Q: My nine-year-old is impossible to wake up in the mornings and is grumpy and unco-operative. This behaviour puts everyone in a bad mood, and we’re often late getting out the door because of it. Do you have any suggestions for helping her to have better mornings?
A: We all know morning people who greet the day with a sunny disposition and night people who are unhappy in the morning. Your daughter is clearly the latter. That being said, she has to figure out how to handle herself.
Give her the responsibility for getting herself up in the morning as well as handling the consequences if she’s late. Teach her how to use an alarm clock, help her to plan what she needs to do in the morning, and tell her she doesn’t have to like mornings, but she can’t be rude to anyone in the house.
If she needs more time to get moving in the morning, she may need to wake up a bit earlier. Because she is not a morning person, she should do a few things the night before: have her clothing chosen, her backpack ready to go, her breakfast organized and so on. She needs to be able to basically sleepwalk through that first hour of her day. Planning what you will do if she is late is another challenge. Teach her how to get herself to school and let her handle her teachers if she’s late for class.