Q: My third grader has missed the bus four times. I have to drop everything to get him to school on time. He stays up too late and has a hard time waking up. We’re always running late in the morning. What can I do?
A: There’s no question that some kids find it easier to get out of bed in the morning than others do. But
since your child is probably not going to enroll in night school, you
are going to have to find a way to make mornings earlier. “Don’t be too quick to rescue him if he misses the bus.”
The secret is to start the night before. Start by making your child’s bedtime earlier. Children his age need at least nine hours of sleep.
You’ll also want to help him do as much as he can to get ready for school before he goes to bed. Have him lay out his clothes. Make sure he has packed his backpack with everything he’ll need for school.
Don’t be too quick to rescue him if he misses the bus. As long as you’re there to bail him out, he knows he doesn’t really have to get his act together. If it’s safe to let him walk to school once or twice, try it. Or take a “taxi fare” out of his allowance for every day you have to drive him to school.
Your son can learn to get himself up and out the door in time. When he does take this responsibility, he’ll actually feel proud of what he’s accomplished. Handling this challenge will help him face the next tough issue in his life.
Parents make the difference!
By Kristen J. Amundson, The Parent Institute