I’m sure many parents can relate to this scenario. Saturday soccer is an early start and your young man or lady refuses to get out of bed to get ready. It’s cold out, and it’s a no-brainer that it’s infinitely more cosy under the covers than on the pitch. So what can you do – apart from dragging them kicking and screaming to the car? 

I admit it, it can be tough being a parent who wants their kids to be healthy and play sport. It’s hard enough trying to pull them out of bed to get ready for school each weekday morning, let alone on the weekends, too! But given the rate of obesity and other health and behavioural issues in society, I truly feel the need for my kids to play sport. Any sport. And so I persist – also because I know they love it when they get there.

As soon as I know that Daylight Savings is about to end and the days are going to get shorter and colder, I have always gotten that feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach because I know my weekends are about to get ugly. The feeling is something akin to not wanting to face the husband when you’ve just burned a hole in his credit card due to a pair of shoes you couldn’t live without.

I’ve done everything I could think of in past seasons to get even a small positive response from the kids between the sheets, including threats to take away their computer games, shouting, sweet talking and straight out blackmail – we parents do what we must!

But now I think I’ve cracked the code. It’s true! And I really need to share what is working for me as the mornings are getting chillier. I’ve tried some of these tricks (yes, they really must be called tricks) one at a time, and a few all at the same time. The best thing to do is mix and match to find out the right combo that works for you. So here they are…

♦ Turn up the heat

Not the screaming kind! There’s enough of that at the game. It makes sense that if your child’s bedroom is warm they will be more willing to get out of bed. I’m not talking about heating the house all night long, but you could try turning the central heating on as soon as you get up to take the edge off the chill. Or you could put one of those coil heaters in their room on a timer to go on about an hour before they’re due to get up.

♦ Warm with water

Make them jump straight into a steaming hot shower as soon as they get out of bed. It’ll only take a couple of minutes to warm the cockles enough for them to toss on their kit, and they don’t need to wet their hair. They’ll be warm, refreshed and ready to play.

♦ Sound an alarm

This might seem obvious, but I don’t mean that shrill sounding alarm we all grew up with. Get your kids to set their iPod or phone alarm to play their favourite motivational tune. In other words, help them wake up smiling so there will be less hassle as they get ready.

♦ Brighten their day

Yes, you just being in their lives is more than enough to do this, but so will opening up the curtains and letting in the sunlight, even on a dull day. Nobody likes sleeping when there are rays of light blinding you.

♦ Be prepared

Lay out their kits the night before (if they’re not old enough to do it themselves), including socks and shoes, and have any drinks ready to go in the fridge. This way your children only need to take a few steps, throw on their clothes, then get to the car. You can wake them up again at your destination!

Here’s to a happier and hassle-free season!

Do you have any tricks for getting the kids out of bed you’d like to share with other parents? Reveal them all in the comments below so that we can all enjoy more peaceful weekends.

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