Getting out of bed on a cold winter morning is hard for kids as well as their parents. But there is a scientific explanation for our struggles. Our circadian rhythm (body clock) is designed to wake us with the rising sun, but with no sunlight to tempt us, getting out of bed is harder than ever. Here are some practical tips for helping children get up and ready for a positive day.
Set a strict bedtime routine
It’s already difficult for many kids to get out of bed on a dark morning, so the last thing you want to do is make this even harder by allowing them to run wild the night before.
Affirmations (positive statements) can help improve your child’s wellbeing, self-esteem, and overall mindset: I am strong. I am proud of myself. Choose some positive statements and encourage your child to say them out loud each morning. Struggling to get out of bed can be associated with negative thinking and daily affirmations can train a child’s brain to think more positively.
Give them something to look forward to
It’s not possible for children to avoid showering, brushing teeth, getting dressed, and having breakfast, but you could try to give them something to look forward to each morning. Perhaps they’re currently engrossed in a new book, or maybe they’re really excited about a new game they’ve recently discovered. Incorporate their latest interest into their morning routine by carving out 15 to 30 minutes of free time between the ‘chores’.
Use rewards and incentives
Try incentivising kids with something they’ll appreciate, and have a reward planned for them later in the day. The incentives and rewards don’t have to be anything fancy. Maybe you can promise to let them choose the car playlist during the school run, or cook their favourite meal when they get home from school. Soon they could be leaping out of bed with a huge smile and no prompts or nudges at all!
Set a good example
Nobody likes a hypocrite, and don’t underestimate your child’s ability to sense hypocrisy in you! Help them to adopt the right frame of mind by doing everything you’re telling them to do. Practice your own daily affirmations and greet your child in the morning with a happy, cheerful attitude. Setting a good example can do wonders for your child’s morning.