Mom blog: Because I Said So! WFMW how to wake up kids??


This is a new take on Works for Me Wednesday, a blog carnival hosted by Shannon at Instead of sharing a tip or some brilliant thing that “works for me,” BACKWARDS DAY means I pose a question HERE, and YOU, THE WISE AND BRILLIANT READERS, pipe up and write back to me what works for you! It only works if you do respond, and I know leaving a comment does send many of us running for the hills. But just for today,


lay those fingers on the keys and type me your answer to the question:


One of mine gets up no problem, after 2 or 3 prompts at a normal volume. One child needs to be woken up with a backscratch, sometimes an arm scratch and a chin scratch, a few silly jokes, a bit of conversation and many hugs. No increase in mum volume, in fact, a decrease in volume. The third child needs a back hoe, the smell of napalm, an air raid siren and a pack of thundering elephants. He suffers from teenage “I’m too tired to get up.” See my post from October 11, 2007, to check out some of the reasons he cannot arise in the morning.

That’s it. You please leave a comment here on what has worked for you in getting your kids out of bed. Your email will not be sold to telemarketers, or anyone else. You can also email me, and me alone, at with your wake-up story or point-form tips or confession that your child is now 25 and still asleep in the back bedroom. Maybe we can meet for coffee?

After you’ve left a comment, click through to Shannon’s blog, the host of Works For Me Wednesdays, and you can read how other blog readers solve at least 100 problems (and by the end of today, Shannon will probably have close to 200 separate entries on how to fix messy DVD shelves, baby acne, homework problems, plugged tear ducts, getting mum up in the morning (!), disorganized bills and papers, you name it!).

My thanks in advance for your ideas!


12 Responses

  1. How about an earlier bed time.

    Our kids go to bed quite early and there is NO problem waking them up.

    They are both up and about by 6:30 am – whether I want them up or not! Even when they’ve had a late night – they are up “bright eyed and bushytailed”!

    If I have to wake them – they are either sick or had too many late nights in a row. I am the one that does not even need to both setting an alarm b/c there is no humanly possibly way I will sleep past 7:00 am!

  2. After I have gone in to wake them, I use a timer set for 5 mins for them to get moving. If they are not out of bed when it goes off then I loudly say, “Where is my squirt bottle?” This will get the slowest out of the bed fast knowing that mom is coming to squirt them. Once in awhile I do get to have the pleasure of a squirt or two!

  3. Hi Jaquelyn,
    my children are all grown & out of my house. I do recall when my children were growing up & it was time to get out of bed. I did a lot of yelling in the mornings when they were little (but that was becasue I was in the kitchen getting them breakfast & I wanted them there to eat it before going to school)… once my oldest hit the teenage years I explained that he seemed to really dislike my yelling at him in the morning & I hated having to repeatedly tell him what time it was. Our solution was to purchase a really LOUD alarm clock and he was to be responsible for setting it & getting up to turn it off every morning … so we did not set the alarm next to his bed. The other issue was that he would be completely responsible for any consequences he earned from being late. This was our transition time where he wanted to be treated more adult than child so he had to earn this by acting more adult than child. True it didn’t really work until he was serious about wanting to be treated like an adult, which was not at 13 or 15 … anytime after 16 I would say he really started to desire more from the way I talked to him and so I told him he had to show me he was more adult than child to get me to treat him that way. Now my daughter was very responsible and I don’t really recall ever dealing with her about over sleeping unless it was related to her monthly cycle which you could always tell by how incredibly pale she looked and how exhausted she felt. It was possible for her to actually need 2 days in bed before being able to get back into the groove of daily routines. My youngest (son) suffered (still does) from sleep apnea and so he had a great deal of difficulty waking up in the mornings. After all he never got true sleep/rest when whe slept. We found an alarm clock that actually was even louder than his big brother’s and that seemed to help him a great deal when he hit the teenage years & needed to be more independent (he hated having to rely on my getting him up in the mornings) so basically I would have to say what worked for us was an understanding that they needed to be responsible and finding an exceptionally loud alarm clock that worked at waking them up so I could end my screaming ways… along with that though came my having to learn not to “fix” it when they messed up & over slept for any reason. If they had to go to school late & get in trouble that was their problem. If it affected their job status that was their problem.
    After all you don’t rely on someone else to get you moving in the morning do you? Neither should young adults… children do deserve that reassurance that mom (or dad) is there for them … of course if you have a child with special needs then you need to do what is best for them.

  4. Hello,
    I have this problem with my son as well. He is nearly 17 and I have to wake him MANY times each morning. I have seriously thought about telling him to set his alarm and having him take the consequences for being late if he doesn’t get up. He will have to do it himself one day all too soon. Perhaps I will try that. He is also a grumpy pants in the morning and does not like me telling him to get up so that may be the answer.

