Back-to-school wake up call: transitioning to early bedtimes and mornings
For those of us grabbing onto the last days of summer with white-knuckle fists, the back-to-school bedtime and morning routines can be a hard sell. But easing late-sleeping kids into a school-friendly schedule does make the transition easier on everyone.
Folks have been posting back to school questions and tips on the Parent Hacks Facebook page, and these comments came up:
Adjusting times the week before school starts
I always start adjusting bed times and wake times a week before school starts. That way, by the time the first day of school arrives, they have started to get back into the routine (and so have I).
I always mean to do this, but I don't always hit the mark. But then my kids' sleep needs have changed as they've gotten older. During the younger years, early bedtimes (before 9pm) were the norm, but now my kids are better at regulating their own sleep habits. My 13 year-old son even asked me to start getting him up early during these last weeks of summer "so I can get used to it again." *gobsmacked*
The other reason I think this is smart is because it not only helps bodies, but mindsets. I find that a few days of thinking "back to school" helps us anticipate the fun of seeing friends again, and talk about the positives of structure and challenge after a summer of loosey-goosey.
School morning trial runs...with a reward
The week before school is trial school runs. If we can get out the door with breakfast done and an empty backpack at the proper school time we pile in the car, drive past the school and head somewhere fun. Most popular destination is Krispy Kreme.
Some have said this week is most helpful for ME, the mama, to learn how to get back on schedule, but I scoff at that. (Writing in pjs at 9:15.)
How smart is that?