When you have a child who is an early riser you understand that the struggle is real. Your alarm clock hasn't gone off but yet the shuffling of their feet wakes you up. "Not fair." you think to yourself. Then you contemplate, like you do every morning, what you should do. Wake up or rollover.
Here are five struggles you may face with an early riser and some advice that may give you a few more minutes of shut-eye.
Regardless of Bedtime They're Up at 5 AM
No matter what time they go to bed your early riser wakes up at 5 AM. You hope, "Maybe they'll sleep in because we had a late night." No such luck.
Armed with this knowledge avoid getting your hopes up. Face reality and get to bed ASAP. Clean up can wait for tomorrow and you're probably just as tired as they are.
They Want You to Make Breakfast
"I'm hungry" they whisper in your ear. Of course, they are! No one else is awake and they can't reach their cereal bowl.
Or can they? Is there a kitchen cabinet below the counter you could un-child proof? If so, move every kid plate, bowl, and cup to that spot. No room available? Put your kid's breakfast plates at night.
You could go one step further. If they are little, pour cereal into a Tupperware container. When your early riser complains that their belly is grumbling tell them to go eat their breakfast snack on the table.
If your child is older, place the cereal boxes and milk in a low location in your kitchen for easy access.
They Can't Tell Time
Most kids don't learn how to tell time until first grade. Your early riser doesn't understand what morning time is exactly. What they do understand is that morning time is exciting and they want you in on the fun.
Regardless of when your alarm is set for.
There are plenty of kid alarms clock ready to teach your child when to get out of bed. Since they can't read a clock these clocks will turn a different color when it's time to wake up.
Start by setting the clock a few minutes past their usual wake up time. Then every few weeks keep creeping up the time. if they get up before the color changes ask them if their clock has turned green (or whatever color it's supposed to turn).
Bribery Becomes a Natural Reaction
You'll do anything for another five minutes of sleep. You'll offer things that you never would if you were awake like pancakes, extra screen time, or an ice cream sundae for dinner. The types of bribes you can think of when you're half awake will amaze you.
But who has time to make a stack of pancakes when you've got to get to work! You don't want the bribes to add to your exhaustion. Instead of letting your imagination run wild, have some plan bribes that are realistic and that you can fulfill after you get home from work.
The Caffeine Addiction is Real
It's hard to function at work when your early riser disrupts your beauty rest. A cup of coffee is just what you need so you can "get through the day".
Which turns into another cup to get you through the afternoon. You really are just tired of getting up at the crack of dawn unnecessarily.
How can you break the coffee habit? It's hard to get between a working mom and her caffeine. Some believe that two cups of coffee is OK so set an allowance. You know how much caffeine your body can handle. Also, these early years won't last long so a high amount of caffeine for a short period of time may be just what you need.
You Fall Under a Blanket of Guilt
If you are able to convince your early riser to give you a few more minutes of peace and quiet guilt creeps up. Should you really be letting them roam around the house? What if they try to grab a spoon and they grab a knife instead! Is it really unhealthy to watch TV early in the a.m.? Sigh.
Sometimes the guilt, not the kid, is what gets you out of bed.
So how can you beat it? Instead of trying to go back to sleep, wake up with your early riser. Get to bed earlier. Avoid screens an hour before bed and go through your own night time routine. Feeling guilt so early in the morning is a harsh way to start your day. If you can't beat them, join them
Look on the bright side. Fighting reality can be exhausting. If you do your best to join your kids in morning you'll earn quality time with your early riser before work. It may work to your benefit. You could teach them how to wake up and journal, read a book or meditate after you play what they want to play.