This was the shortest Summer in San Diego I can ever remember. Just as the weather started to act like Summer, the kids are going back to school. This means getting back into a routine that starts in the early morning hours. Waking up a cranky kid is about as much fun as hand feeding a snapping turtle. They may seem slow but their bite can be quick and dangerous.
Seriously though, a cranky morning person can take its toll on the entire family. This may strain relationships and send family members off into their day feeling worn out before they even start.
Good News! It is still possible to negotiate a cheerful disposition with the sunrise. Here is how:
The approach: Talk it out. Have a discussion with the individual regarding their negative reaction to early mornings. This is best done at a time OTHER than in the morning. Spend some quality time together and then when the mood is calm share your concerns.
The right questions: Ask questions rather than give answers. Do they feel that they are getting enough sleep? If not and since the school start time can’t be changed, what changes can they make in their daily routine that will allow them to get enough sleep? Are there any activities that are getting in the way of their need for more sleep?
Talk about their eating habits. Are they taking in too much caffeine or sugar throughout the day? Are they eating dinner too late? Are they providing too much stimulus to the body that may be counter productive to desired sleep patterns? These types of questions will help guide them to their own answers, promote ownership of the behavior and empower them to want to change.
The negotiation: Talk about the best way to wake them up so that they have the easiest time responding. Agree on a reasonable approach. You agree to wake them up in a manner of their choosing and they agree to wake up in a good mood! (Or at least without a fight) Consequences for breaking the agreement should also be predetermined to avoid any further complications. The best consequences are related to the offense, such as loss of computer or cell phone time because it was the cause of a late night, which led to a cranky morning.
Be supportive: Sleep patterns are greatly impacted by our circadian rhythm and it can take several weeks to reset your inner clock to adjust to a new wake up time. Sleepjunkie.com suggests opening the curtains first thing to kick-start the brain! Click here for more info on circadian rhythms and sleep patterns.
Have a great day!
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