Who's Getting Your Child Out of Bed?

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Do you have a tough time getting your child up in the morning? Do you return to their room time and time again to hear the same retort over and over, “I know, I’m getting up!” During this last week this topic has come up in everyday conversations with parents, in my coaching practice and in my parenting classes, so, I figure if something is coming up that often it must be a concern for lots of parents. I hope to shed some light on this topic and reframe your thinking about whose job it is to get your child of bed each day.

I must first be completely transparent here and tell you I hate to get out of bed in the morning, and always have. I understand what it feels like to want to push the snooze bar just one more time, or put the pillow back over my head and pretend it will all go away.  Wish as I might, this is not an option. I have responsibilities to tend to, my children, my career, my pets etc. that will not wait for me while I sleep the day away.

Getting ourselves up and going everyday is a skill we all need to be functioning adults. We don’t have our parents knocking on our doors, calling on the phone (okay, I do, but that’s a whole other blog post!), or shaking our bodies when it is time for us to get up. And, as parents, it is important for us to teach our children this skill without getting into power struggles. The sooner you start teaching your children that it is their responsibility to get out of bed the easier your mornings will be, and the better prepared for the real world your adult child will be.

Regardless of what age your child is now, kindergarten or beyond, it is important to have a discussion or family meeting about the importance of learning to get yourself up and going each day.  Let them know that as a parent it is your job to teach them how to get along when you are not around, and you will not be coming in their room to get them up any longer. Ask them to share their ideas on finding a solution to this situation. In many families an alarm clock is purchased the first day of kindergarten and becomes an important life tool. Kids love technology and they love being in control and involved in the process of purchasing a gadget, and learning to use it!

Now the hard part—you must have faith and trust that your child can and will get themselves up for school. A mom recently shared with me that her teenage daughter is very difficult to get out of bed, and because of this their mornings are rushed and mom is often irritated and annoyed by the time everyone gets out of the house. She shared with me that her belief had been that her daughter could not get out of bed by herself. Then one day when her daughter hadn’t had a chance to shower at night before going to bed, the typical routine in the home, she was up and in the shower before mom was even out of bed! What did this mom learn? Her daughter is capable and can get herself out of bed in the morning—when it is important to her to do so.  Mom now has faith and is ready to create effective change in the home thereby teaching her daughter a skill for life.

Some key things to consider when you are ready to make the change in your home to letting your child get themselves up and out of bed:

  • Is the nighttime routine consistent and effective?

  • Are your children getting enough sleep?

  • How much time does each child realistically need to get ready in the morning—this depends on the speed at which your child moves in the morning!

Just imagine the joy you will feel as a parent when you know your child will go to college able to get themselves up and going every day!

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  1. michael

    The best part of the day is the morning. When I went out this morning to get the paper the full Fall Moon was shinning bright. It makes me feel like I get more done if I get up extra early. My Dad taught me that the early bird gets the worm, and I have always gotten up early. I know that it is hard for some to get it in gear but if you have to depend on yourself to earn a living stayin\' in bed is not an option. I feel that my body is in harmony with nature and as I rise and fall with the sun I feel in touch with the planet and all that live upon her. Don\'t over look the morning as a great time to use the brain power that comes with it.

  2. Rebecca

    O.K., I just have to say that while I definitely have a lot of power struggles with my 4 year old, this is not one of them! I loooove to sleep late and she is up bright and early every morning as chipper as can be. She climbs into bed with me and says, \"Your little alarm clock is here!\" But as an artist, I love to stay up all night and sleep all day...nighttime is the only time I can get work done without any interruptions! I had to train my daughter for several years to get her to let me sleep till 8:30. :-)
  3. Coach Marni

    I had the same situation with my youngest. She is 14 now and will still occasionally come in my room for morning cuddles. Those are such sweet moments, that won\'t last forever. Enjoy!

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