When you help your child wake up happy, it affects not only the child’s life, but on everyone the child meets in her day. Waking up on the wrong or right side of the bed is not a phenomenon only for the adults among us. Following these ways to help your child wake up happy may also help you to wake up happier as well!
1. Skip the Alarm
If you can stumble your bum out of bed a few minutes before your child’s alarm is set to go off, it can be one of the most beneficial ways to help your child wake up happy. Letting her be woken up by the soothing voice of a parent (key word soothing….) rather than a blaring alarm horn followed by the mad scramble could change the course of anyone’s morning.
2. Make a Good List
While you are waking your child up with a positive ‘Good Morning’ and a little back rub, talk about the good parts of today that await her, in a relaxed, quiet voice. You don’t have to talk loud to get her attention while she’s leaving dreamland. As she starts to stir, mention that grandma will be picking her up at school today, and how she loves to play a board game after homework is done. Talk about the assembly scheduled for this afternoon complete with a live band. Talk about the movie you will watch after dinner, and how you will put extra butter on her popcorn for her. When kids have something to look forward to, why wouldn’t they want to get up?
3. Any Healthy Food is Good Food
Does your child hate eggs but loves baked chicken tenders? Detests oatmeal but loves hearty chili? Can’t stand bananas but loves broccoli? Who said breakfast has to be about typical breakfast foods? The important thing is your child is eating healthy meals, and not going to school hungry. Having supper for breakfast will also seem like forbidden fruit to her, which will make her even more likely to eat it!
4. Let Her Choose Her Clothes the Night before
Rather than dashing to find clothes in the busy morning only to find the ones you were looking for are either dirty, missing, or more wrinkled than a Shar Pei, pick out her clothes with her the night before, and let her do the heavy lifting. You may need to guide her in choosing clothes right for the weather or occasion, but work with her in doing this. Not only could this help her to become more independent, it can help her to learn her own preferences and style. What a nice bedtime ritual for the two of you too!
5. A Story to Wake up to
Stories don’t need to be filled with brain power and imagination lasting for ½ hour or more. Sometimes it can be a collaborative “Once Upon a Time, there was a little girl who traveled from dreamland. When she was there, she saw….” and let your daughter take over from there. It may be only one or two sentences, but it starts your child’s day off with her knowing you want to hear what she has to say, and you are not too busy for her. It’s like a verbal hug she can revisit all day long while she waits for the next story tomorrow morning.
6. The Dog Has It
Do you have a dog or cat that loves to jump on the bed unannounced? Use this to your advantage (and the pet’s surprise!) in the morning. Kids love pets, and to be woken up by their nose in your child’s ear is a sure way to start the day with laughter. Let the animal explore the beauty of fluffy blankets and little toes while your child slowly drifts from slumber to dog slobber. Which is a perfect transition into morning teeth brushing…
7. The Slow Wakeup
Having your child get the sleep she needs isn’t always easy. Between homework, laptop games, books, and general night owl-nish, not getting your child to sleep on time at night can cause us to let them sleep as long as possible in the morning. However, this can often lead to the hustle of getting the morning routine from A-Z done in 5 minutes or less. This can be stressful on everyone's part. Instead, work daily towards getting your child to bed 1/2 hour earlier, and up 1/2 hour earlier. Use that extra time to (gasp) chat at the breakfast table, finish watching the movie from the night before, or play with the dog or cat. Having some extra time in the morning for relaxation can lead to a day and a life of less stress for everyone.
Mornings can be a happy time, not just something the rest of your day needs to overcome. What are some of the best ideas you have for waking up your child in a positive way?