Smart Strategies For Getting Your Kids Up

By: Nadia Singh Email
By: Nadia Singh Email

"Lights out time, Chad," calls Sandy Lemke to her 12-year-old son Chad.

A working Papillion mother who's always on the go Sandy and her husband Todd don't waiver on the routine in place for Chad.

This family has the "lights out" routine down. So, how do they do it?
Sandy and Todd say, no T.V. or video games before bed. Instead, the encourage Chad to read quietly before falling asleep. And when it's time for the lights to come off, the Lemkes don't budge.

"We have a routine, says Sandy. Chad goes to bed at 9'oclock, no excuses, no arguments. When Daddy says it's time to go to bed Chad goes to bed."

And Chad's take mirrors that of his parents. "I think the routine helps. I get more sleep because I go to bed at the same time and and get up at the same time."

Dr. Melissa St. Germaine of Children's Physicians is a pediatrician who knows how to treat what ails kids and teens. Her smart strategy to getting kids up? She says, control what kids eat and drink the night before.

"Anything with caffeine should not be consumed after about noon because caffeine can stay in your body for several hours and prevent you from falling asleep later at night."

And it's also about what your children are eating as part of their regular diet.

Another smart strategy comes from Sam Pane, a teacher at Underwood Hills Focus School in Omaha. He says, get your kids excited about the day ahead.

"When they know what to expect the next day, and that it's something that's important to them. They're going to want to be motivated to get up," Pane suggests.

And this is a strategy both teachers and parents can use.

"I remind him of fun things he has to do during the day," says Lemke. "Every Monday it's you get to see your friends! Tuesday is sharing day at school."

Dr. Germaine advises parents that these strategies can work very quickly or you and your child may have to work a little harder at incorporating them into your daily routine. But whatever the case she says, these healthy strategies are well worth the work in the long-run.

More Expert Tips:

-Teens and "tweens" need more sleep than adults. Make sure your child is getting between 9 and 10 hours of sleep per night.
-Limit caffeine intake. Caffeine challenges the body's sleep cycles.
Two cans of soda can have as much or more caffeine than full strength coffee. And watch out for hidden caffeine in favorite foods like chocolate and in certain medications.
-Take the cellphones away an hour before bed.
-Power naps are useful. Allowing your child to sleep for 15-20 minutes after school activities can help productivity and give them more energy making mornings easier.

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