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What is your morning routine like? Are you and the kids jumping out of bed with glee ready to tackle the day ahead and out the door with plenty of time to spare? Or like a lot of homes, is it a challenge to get the kids up, fed and nourished and to school on time?

Morning rituals begin the night before. Many prep the lunches and have them packed ready to go. School bags packed and ready. Homework, library books, school banking, tuckshop orders and assignments packed. Uniforms out and ready to go. Sometimes this is the easy part and definitely while children are younger.

But what of our pre-teen and teenage kids? The struggle here becomes the “Wake-Up Call”. If your children are not at this age yet, think back to your high school days. And if not you then I am sure you will recall one sibling, friend or fellow student who was notoriously late for school and perhaps sleepy in classes. Our teens and pre-teens live a life of online everything – social media 24/7, homework online, late-night chats and messages. How do you set the standard for your teen and manage the situation to ensure their growing bodies get sufficient sleep?

Bedtime routines are just as important – if not more important in these years. Set bedtimes with phones and devices out of the bedroom (yes, I know it can be like removing an extra limb), bags sorted for the morning and an alarm clock set and placed across the other side of the room. Having your child take responsibility for getting out of bed in the morning is key. If you are waking them – or attempting to wake them a number of times before they rise, then this becomes the norm. They become accustomed to the three or five attempts from their parent to get them out of bed. So why bother rising on the first wake-up call?

The consequences of them not taking responsibility for their own ability to get out of bed will be that they miss the bus, are late for class or morning sport practice, having to ride or walk to get there. This is where the lessons come in. If as parents we then take responsibility to ensure we get them to school, making us in turn late for work or appointments then there is no lesson here for our child. This becomes the norm and the expectation is set.

Believe me, I speak from experience. As the parent I seemed to be back and forth to the room, pulling off the blankets, making loud noises and creating a stressful morning routine. Until I stopped. Once my darling boy understood the consequences of not rising with the alarm clock (ie. being late for school, having to get a late note, explain his tardiness and cop a detention for that, plus missing classes and having to make up for that work in the next class) the lesson was finally learnt.

The best lesson we can give our kids is to take responsibility for their actions and choices. Parenting now for over 20 years I know that as my youngest approaches his teens, I am well prepared!

 

THE BIG Q… You’ve been invited to an adult friend’s dress-up birthday party and there are no restrictions on costume type. What is your chosen dress-up and why?
It’s got to be Wonder Woman! I love the costume – it’s got everything from lycra and stars, to a whip, bangles and boots!

Fe Taylor

Fe Taylor  

Fe Taylor is a passionate health and wellbeing guru. Fe has dedicated her career in fitness, nutrition and wholefood education to help others along their health and fitness journey. Fe is a proud mum to her two boys, Tom and Jude. She is the founder of the Childrens Health & Wellbeing Expo, and currently serves as an ambassador for the chairty Nutrition Plus // www.fetaylor.juiceplus.com.au