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How can I get my child out of bed on time?

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​How can I get my children to get out of bed early enough to eat breakfast and take care of hygiene activities before they have to leave for school?

Getting your child to wake up at a decent time is a common challenge for parents. The important thing is to consider first of all is what needs to happen in that morning routine. What are the absolute essentials that need to be completed in that morning process? Once you have an idea of that then you can figure out how much time it takes for your child to get up and out the door.

Consider things like hygiene issues, breakfast, getting dressed and those kinds of things. Sometimes, we tend to think that kids need more time in the morning routine. What we have found is that when you have more time for kids that present a few problems in that it provides an opportunity for kids to maybe doddle a little more or play more. It's best to just really make the time really efficient in the morning and very task-oriented.

It's also important that kids really understand what the expectations are for that morning routine. One way to do that is to have a list of those expectations that are part of that routine. For little kids you can make pictures of those expectations and for older kids you can make a checklist. It is important to pair that up with a reward system of some kind so there is a reward that they can earn after they've finished those tasks.

Maybe it's watching a little bit of TV or playing part of a video game or reading part of a book. This way they have some sort of incentive to stay on task in the morning. Also, if a kid really has a hard time getting up in the morning, a very effective conversation that you can have with kids is to talk about maybe going to bed earlier the night before if they're experiencing difficulties getting up. That typically provides some incentive for kids to get up in the morning.