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Any tips for dealing with the morning grouchies?

My four-year-old has started to be impossible on school mornings lately. Refusing to get out of bed or put clothes on, hiding behind her bedroom door, whining and talking back. I'm sure she gets enough sleep at night because she's in bed for a good eleven hours, and she does fine with that on other days. I thought at first that something she didn't like might be going on at school, but she's always bright and happy when she comes home. I'm pretty sure it's a garden variety power struggle, but I don't know how to de-escalate it. This morning I had to physically lift her out of bed and get her dressed. I'm trying something new--on any day she gives me a hard time, we won't go outside to look for playmates in our condo complex when she gets home. I told her that big girls get up for school, and big girls go out to play afterward. Hanging out with the neighborhood kids is her favorite thing to do. Not sure if that's the right approach, but I'm running out of options.

Any other ideas? Thanks.


Asked by Ballad at 11:21 AM on Jan. 24, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (4)
  • I have about 100 cookie cutters and I either do cinnamon toast or toast with butter etc, each day is a suprise- always a new shape. Seems to get LO out of bed much better since we started this.

    Answer by luvmygrandbaby at 11:27 AM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • As long as you are not rushing her in the mornings, then I would just do it all for her. I was having that same problem with my 3 year old and others advised me to pick my battles wisely. I started giving him a choice between dressing himself or having me do it. If he didn't want to or wouldn't choose, Mama did it for him. Things have been much more pleasant around my house since I've stopped nagging and arguing about it.

    Answer by hootie826 at 12:14 PM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • My Son started being a slow poke recently. I just wake him up earlier. I open his curtains & pull down his comforter & say come down in a few minutes OK? (He doesn't like to be alone anyway). He mumbles under his breath & I ignore it. Soon he comes down & starts with the grouchies & again I ignore & give him his breakfast. If he has no audience he stops. He goes to kindergarten.GL!


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 1:32 PM on Jan. 24, 2013

  • My 3 year old can be the same way if he doesn't have enough time to wake up slowly (actually, so can I). So I'm just factoring in about an extra 10-15 minutes each morning to slowly help him wake up. I just open the curtains, rub his back for a while and maybe lay down with him for a minute or play with his stuffed animals to get him to open his eyes. I try to get him to smile and I talk about breakfast (he LOVES breakfast) or the cat and dog (he loves seeing them). And then I let him know that if he wants to stay in bed for a while, I can come back in 5 minutes. Usually he either comes downstairs himself in that time or he's awake and in a better mood when I get back.

    I think sometimes even if they are in bed and quiet all night, they might not be asleep or might not sleep well. Does she seem tired at all? Maybe an earlier bedtime for a while might help.

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 4:21 PM on Jan. 24, 2013