When my son was in middle school he had trouble getting up. He set his alarm, he hit snooze, I yelled, nagged, reminded and shamed. One night I decided I was going to take him to a high school open house in the morning, so he didn’t need to be ready for school. I thought this might be a good time to see what would happen if I did nothing. Carpool was coming to our house for his younger brother anyway. His alarm went off, he snoozed, it got later and later. When carpool tooted their horn he came RACING down the stairs, uniform on, teeth unbrushed, hair uncombed, backpack slung over his shoulder. I stopped him before he ran out the door and said, “Wow, I see a kid who wants to get to school on time.” I then informed him he was going to the open house.
Later we chatted about ways to wake up on time. He told me he loved that delicious twilight sleeping between snoozes, and it was hard to get up when he did that. I asked him if he would consider setting his alarm LATER (counterintuitive, and yet genius, I don't mean to sound braggy) and wake up the first time. More sleep, less snoozing. He was willing to try and guess what?! I probably had to help him get up once a quarter. I was no longer worried, upset, anxious or mad at him. I really saw him as someone who could get up on time.
Where can you notice and comment and appreciate what your kid is doing RIGHT?!
Psst...you guys, that means it goes for us too, no more carrying on that we are the worst parents!