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Tips for Getting Kids Out of Bed

By Shelley Frost ; Updated September 26, 2017
Gently waking your child may help with the morning wake-up routine.

Getting your child out of her bed can make the difference between a relaxing start to your day and a mad rush to get to work on time. A delay in waking up throws off the entire schedule for the morning. Whether your child is still tired or simply doesn't want to get out of bed, using different strategies to rouse her can get everyone out the door on time.

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Talk About It

A chat with your child about her wake-up habits lets her know how her behavior affects the family as a whole. Say, "When you don't get up right away, I have to spend more time in your room. That means I don't have time to cook breakfast. We're usually running late, which means you miss out on school time and I can't get to work on time." Ask her if she knows why she has such a difficult time getting up. Let her know you need her help to keep the family on schedule in the morning.

Look at Overall Schedule

The problems you have in the morning often result from a variety of other issues throughout the day. Too little sleep is an obvious cause of a child who doesn't want to get out of bed. Starting her nightly routine earlier so she gets more sleep may help. Keeping a regular routine throughout the day helps your child get to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Lots of stimulation at night from the television, computer or bright lights often affects your child's sleep. Keep a calm and dim environment in the evening so she gets the rest she needs to wake up in the morning.

Try Different Techniques

Kids respond differently to wake-up techniques, so finding one that works for your child takes some experimenting. A gentle approach eases your child out of sleep so she doesn't wake with a startle. An alarm clock that plays music works for some kids. Others need a parent to help wake them up. Rub your child's back and talk to her in a calming voice to get her up. The smell of breakfast tempts some kids out of bed. Light also helps rouse a sleeping child. Leaving her curtains open at night allows the rising sun to wake her up naturally. A lamp in her room offers dim light if the sun isn't up yet. For some kids, a reward system helps with the wake-up process. Offer her rewards or incentives when she gets out of bed right away or doesn't complain.

Set Consequences

If your child continues resisting her morning wake-up call, putting the responsibility in her hands can help. You waste your time and energy trying to talk, bribe or force your child out of bed. She ultimately knows you'll get her where she needs to go. If she stalls and misses the bus, you'll drive her to school. Setting consequences for getting up late teaches her to take responsibility for waking up. The Empowering Parents website suggests making her find her own way to school or making her pay you for your time by doing chores or missing out on entertainment time after school. For example, she might lose the television or computer time that she normally gets in the evening.

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About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.

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