When you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, it can throw off your entire day. You’re tired, cranky, and all you feel like doing is ditching all those chores and responsibilities and sitting in front of the TV with some chocolate. Still, you manage to muster up the motivation to power through the day.
When you wake up on the wrong side of the bed as a kid, however, it’s a little harder to find that drive to get through the school day – not to mention homework, sport and other extra-curricular activities.
So to help ensure your little one always starts the day with a smile on their face and a spring in their step, we’ve put together a little cheat sheet just for you. We think you’ll be surprised at just how big a difference these small changes can make!
1. Establish a Routine
First things first: Is your child getting enough sleep? According to Australia’s Sleep Health Foundation, toddlers (1-2 years) require 11 to 14 hours of sleep, while preschoolers (3-5 years) need 10 to 13 and school-aged kids (6-13 years) should aim for nine to 11 hours a night.
If they’re not hitting that target, try implementing a new routine. After dinner, give them a bath, read them a book, or pick another low-energy activity to help them wind down.
Aim to have your child in bed at the same time every night, getting them ready about half an hour before you’d ideally like them to be asleep, and set a gentle alarm (even if that alarm is you!) for the same time each day.
2. Prepare for Tomorrow, Tonight
There’s nothing that throws a school morning into chaos quite like a lack of preparation. A rushed kid is never a happy kid, so avoid potential tantrums altogether by organising everything the night before.
Simply by taking 15 minutes every night to lay out their clothes, shoes, have their bag packed and their lunch box ready to go will quickly make morning stress a thing of the past.
3. Put a Curfew on Screens
We know, sometimes, a phone or tablet is the only way to keep the kids happy, but as sleep expert Dr Sarah Loughran explains, screen use prior to bedtime can significantly impact their sleep.
She explains there are two main screen-based factors leading to poor sleep: Tech time cutting into their pre-bed routine (thus reducing their overall sleep duration), and exposure to bright light, which increases alertness and disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm.
Simply by cutting screen time off a couple of hours before bed, you’ll notice how much sleepier they are at night, and therefore how much more refreshed they are in the morning.
4. Never Send Them to Bed Angry
That classic ‘never go to bed angry’ advice isn’t just for couples! When your little one has said or done something to upset, frustrate or anger you, it’s tempting to just send them to their room and deal with the problem tomorrow. However, it’s important to let them know that you care about their feelings and resolve the conflict as best as you can. This way, they (and you!) won’t wake up feeling resentful or grumpy.
5. Give Them Time
No one likes to be nagged (especially kids) and you know just as well as anyone that being dragged out of bed when you’re not ready is one of the worst feelings in the world, so give them five minutes or so each morning to gently wake up. This way, they won’t be groggy or cranky, and their day will get off to a much more positive start. Worried they’ll immediately fall back asleep? You’ll want to try our next tip…
6. Start Their Day with Music
Countless studies have shown the powerful effect music can have on mood, so what better way to start your child’s day than by blasting a playlist full of their favourite songs while they get ready for school? Better yet, place a Bluetooth speaker in their room and wake them up with an energising, upbeat tune.
Now that they’re happily off to school, it’s time for you to get in a good mood. Whether it’s high tea with the girlsor a well-deserved pamper package just for you, Cudo has you covered with a huge range of luxe yet affordable experiences.
The article was originally published on Cudo.
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