A friend recently asked for ideas about helping tweens get out of bed. First, I want to affirm that this is a hard task for everyone involved, and if we really loved children, we wouldn’t start their school days so early. Everything we know about child development tells us it’s counterproductive, and I wish that early starts to school would go away forever.
But unless you are lucky enough to live in a school district that works with, rather than against, children’s bodies, you may be stuck waking kiddos up. I’m not naturally a morning person, but I realized a few years ago that if we didn’t make mornings happy and peaceful, then we were 1) starting the day on the wrong foot and would either need to recover or would, more likely, pass the unhappiness along to teachers and classmates who didn’t deserve that and 2) missing out on time that could be good, which was a shame. Life is hard enough with bad mornings.
There is no magic to a good morning, but we have found that music helps. Whether you listen to them or sing them, here are some of the songs we use to help feet get moving in the morning.
(I’m not defending any of these choices as vital to your children’s musical education. I’m just saying that, in my family, the children start moving when we sing them. It is probably a flight or fight response, but it works.)
“Rhythm is Gonna Get You” by Gloria Estefan. “In bed, throw the covers on your head/
You pretend like you are dead/But I know it, the rhythm is gonna get ya.” And if you sing it the whole way through, everyone will eventually be dancing. It’s irresistible.
And if it doesn’t work, add “Conga.”
“1, 2, 3, 4” by Coolio. Little ones may especially like this Muppet version, which features Pepe the King Prawn, one of our favorite Muppets.
“Bombs Over Baghdad” by Outkast. Trust me, you get out of bed fast when you hear your parents yelling “Don’t even bang unless you plan to hit something!” Here’s a mostly kid-friendly version, depending on how you feel about breasts and thongs.
“Angel of the Morning” by Juice Newton. (Hey, this is MY list, which means it’s going to include 70s country.)
“Wake Me Up Before You Go” by Wham! It violates the rules of physics to stay in bed when this song is playing. Teenagers will especially like it if you dance like you’re in an aerobics class from the mid-80s.
Our littlest is a new fan of The Hives, which brings joy to my heart. “Walk Idiot Walk” is a fav. Listen for the jinglebells, my favorite part.