Many parents are undoubtedly busy this next couple of weeks as their young ones will be going to school soon for the first time. There are so many things to do, from buying the necessities to registrations, and everything in between.
As if these are not enough, they also need to mentally and psychologically prepare the children as well. One area of concern is how to ensure they wake up easily in the early morning. For these young school-goers, when would be the right time to train them for this challenging task?
As with anything else, the earlier the better. I would recommend parents to start training as early as five years old. Train them to wake up early at consistent hour every day. This is suitable age because many of them are already going to kindergartens.
But to wake up early, it also means that they have to sleep early.
Parents need to be aware of routines that may distract them from sleeping early. These include excessive gadgets and television. Slowly but surely cut down the hours spent on the electronic distractions.
Set a bedtime target, say 9:30 pm daily. This also means that the family needs to have early dinner too, ideally by 7:30 pm. Don’t let them nap for too long in the afternoon.
Even better, get them to go outdoor and play their hearts out. Let them spend all their physical energies playing because this will tire them out and help to achieve high quality sleep.
The main reason for the difficulty to get up early is due to the insufficient sleep. This in turn could be due to late bedtime or sleeping difficulties.
As such, parents must ensure that their children’s sleeping routine is as healthy as possible. On tip of that, their bedrooms are as comfortable as possible. All these will help to achieve that high quality sleep.
Be patient as you carry out the new routine. Eventually, they will become accustomed to it and waking up in the morning will not be as dramatic.
For those who are attending schools for the first time, there is another challenge awaiting them. It’s the fear of facing a new environment in schools.
This fear may arise from a situation called separation anxiety. As such, parents need to assure them that teachers are also like parents. They are good people who love to take care of children. Tell your child stories of how school can be a fun place. Try to find if his or her best friends are also going there. All these will help to calm the child down.
These are among some of the many creative ways to remove the fear of first day at schools in our little ones.
Our children may have also been accustomed to a “free and easy” daily schedules before their school-going years. So how do parents introduce a new, stricter routine in the new year?
We can start by having an open discussion with them. Get them to create their new schedules. Ensure that there is time for everything and everything has its time. However, don’t make it too packed until it becomes impossible. Instead, make it balanced with fun and responsibilities.
At the end of the day, facing a new year doesn’t have to be a daunting task. If prepared well, we all can look forward to a smooth and stress-free weeks ahead.
Zaid Mohamad is a Certified Parental Coach and the bestselling author of Smart Parents, Brighter Kids and Smart Parents, Richer Kids. Log on to www.SmartParents.com.my or write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.