This is my 4th installment of what I call "wisdom" but we all know that is in jest because something new comes up every day to stump me. You can read post 1, 2, and 3 to learn more about the bits of knowledge I've acquired thus far!
Early waking is the killer of happy mornings in my house. If I want to get up at 6:00 a.m. to take on the day that is one thing, if someone forces me to get up at 6 that is another thing all together!! Can I get an amen? (sorry, it just felt right there)
I highly recommend having a time that is "too early" for your kids to get up. I'd suggest 6:00. I know for some people that feels like the middle of the night still but it is probably O.K. for a kid to wake up at that time. But of course, you run your house so whatever you want! (laughter ensues...) Now, how do you enforce a minimum wake up time you might ask? I have only suggestions. We struggle with this around here.
1. Talk to your kiddos in the daylight hours about what you expect of them in the mornings. Let them know if they wake up too early you are going to put them back to bed. Let them know what they are and are not allowed to do when they wake up early. Daphne loves to wake up EARLY and flip on the lights in the house. Not cool. Is reading in bed quietly an O.K. activity or do you want them to try to fall back asleep? These are things to talk about during the day, that way when you have to remind them in the morning they'll remember what you are talking about.
2. If wandering around the house isn't allowed, get your tired behind out of bed and lead her back to hers until it is time to get up. I know we are all tired but the longer you allow it the harder it will be to break.
3. This one I am really excited about and haven't actually tried it yet. Put a nightlight on a timer so that it goes ON at the time it is acceptable to get out of bed. That's right, on. This is a great visual way to teach time since most little ones can't look at a clock and see what time it is. You can buy timers for outlets at any hardware store or Target, etc. I got one for $6 at Lowes and can't wait to use it. The theory is that the light shouldn't actually wake anyone if they are sleeping but if they are awake they can look at it to see if it is O.K. to get out of bed.
4. Get a My Tot Clock: Helping Small Children Sleep Better...So Parents Can Too! alarm clock that changes colors when it is O.K. to get out of bed. I want one! Brilliant. Seriously, get one and let me know how it works!
What strategies have worked for you? What are you struggling with?