Problems Getting Out of Bed
When I was in high school my father had the unpleasant task of waking me in the morning. He would cajole me out of bed with promises of a freshly cooked breakfast, orange juice and the New York Times. Most days these bribes were successful because as hard as I tried to stay in bed, he was persistent. Below is some advice excerpted from Getting Your Child to Say “Yes” To School: A Guide For Parents of Youth with School Refusal Behavior by Christopher A. Kearney.
Some teenagers miss school because they have great trouble getting out of bed in the morning. If your client has this problem, then be sure she is getting plenty of sleep. The following will help:
- Make sure a child only sleeps in her bed and does not use it for other activities such as reading, watching television, calling people, or completing homework.
- Be sure a child is in bed with lights out at an early time, say 8 or 9 hours before
having to rise from bed.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and exercise before bedtime.
- Practice relaxation methods close to bedtime.
- Follow the same routine before bedtime, and begin this routine 30 minutes before lights out.
- Set curfew for at least 2 hours before bedtime.
- Have parents consult a pediatrician about sleep medication if necessary.
We recommend parents rise very early and wake their child in stages, much like a snooze alarm. If a child has to be up by 6 a.m., for example, parents can get up at 5:15 a.m. and wake a child at 5:30, 5:40, 5:50, 5:55, and 5:59 a.m. Parents should tell a child how many minutes she has left before having to get up. Set a loud alarm as well across the room. If a child still will not get up, then parents should continue to speak to her every 5 minutes and make sleeping a difficult thing to do. Also, set up contracts to give rewards and punishments for getting up or not getting up from bed. Finally, parents should not give up and let a child sleep late and miss school completely. If a child finally gets up and goes to school an hour late, this is better than missing most or all of the school day.