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5 Ways to Get Kids' Butts Outta Bed

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Summer nights are winding down, so how do you get your kids to do the same?

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We've gone soft this summer. With the sunshine, BBQs and vacations, it was easy to let kids stay up too late and be lax about bedtimes. But school is starting, and we have to make sure our kiddos will be able to get out of bed without being pried out with a crowbar.

Momlogic friend and parent educator Jill Spivack, LCSW, tells us the key to establishing bedtime again actually starts in the morning--wake your kids up earlier so that they'll be tired earlier at night.

Here are her top tips for making sure your child gets enough shut-eye before school:

  • Explain to your child that although summer was fun, his or her body needs to be more rested for school. Adjust the wording depending on your kid's age, but talk about it with even young children.
  • Know your own child and how sensitive he or she is to fatigue, since some children need more time to adjust. 
  • Don't wait until the night before school to transition. Preschoolers need 11 hours of sleep and around a week of transitioning back to their old schedule. Elementary-school kids require about 10 hours of sleep and about four days of transitioning. Tweens need around 10 hours of sleep, and teens require around 9. Teens and tweens should also try adjusting a few days before school starts.
  • Have your kids wind down for at least 30 minutes before bedtime with no TV or computer. This is a good time for baths and brushing teeth.  Avoid giving them caffeine in the evening. 
  • Close the blinds when your children go to sleep at night, but once it's completely dark outside, go back into their rooms and open the blinds. They'll have an easier time waking in the morning when it's already light in their rooms.
She also says it's important to be strict with yourself as well as with the kids. Consider limiting nighttime plans on Labor Day weekend. Try to make bedtime on the weekends the same as during the week so that you don't mess up the body's clock.

Do your kids have a hard time waking up on school days?


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7 comments so far | Post a comment now
kimberly_s August 22, 2008, 7:44 PM

that’s an interesting trick with the blinds, i have never thought to do that. i always just tried to force my kid to bed earlier, which never seems to work.

Anna August 23, 2008, 1:25 AM

What of kids that have insomnia and dont fall asleep for hours after going to bed?

Lesa August 25, 2008, 6:36 AM

I thought this was going to be “5 WAYS TO GET KIDS’ BUTTS OUTTA BED”…

I am reading 4 ways to get them into bed on time and only 1 way to get them up.

I was hoping to come here and read how to get them out of bed. Getting my kids’ butts outta bed in the morning isn’t dependent upon how early they get into bed or how many hours they sleep—my kids NEVER bound out of the bed. They never will.

Yes, it is all good and healthy for the mind and body to be well rested and it’s proven that the right amount of sleep = a more productive day. I get it. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it.

But tell me 4 other ways to get my kids’ butts out of the bed in the morning because there’s no way in hell I am going to open their blinds in the middle of the night. That’s just creepy.



LakeLady August 25, 2008, 12:57 PM

My husband and I raised 5 kids (his 3, my 2) and he developed a fail safe technique for our teenage son who simply would not get up… it’s called the Garden Hose technique. No, he didn’t beat him with a garden hose… My husband gave our son a verbal warning… once that wasn’t heeded… he turned the garden hose on him full blast. (As a mother I wasn’t thrilled about water all over the bed and floor… but it was better than the screaming and pleading that preceeded this new technique.)

The boy did get up, and fast. An ugly mood quickly evaporated once he realized that he was in for another dousing if he grumbled. I’ll never forget the look of my husband trudging through the house with the hose.

All my husband had to do in the future was sound like he was walking toward’s the boy’s bedroom and he’d bounce out of bed.

Unorthodox… but now after 17 years, the story is often shared at family gatherings as “dad’s fail safe wake up” method.


Anonymous September 3, 2008, 2:27 PM

I don’t understand why some people feel the need to be a smartass when they don’t like the answears they get. Sounds like to me she just wanted to take the easy road and thought like magic she could get her kids up, when the whole point was you get to bed on time they will get up Duh I think the blind idea was great Light always hepls me to get up

Nevin July 2, 2009, 12:11 AM

Give please. The pain of making the necessary sacrifices always hurts more than you think it’s going to. I know. It sucks. That being said, doing something seriously creative is one of the most amazing experiences one can have, in this or any other lifetime. If you can pull it off, it’s worth it. Even if you don’t end up pulling it off, you’ll learn many incredible, magical, valuable things. It’s NOT doing it when you know you full well you HAD the opportunity- that hurts FAR more than any failure.
I am from Mongolia and also now am reading in English, give please true I wrote the following sentence: “Methods of flea control vary widely from simple home remedies to expensive you are here essortment home home garden pets health care flea control.”

With love :p, Nevin.

Golf September 14, 2010, 10:36 AM

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