it is important to set a regular bedtime and wake-up time, regardless of the day of the week, and stick to it! It is best not to deviate from the set times by more than an hour. Does your toddler have trouble falling asleep? Think of replacing their regular quilt for a weighted blanket – it really works!
Mornings can be cool!
We do not always understand the way children behave, but it is certain that the emotions related to a given situation, depend on their associations. If you want your child to like mornings, you need to help them think positively about mornings. You can give them funny slippers, which the toddler can put on to leave the bed; a funny alarm clock with children’s melodies or propose making breakfasts together several times a month (make sure you book yourself extra time to avoid stress). Remember that waking up is supposed to announce something exciting, new and full of good energy; not shouting, stressing and rushing about.
Everyone in the family knows that good organization is the key to absolutely everything. From bathing to going out together. From going to work and school to going on trips. Conversely, lack of organization always equals stress. To avoid the morning chaos, quarrels and unpleasant atmosphere, prepare everything you need for the following day the evening before. We can make a large colourful box with the children, in which they can pack all the things needed for the next day – the PE outfit, backpack, kindergarten slippers, water bottles and packed lunches. Let’s also do a colourful chart of all the morning’s activities, e.g. the timing of getting up, getting dressed, combing hair, having breakfast and brushing teeth with the option of ticking off each of them. In this way, children will learn to do their morning tasks almost automatically.
Breakfast is fundamental and the most important meal of the day. It should provide us with energy, mobilize our strength and provide valuable nutrients. So, in order for toddlers to not make faces over the plate and refuse to put anything in their mouths, let’s try to turn this into a game, e.g. like a buffet restaurant or breakfast room. Children can choose their own food using products prepared and set out by the parents, e.g. porridge, fruit, nuts or yoghurt. When we have more time, we can ask a child to become the waiter and collect orders, e.g. for sandwiches for work and school. When mornings and eating together are full of smiles and fun, then it will be easier for us to persuade our children to wake up early.