    If your son really has to get up and is really reluctant a spritz bottle will work but you better be wearing running shoes! ~smile~

    I hope you find something that works!


  5. My children don’t have to be prompted more than once or twice to get out of bed: the wrath of Dad set them straight a long time ago and now they are well trained and show up at the breakfast table as the red river cereal is being served.
    It also helps that they like a dash of coffee and the smell lures them out, as it does me.

  6. I use my cellphone to let everyone know what the deadlines are and I leave promptly at 8:00 — if they forgot to get dressed or eat breakfast, so be it.

  7. All of my kids are different too. My DH told the boys — “You don’t get up when I call you to get up then I have half a dozen steel ball bearings in the freezer. Just try to get away from those in your bed!” Needless to say, they are all generally pretty good about getting out of bed. DH has never had to use those bearings. Just the mention of them is enough to roust our sleepiest teenager out of bed. LOL

  8. I’m lucky that I have one child that wakes up first around 6:30 and amuses himself on the computer or lately by preparing his own breakfast in the microwave (not necessarily a good thing.) He then begins to wake me up around 7:30. Child #2 on the other hand is 9 going on 19 and would sleep all day if left to it. I open his door when I get up and the cat and child #1 do the rest. We watched a trading wives program the other night where the mother wakes the kids by blowing a whistle. Loud. Child #1 thinks it’s a great idea!

  9. I have a “Good Morning Chart”… I have a 1/2 poster with a time-stamped list that I use to get my 3rd grader and 1st grade twins up and out the door in the morning. It says:
    6:30am Wake up, make bed
    6:35am Get Dressed
    6:45am Breakfast
    7:00am Brush Teeth, Wash Face, Brush Hair
    7:10am Put on Shoes, Jacket etc
    7:15am Get Backpack and out the door for school

    Anyone who doesn’t wake up when the lights come on and I say “Good morning” at 6:30.. gets a few pats or rubs on the back, head, or legs..

    If I have a sleepy head, who still refuses to get up… I use the old “carrot on a stick”… in our case the carrot can be a making a special/favorite breakfast, making special lunch, offering to drive them to school instead of making them walk (or ride a bus), or anything that would motivate them to get out of bed.
    I say something like … “if you want me to ____ (insert your carrot here), you need to get up now so I can go get ready to____ (dangle carrot again)”. Then if they are not up, I follow with the threat to take beloved carrot away. “If I have to sit up here in your room waiting for you to get up, I will not have enough TIME to ____(insert carrot)this morning.”

    Also, since my kids know exactly what the schedule is (it’s posted in the hall by their bedrooms) and where they should be at any given moment in the morning, I can also use that. “Look, I’m sorry we are behind schedule this morning – and I would hate for you to arrive late to school and have to explain to the principle why you are late, and why you made your siblings late to school. I don’t think she’d be very happy.”

    It’s fairly regimented, but with a 4 yr old, 7 yr old twins and an 8 year old… I just HAVE to run it like a drill sargeant in the mornings.

  10. I have never had a problem getting my kids up. The 12 year old gets up way before me – and I’m an early riser myself. Many times he has had breakfast and is dressed before I am out of the shower. I am wondering though if that will change as he becomes a teenager. The 9 year old takes after his dad and is a sleepy head, but he always gets by the second time I call. To help with the grogginess (is that a word?) of the morning, I get his breakfast for him, or make waffles or something he really likes. Then he slowly awakens. Speaking of husbands…you did ask for tips on that. My husband would sleep all day if he could. Trying to get him up on a weekend is futile. I just let him sleep. It’s no use trying. Then I let him sip on the drink of guilt later on. He misses almost all Saturday morning hockey games of son number 1. By the time we come home we’ve been up for hours and almost ready for lunch when hubby stumbles out of the bedroom. I think he missed so much of the day already. Then he takes a nap.

  11. An alarm clock with different pitches seems to work for my kids. My 10-year-old has a clock that will record wake-up messages for her. I think this is far more gentle than what my parents did to wake me up: blaring Barbra Streisand or vacuuming my bedroom.

  12. The best advice I ever heard for getting kids (teenagers, in particular) out of the bed in the morning was from Dr Scott Wooding, an excellent speaker from Calgary who I had the privilege of bringing to our high school to talk to parents about raising teenagers.

    Dr Wooding suggests (and I paraphrase). If they don’t get out of bed after you call them or after their alarm has long been turned off, just go in and sit on the side of their bed and start telling them about your childhood. How you had to walk miles just to get to school, how you had to take a mushy bagged sandwich everyday instead of fries in the cafeteria, etc., etc. They get up and out of bed very soon.

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