My nearly 4 son and nearly 2 daughter share a bedroom. This has been working really well until recently when my son has started waking up early (i.e before 6am). He gets up and turns on the light (jumping as he can't quite reach the switch) and then starts playing.

We try not to start our day until 7am if we can help it. When he wakes up really early he is then tired later in the morning. (plus mummy and his little sister)

Is there any tips for teaching him to be quiet until it is a more respectable time to wake up?

We are considering getting him a clock or a light on a timer so he knows whether it wake up time or not. Has anyone else tried this?


P.S we change back from Daylight savings in a month so I would like see if we can improve the situation before 5:30 becomes 4.30.

asked 26 Feb '10, 00:21

K%20D's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

Oh, yeah, I remember that!

My oldest used to do almost the exact same thing. We put a dimm light on a timer in the room he shared with his brother, light enough for him to see, but not bright enough to wake either of them. It came on at about the time he was waking up and he knew he wasn't allowed to get up before it went on, but when it did he could go to the bathroom and play quietly in their room until I got up at 7. (and yeah, I only half-slept, while I listened to make sure he didn't wander off somewhere else.) When he was doing that reliably, we started to sneakily move the time on the timer forward by 5 minutes a week until he was only waking up about 10 minutes before I was. (Most of the time, but he never, ever slept in past 7 until he was 14.)

Now he's 17 and I'm considering installing a canon to get him and his 16 year old brother out of bed by noon on weekends.


answered 26 Feb '10, 02:26

Neen's gravatar image

accept rate: 30%


+1 great idea, provide a dim personal light source for the early riser.

(26 Feb '10, 09:23) brandstaetter

We had a five year old who would try to get up really early so we bought him a little digital clock. We covered the last two numbers so not to confuse him and told him if the number that was showing was a 7 or an 8 he could get up and play quietly in his room until we got up. Otherwise he had to go back to sleep because it wasn't morning yet. The numbers on the digital clock also helped encourage him to know what those numbers looked like so he could get up.


answered 26 Feb '10, 04:03

nikjoyce's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

My friend did this with her kids too and she said it worked well.

(08 Mar '10, 07:09) Sabrina

We prefer using an analogue clock and teaching them that the short hand has to have gone past the seven. We also have a reward system - which involves marbles in a jar - and if they don't disturb us before seven they get a marble in their jar.

Our elder two still are far better at reading analogue clocks than digital and they are eight and six now (the two yr old isn't in the reward scheme yet).


answered 27 Feb '10, 19:00

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

Curious. How does the marble in a jar reward system work.

(28 Feb '10, 23:14) K D

They each have a labelled jar. At the beginning of the week they each have twenty marbles in their jar, during the week they can gain or lose marbles for good or bad behaviour respectively. At the end of the week we count the marbles and if they have twenty or more then they get a small reward.

(02 Mar '10, 21:22) Meg Stephenson

My eldest used to get up and play in his bedroom, he would then knock on his door (we didn't ask him to do this, he just did it) when we was bored and wanted to come out. Now, all 3 of the kids (ages are between 5 and 10) will come and knock on our bedroom door if they are the first one up. We then either tell them it is too early or that they can go downstairs. Once all of them are up they all play together, generally without argument. Although often with a lot of noise :).
The boys do have a clock in their room, don't know if they use it. None of them generally get up too early.

Oh, and we definitly DO NOT get up at 7 at the weekend!


answered 28 Feb '10, 10:29

pipthegeek's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Thanks for all the advice. We decided on getting a clock and light on timer to switch on at 7am so he would know it was okay to get up. When we went shopping we found monkey clock (both analogue and digtal) that the eyes on a monkey can be set to open and close, at a reasonable price. See link So we tell him that he has to stay in his room until the monkey's eyes open, this gets round the issue he doesn't know how to tell the time yet.

We have also given the incentive that if mummy or daddy don't have to come in before 7am then he will get fruit toast at breakfast time.

This has seen a marked improvement in our mornings.


answered 19 Mar '10, 02:22

K%20D's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

Momo is so cool! I must save that link in case one of my little ones turns out to be an early riser too. (and - Yumm, fruit toast for breakfast, why didn't I think of that?)

(19 Mar '10, 06:54) Neen
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Asked: 26 Feb '10, 00:21

Seen: 4,949 times

Last updated: 19 Mar '10, 02:22