Friday, August 26, 2011

Wakey Wakey: 4 Sure-Fire Ways to Get Your Child Up for School

Back-to-school season is here. And while some children may be excited about buying fresh school supplies and wondering if their friends will be in their classes, others are just simply dreading every part of it, especially the idea of early mornings. And who can blame them? It's hard getting used to getting up at the crack of dawn after sleeping-in for several weeks. But if you don't want to have a constant battle with your child each morning trying to wake them up for school, try these simple tips to get rid of their grogginess.

1. Make Them Get The Required Hours of Sleep. While this is the most obvious, it's also the most crucial. In order for your child to wake up refreshed in the morning he or she needs to get the recommended hours of sleep each night. The hours vary with age ranges, but according to experts the allotted amount of sleep should be as follows: 3 to 6 years old, 10 to 12 hours (occasional nap included); 7 to 12 years old, 10 to 11 hours; 12 to 18 years old, 8 to 9 hours. So don't allow your child to stay up too late, so that they can get the proper amount of sleep. It's also best to not allow your child to watch TV or play on the computer shortly before bedtime—experts say that these serve as stimulants and will actually reactivate your child's brain, making it harder for him or her to fall asleep. And your child will need their sleep. Sleep deprivation can result in a loss in concentration which can ultimately affect your child's grades.

Light therapy box

2. Try a Light Therapy Box. Because alarm clocks are annoying and can easily be turned off, another alternative to getting your child up in the morning in a more peaceful and natural way is to invest in a light therapy box. These devices are typically used to cure people of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) but they can also be used to wake your child up in the mornings. This is because these therapy boxes give off a bright light that is extremely similar to natural sunlight and has the power to wake people up.

3. Make Them Take Morning Showers. Another easy way your child can shake off sleepiness is to simply have him or her take a shower in the morning. Warm showers should suffice, but if you get them to finish it off with a cold splash of water they should be alert at least until noon. This is because our bodies react differently towards cold water. In short, the cold water has the ability to put our bodies in shock—this rush of adrenaline can keep us going for hours.

4. Feed Them Breakfast. Lastly, you have to make sure that your child eats a wholesome breakfast—even if it's on the go. Your child may not really like to eat so early in the mornings but the energy he or she receives from their early meal will give them the strength they need to perk up and continue functioning until lunch time. Try to avoid sugary breakfast foods that will make them crash early on. Instead, think whole grain toast, yogurt and energy-boosting fruits such as apples and bananas.

This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at

Thank you, Nadia, for your excellent contribution to Mommy Rantings! Many children have already started school, but for the parents like me who still have another week until your kids start school, I have one more tip for you regarding sleep...

Parents often allow their children to stay up later during the summer, which ultimately modifies that internal clock that we all have. If you are one of those "cool" parents who has let your children stay up later during the summer, back up the bedtime 15 minutes each night. Ultimately, this works best if it is started weeks before school and you back up the bedtime 15 minutes each week, however if you're in a crunch, try 15 minutes every 3 nights or every other night, depending on how much time you have left. You will be glad that you did!

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