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Old 04-12-2012, 08:33 PM   #1
SubarbanHippie
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Default Morning Routine

My son is not a morning person. So unlike his bio-father. He was a jump out of bed, chipper and ready to take on the day. My poor DS gets not being a morning person from me, I'm afraid. I could lounge in bed for hours in the morning if I could. Being an adult, however, I realize there is a need for me to get up so I've had to discipline myself to become a morning person.

My son goes to bed at a decent hour. I never force him to sleep, but he has to have lights out and be in bed no later than midnight on weekend, 11pm on weeknights. I know that may seem late to a lot of people, but I've tried to create a good bedtime and morning routine, and he does his own thing anyway so I try and set up reasonable guidelines (brushing his teeth, getting into jammies, lights out, etc. at certain times).

Every morning it feels like a battle of wills. I have tried everything. I've tried bribes, sweet talk, threats, encouragement, trying to bring up topics with open-ended questions that force him to respond, tickling, singing, etc. He will jump right out of bed when he's been promised something (like he knows we're going to the park that day or he's going to get his allowance), but most days I'm trying to wake him up for an hour to an hour and a half.

And I have to watch him like a hawk! He will get out of bed, get dressed, make his bed, and then crawl under it and fall back asleep as soon as I'm not looking. This dominates my entire morning and I find myself getting super frustrated. Any suggestions for a good way to wake up a nine year old boy who isn't a morning person would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Morning Routine

It does not sound like he's getting adequate amounts of sleep (unless he's sleeping until 9:30/10am each morning).
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:42 AM   #3
SubarbanHippie
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Default Re: Morning Routine

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Originally Posted by Katigre View Post
It does not sound like he's getting adequate amounts of sleep (unless he's sleeping until 9:30/10am each morning).
Since he's home schooled I try to let him sleep later. I usually try not to let him sleep past 10:30. I start trying to wake him around 9:30. I've even altered his diet. And once he's up and is ready to eat breakfast, he's chipper and active. It's just getting him motivated out of the bed (and keep him from getting back in it or under it once he's dressed) that's the trick.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Morning Routine

I'd say have him in bed earlier, but then again my almost 9yo goes to bed at 6pm and gets up at 7am So less than 12-13 hours of sleep seems like a crazy low amount to me.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Morning Routine

No one in my family is a morning person, including ds (almost 11). He needs much more sleep and bedtime is 9:30 (we also homeschool). I think 11 seems too late.

Have you tried having him go to bed earlier to see how the morning goes?

Also, have you tried making him responsible for his own getting up and getting going? My ds knows he has to have certain things done by a certain time, or else he cannot do other things. For example, ds LOVES to help out with dd during her twice weekly PT sessions. PT is at 10 a.m. On those days, ds has to have all his chores, personal care, and devotions done by the time the therapist arrives, or he cannot help. These things come first. Therefore, he has to be responsible in getting up and doing them.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Morning Routine

A child who is willing to go to bed, to sleep, is not just "not a morning person" -- he's tired. He needs more hours asleep: either in the evening or the morning (whichever suits you and him). I didn't notice his age -- but for my 7yo and 4yo I have them in bed for 11.5 hours. I don't "make" them sleep, but I make sure they are in a sleeping environment.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Morning Routine

Oh wow, you send him over here and I'll send you mine. I make my kids go to bed at 8 because they wake up at like 6 no matter what. They're not allowed to get up until 7 a.m. for my sanity. Occasionally they'll actually *sleep* till 7.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Morning Routine

These are all great replies. The biggest issue is my son being a night owl. He always has been, ever since he was an infant. I tried lots of ways to get him into bed earlier, and it never failed he would get off track. We did all lights out, no toys in bed, no reading, nothing. He would either lay in bed all night and talk to himself until 3am or he'd get up fifty times and come in our room to talk to me. He'd get bored and lonely and it was keeping me awake, so I admit I became more lenient. I let lights out time be later. I caved on the no toys in bed rule.

I have tried to make the hour or so before he has to get ready for bed a time for winding down. At almost ten years old, I worry that it's almost too late to try and establish a better routine. Since he has high functioning autism and little things trigger massive meltdowns I admit I've been a little more permissive about things than other moms, but it's reaching a point where it's dominating my life. I can't get anything done in the mornings, because I'm spending that time trying to get him ready.

I will try the earlier bedtime and letting him have more morning routine responsibilities and see how he does. I'm praying something will work.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: Morning Routine

can you plan an outing in the morning or something outside, so he has a reason to get out of bed? If you can break the cycle of sleeping in late, staying up late, it might help. It truely is a cycle. My 18 month old DD can stay up to 10 pm or later but then will sleep till 9:30. I have had to wake her up at 8 or 8:30 am and then she'll be able to sleep earlier at night.
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