Read parts one, two, and three!
Ok I'll admit it. This is the post in the series that I've been dreading writing the most. So let me be clear. This method works for me, but I don't think it's right for everyone. I know everyone has their own circumstances, and I would never dream of telling someone else how to do things. However, getting my children to have wake up times is one of the most helpful things I've learned to do since becoming a mom.
Basically a wake up time is what it sounds like. My kids(unless they are sick or they happen to be a nursing infant;) don't get out of bed until I come get them. This might sound overly strict, but teaching my children to stay in bed until a certain time(at our house it's between 7:30 and 8:00) enables me to have a quiet time and take a shower, and it prevents anyone from waking up too early. I also use this same principle for nap times. As a result, my kids almost always are able to get the rest they need, and it significantly cuts down on meltdowns.
Now I'm sure you have questions, like what do you do if they wake up before it's time and say they are hungry or need to go potty? When this happens, I let them go potty and give them a snack to take back to bed with them. If one of them tells me they aren't sleepy, and would like to stay up I give them their Bible and their "journal" and have them do their own quiet time in their bed. Since my kids do share a room the rule is they must stay in their beds and read and color quietly in order to be courteous to their sleeping sibling.
Implementing the wake up time has been tremendously helpful to me. And honestly I think it's been just as beneficial for my children because it provides them enough time to get the rest they need.
How about you? Do you give your kids a wake up time?
Linked to A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.