Madness in the Mornings – The Rush To The School Bus

Last school year, I was getting my kids up in the mornings, and the yelling did not stop until we left the house.  No one would get up, and then it took forever to get out of the house.  Then someone told me a story about a young man who could not keep a job and that changed my mode of operation.Here is the story, true story, there is a 25 yr old who kept getting fired from every job because he could not get up and go to work in the mornings.  Unless he was called (in his apartment!) on the phone by his parents in the mornings he could not get up…….I could see my kids in 10 years, and I decided no way was I going to continue to be their alarm clock in the mornings.  So here is the deal, everyone was given an alarm clock in their rooms, and they were responsible for setting and getting themselves up. Believe it or not, the 7 year old is performing much better at this than the 13 yr old, evidence that even the younger ones can take charge of some aspect of their lives.

They are supposed to set their alarms and ensure that they get down the stairs at a specified time.  If that time is not met, then there are consequences.  For each 5 minutes late coming down, 1 hour was removed from play-dates, TV time or video game time on the weekend.  The cell phone time is a great motivator here as well, as just the threat of removing cell phone time gets the older ones up and down quicker than you can say “text”.

Regardless of what methods you use to de-frazzle your mornings, it must be done.  The kids must be responsible for their own schedule at some point, they need to take ownership of getting up and going to school, unless, like the parents of that young man mentioned above, you plan on being an alarm clock the rest of your life.


  1. Let me guess the 7 year old is a girl :-). I agree that kids would be more responsible for themselves if they know that they are consequences for their actions. The difficult part sometimes is being consistent and following through as the parent, so that they understand that this is the “deal”.

    • Following through is indeed difficult, sometimes, I do get busy and forget, however when I am back on I just remind them of what is expected, and once again make them fall back in line.
      I am shooting for a consistency of about 2 months, and hopefully getting up will become a habit for them.

  2. When I was young and finally found food useful 🙂 my mum used to say when I was hungry and wanted some sandwiches to show her if I had two left hands 🙂 When I said no I have both right and left one she told me to make my own sandwiches. Now seriously I think, its a great deal of balance here, between the trust and control applied to get your kids more and more responsible.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Way to go, Mom! I agree…the hardest part is enforcing the consequences and being consistent. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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