Summer’s almost here! No more homework! Fun days outside! Pool time! Vacation! Sleeping in!
Wait. What was that last one?
If you’re a parent of teens, you probably have no problem achieving that goal. But when your kids are younger, it’s hard to convince them to sleep at all during the summer. The sun is up super late, so it’s confusing that it’s still bed time even though there’s more light than in the winter months. Then the sun rises earlier, too, which wakes everyone up at the crack of dawn, if not shortly thereafter.
Pretty quickly, your goal of sleeping in until 9a can seem like a pipe dream.
Worry not. We’ve got some tips to help you get everyone waking up a little later. Because Mom needs rest, too. And the children need to practice for high school. (Kidding.)
Let Them Stay Up a Little Later
Setting summer bedtime a little later than usual isn’t going to damage anyone. While internal clocks may wake everyone up at the same time each day anyways at the beginning, after a while your body will get used to an hour or half hour deviance from the school year schedule.
Because there’s more sun in the summer, there’s also an opportunity for them to have more fun outside later into the day, too. Let them take advantage of that. Not only is the exercise good for them, but it will wear them out, too, so their sleep will be deeper, allowing you to catch a couple of extra Zzzz’s in the morning.
Relieve Their Stress
School just got out, and that is a major release of stress in a kid’s life. But if other factors are stressing you child out, it may be contributing to poor sleep habits. Make sure you take advantage of all the together time summer brings. Talk to them about what’s going on in their lives. If there are any stress points you can alleviate without violating your parental version of the moral compass, do it guilt free.
Spending time with your child in and of itself can help them establish a higher sense of self-worth and belonging, the absence of which can cause a lot of stress in children.
Get Blackout Curtains
When all else fails, invest some money into a set of good blackout curtains, like this set from Moondream.
While the master bedroom usually faces south in most residences, your children’s rooms may be facing any direction depending on the orientation and design of your house. That includes facing east. Straight into the rising sun.
Blackout curtains solve the problem of the early-rising child by blocking out all of the sun’s rays. Their room will literally stay as dark as night—a very dark night. If you use this method, be sure to wake them up at a reasonable hour and open up the curtains. While it’s nice to let everyone sleep in a little longer seasonally, you don’t want to throw their internal clocks off too much, and a completely blackened room in the middle of the day will do just that.