Lately Leela has been waking up at 6:30am and we’d realllly like to sleep till 7.  Yes I understand that part of signing up to be a parent means dealing with mornings, but …  we like that our kids sleep from 7 to 7, and this is throwing the family out of whack. She is almost 4 years old.

In the spirit or redirecting her energy in a positive way, here’s my new morning plan:

  1. Digital Alarm Clock – I’m getting her an alarm clock and teaching her to wait until the numbers on the clock turn to 7 to come into our room
  2. Math Worksheets – Yes, it’s a tiger mom plan. I got her a bunch of math worksheets and I’m setting them out the night before with a pencil.  If she wakes up early she can do some worksheets and then bring them to us at 7. I think she’ll get some really positive reinforcement from us when we see her worksheets, instead of our current grumpiness. This is the ONLY time in the day she can do the worksheets. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll try some other morning-only activity like play doh or puzzles.
  3. A small snack – I’m putting a small portion of a healthy snack in a tiffin in her room with the math worksheets for morning. I’m trying to make this whole ‘magic morning time’ fun for her.  I’ll also make sure she has water available.

I’ve told my husband that under no circumstances can she have the phone in the morning during those groggy moments when we’re most vulnerable and likely to give it to her for a few minutes of peace.  Because that is essentially rewarding the behavior that we don’t want.

We are not keeping her up later in hopes that she’ll sleep later.  We all like the 7pm bedtime, and a kid her age (almost 4) should be getting about 13 hours of sleep a day. And on the odd times she does stay up late, she still wakes up early.  I’m a big believer in the principle that sleep begets sleep.

This new plan is effective tomorrow. Please wish us luck and happy mornings!