Monday, February 16, 2009

Here's an Idea that worked for me!

Does your child wake up waaaay too early.....or have they decided that a 10 minute nap is a real nap?
I have an idea for you!

I know I've shared this idea with lots of my friends before, but I don't think I've ever shared it with blogland. When my daughter was little she was a very early riser. I however AM NOT an early riser. I am a night owl! I am in NO WAY a morning person....AT ALL!! So the combination of me being VERY CRANKY in the morning and my little girl standing by my bedside at 6:45 am was not a good one! At around this same time she was also getting to the point where she wasn't really wanting to take naps anymore. I would put her down and 10 minutes later she would come out and try to say she was awake now! This was not working very well for me either since I was very used to having a little time to myself during the day while she took a fairly long nap! So I devised a plan....and it worked!

I took a simple $5 clock from wal-mart and stuck it up on her wall. Then I took a piece of paper and drew a matching clock on it (ok, I made mine on the computer....but not everyone can do just draw it). The clock on the paper showed 8:00 am. I told her that she was not allowed to come out of her room until the real clock matched the one on the paper. She also knew that coming out before that meant she was disobeying and there would be a consequence. I had already established a pretty firm understanding of obedience and consequences with her and so that is one of the reasons this was able to work well for me. In fact it worked like a charm!!! She was 4 yrs. old at the time.
Then I decided to implement the same idea at naptime. I figured even if she didn't sleep, an hour of alone time was good for both of us. So I would put her down and draw a clock for whatever time she was allowed to come not before. IT WORKED!

Eventually it was easier to just buy one of those cardboard play clocks from the dollar store that you try to teach kids to tell time with. That way I could just move the hands around for whatever time I needed it to be.

You could also start this even earlier than 4 years old if you just put an alarm in their bedroom. Set the alarm for the desired morning time and teach them that they are not allowed to come out until they hear the alarm. That's the way I did it with my son.

It's a good plan altogether because not only does it give you the time you need...but it gives them time to develop some good independant play skills!

And if you want an idea on how to dress up that $5 clock from wal-mart then visit my friend Beckie. You could even maybe get your child in on this!


  1. Ok...we are totally there. I don't think he would get the hands yet. I was thinking of buying a digital clock because he always is interested in what the clock on the microwave says. But since the birth of Kayla he has gotten out of his room (we didn't have that problem before). Last night he came in at 1:30! Yikes! I will let you know how it goes.

  2. I have shared your life saving idea with so many people! I started even younger...with a digital clock. I put duct tape over the second two numbers and drew a digital 8 on it. I said when the 8's matched she could get up. Worked like a charm!

  3. Great post - I have also implemented that with my girls and it truly does work - its the "laying down the groundwork" of obeying and consequences that is essential though - if you haven't done that, then I don't expect you'd get the same great results...

  4. What an awesome idea!! Both of my children are early risers!! ITs a killer, especially on the weekend! Must give this a try... thanks :)

  5. awesome idea!! my little guy is just starting to get interested in time. I'm going to have to try this out! Thanks

  6. I concur. My little man also thinks 10 min. is enough naptime for him. The clock idea sounds like a great venture.


Thanks for taking the time to leave a note!