Some children naturally get up earlier than others. Don't let an early bird waste those precious morning hours lying in bed or watching television -- let him follow his body's lead. Get him up and active. Provide your child with safe activities he can do alone, or let him motivate you to get moving earlier yourself so you can spend the time together.
If your child rises before everyone else in the house, teach him to spend quiet time playing in his room until everyone else is ready to get up. Leave a crate in his room for quiet morning activities. For younger children, make sure any toys you put in there are age-appropriate and safe for unsupervised play. If your child is school age, put in coloring pages, library books or puzzles. Change the things in the box often so the child will look forward to waking up and checking to see what is in there.
If you're both up early, don't eat cereal out of a box. Make a wholesome breakfast together, such as fresh baked bran muffins, oatmeal with fresh fruit or omelets. This will give you quality time to spend together. You can also introduce your child to some basic cooking skills. Making breakfast together will help ensure that you both start the day with a healthy meal.
If your child is more alert and refreshed in the early morning than he is after a long day, put those early morning hours to good use: set them aside for study time. Early morning before school is a good time for your child to review notes, study for tests, complete practice worksheets or go through a stack of flash cards. While it's not advisable to put homework off until morning, a little extra studying never hurt anyone.
If your child's body rouses early, he might as well get going. Get your child into the habit of an early morning exercise routine. If you're awake as well, you might start jogging together. If you child is school-age, another option is to get a treadmill or exercise bike and teach your child how to use it safely. You don't need expensive equipment for exercise. Alternatively, purchase some DVDs for kid's yoga, Pilates or dancing.
Some people like to get organized at night-- but you can get your early riser in the habit of getting organized first thing in the morning. Listen to the news or weather together. Pick out clothes for the day. Prepare and pack lunches, get book bags ready and any weather-specific clothing. Sit down and go over your day planner to talk about what the schedule for the day is like. Remind your child of his extracurricular activities, chores or your family plans for the day. This is a habit that will serve your child well as he grows, becomes more independent and takes on more of his own responsibilities.
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