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Want Better Behaved Kids? Wake Them Up The Right Way

mom waking up daughter from sleep

How you wake up in the morning can be a pretty good indicator of how your day will progress. If you have a good night's sleep and wake up just before the alarm goes off, you'll probably feel well-rested and content to start your day. If you toss and turn all night or wake up to a horn honking or some other loud noise well before your alarm was set to go off, chances are you won't be in the best of moods. As adults, we understand that how we sleep and how we wake up can affect our mood for the day, but we also need to understand that those same rules apply to our kids.

If your child wakes up to you frantically screeching that everyone has slept in and they must hurry, hurry, hurry or they're going to be late, chances are their day isn't going to feel calm or relaxed. How parents wake their children up in the morning has a huge impact on their behavior and productivity, just as how a parent wakes up will affect their behavior and productivity. That means that parents need to be prepared to be positive and happy when waking their kids up so they get to start their day off on a positive note.

Mother and daughter enjoying on the bed, happy, smiling
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Licensed psychologist Dr. Roseanne Lesack, director of the child psychology clinic at Nova Southeastern University tells Fatherly that giving your children the best possible start to their day may mean a bit of preparation by parents. “I always tell parents that might mean waking up 20 minutes earlier to make sure that you are ready to provide whatever support your child needs,” Dr. Lesack explained. “Think of whatever you can get prepared ahead of time,” she says. “Whatever you can get done the night before, get it done.”

That might be making school lunches the night before, having school clothes picked out or just making sure there are no last-minute homework surprises in the morning. “When they’re in a grumpy mood it’s really hard to make decisions,” Lesack explains. “So when those decisions about what they want to wear and what’s for breakfast have already been made, there’s no conversations about that.”

child girl wakes up in morning in bed and stretches by window
Credit: iStock

No adult wants to start their day off feeling stressed or rushed so understandably the same goes for children. Taking the time to ensure kids can wake up calmly can ensure they are prepared for the day. Do you wake up before your kids to make sure the morning runs smoothly?

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