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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?


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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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kathryn Lang October 16, 2009, 5:28 AM

Thanks for the tips. I go in before the kids have to be up and turn on a lamp and talk with them softly. The next time through I turn on the overhead lights. The transition helps on most days.

Ten Tees January 8, 2011, 3:29 PM

Nice post! Nice and fun reading. I’ve just got a small observation to offer about tee shirts.

Jimmy March 4, 2011, 12:52 PM

As soon as I got to the part about BBQs and vacations, I recalled the last vacation that I had in the summer. We went to an awesome hotel with delicious foods and great service, and we even got the presto griddle in order to cook some meat that we usually grill on a real BBQ. There was an awesome pool there with wonderful attractions, thanks for reminding me of it!

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