Getting children up and out of the door in time for school after the summer holidays can be a trying time for parents and carers. After months of sleeping late and enjoying themselves, the kids now have to contend with early wake up times, homework and other after-school activities. Here, we offer five tips to help get kids out of bed and off to school on time without inflicting too much of a shock to their little systems.
- Prepare early
Transitioning from the laid-back schedule of the summer to the busy schedule of a school year is a process. Start preparing the kids for school at least a week before school opens to get a good start. Gather the family together and announce a new sleeping schedule to afford kids enough sleep for an early rise.
- Establish early bedtime routines
Establish early bed time routines in line with the new sleeping schedule. Prepare dinner early and have it served at a set time. Limit children’s time on TV, video games and other gadgets to make time for bed. Remember not to over schedule every minute of the child’s life. Kids also need relaxation time.
- Establish early wake up time routines
It can be difficult for kids to wake up early even when they sleep early. Start setting the alarm clock at least a week before school opens to gradually re-establish an early wake up routine. Set the clock to wake the kids up slightly earlier than usual each day until you reach the target wake up time for school.
- Motivate the kids
Motivate kids to adhere to the new sleeping schedules by leveraging their favourite things. If your child looks forward to buying school supplies, let her know you’ll go shopping as soon as she gets on track with the new routines. Find a way to give kids what they’re after only after they go along with the school schedules.
- Create a smooth morning structure
Establish clear morning expectations for the kids. Set specific tasks for them to do, such as make the bed, have breakfast and get dressed. Make it easy for them to perform the tasks by doing some things the night before, such as setting out each child’s clothes. Give them a high five for doing what they are supposed to do. Give yourself a high five too once they are out of the door in time for school.