42 answers

How Not to Struggle with a 6 Year Old Every Morning Before School?

I been very frustrated and not looking forwarding during school week to wake my son up to get him ready to go school.
He always, always fights with me and tells me he is tired, he's cold and he would end up raising his voice saying I am mean..
Every morning! After I dragged him into bathroom to have him brush his teeth, hair, he would slam the door and stays there for awhile, then he comes out alright then its easier to take him to school..
What can I do in the mornings to be able have him up without fighting!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I found a new trick and it seems works wonder..
I set my alarm at 6 am.. Slowly waking him up and I go enjoy my coffee for about 15 mins, go wake him again and I have his clothes and shoes on the bed, I go back into the living room to contiune enjoying my coffee and by 6 30 to 6 45 every morning, he comes out to the living room fully dressed.. He always been dressed by 7, he knows I wld take him school in pj because I almost did once as mothers here shared me her ideas!
I don't argue with him anymore, I made sure he has his space and me enjoy my coffee every mornings, it works great! He never overslept past 7 am for somwe reason, and OH yep, he has a clock in his room too.
Thanks again for all your help!

Featured Answers


I had to struggle with my oldest daughter. What I did is that I had her pick out her clothes and set her stuff (tooth brush face cloth etc...) out so when she woke up. She was ready to go. Don't know why this worked for her, but it worked well.


1 mom found this helpful

How do you go about waking him up?Do you just go in, throw the covers back and tell him it's time to get up? My daughter always has a little tickle session that includes some good morning kisses and wakes her son up slowly and in a good mood. When I have him, I rub his back a little and have a glass of juice for him to drink and ask what he wants for breakfast. He always wants an extra five minutes to sleep, so I give him that while I make his breakfast. When it's time to eat he never complains about getting up because he's had his extra five minutes (sometimes it's only three, but what does he know?). After he eats, it dress, brush teeth and hair and we're ready to go. You just have to start early enought so nobody is screaming to rush. As for slamming the door. If you let him get away with that action not, he'll do it all his life. He needs to learn to control his temper. He needs to learn that action is not acceptable in the house and he should be punished when he does it. He'll learn, it just takes a little time.

I have 3 boys, and getting them all up and out of bed to there they were actually making progress toward going to school was quite the challenge. What I found worked for me was to have something fun that they liked to do (play video games, get on the computer, watch TV, etcetera ….) And as soon as they were 100% ready to walk out the door, they could have free time and do something fun till it was time to go.

More Answers

Hi L. - I couldn't help but want to respond to your question since I have a new Kindergarten child that has been in preschool and we've had these same issues. Here's some things we do to make the morning easier:
1) I took a course in Love and Logic Parenting a few years ago. You can google that to find the website. They talk alot about not having control fights with your kids, you are in control. One suggestion they gave went something like this (which we've done successfully): Daughter, the car leaves at 8:50 and you will be in it. You can choose if you are going to wear school clothes or still be in your PJ's with stinky teeth. We went through the morning and I would remind her once, "put on clothes", "brush your teeth", etc. 5 minutes to go and nothing. I said load up in the car and she still had on PJ's, burst into tears and said she couldn't go to school like that. I responded kindly (not irritated)"that's so sad, you had a moment to get dressed but you still have 5 minutes so whatever you can do in 5 minutes is good with me". She ran off changed, came to the car fully dressed and we've hadn't argued about it since. I have friends that went through this process and even took kids to school in PJ's. Just put their clothes in a sack because they will want to change before going to class. We've done this with church too.
2) This year, I went to Lowe's and bought a hanging bag labled with the days of the week for her clothes. I put all of her clothes in it on Sunday night. She has an order to which things are done: clothes, socks, shoes, breakfast, teeth brushed, then, if time, special hair do or cartoons. But, my car leaves when my car leaves and it's up to her to get through the process. She always has on clothes but we've left without breakfast, without hair-do, whatever. I don't stress over it.

The fear is that when we don't have our children perfect, packed and on-time that we fail as parents. So, we stress, yell and complain and end up in a tug a war that can't be won. I loved the advice from Love and Logic cause it says simply, your the parent, you won't fight about this, and they will learn to make a good choice which will follow them for their lives.

1 mom found this helpful


I had to struggle with my oldest daughter. What I did is that I had her pick out her clothes and set her stuff (tooth brush face cloth etc...) out so when she woke up. She was ready to go. Don't know why this worked for her, but it worked well.


1 mom found this helpful

I got the greatest advice on this very subject when my daughter was 5 from a Montessori teacher in the form of a parenting book called The Practical Parent by Geneive Painter. I think it is no longer in print but I will try to give a synopsis.
1. Discuss with him that he is now old enough to get himself ready for school and that you also need to get yourself ready, etc. etc.
2. Take him to the store and buy him an alarm clock all his own that is simple that he can work by himself with a simple on off alarm button.
3. Discuss how long he needs to get ready and what time you will be leaving the house each day.
4. Set his alarm and put his clothes within easy reach for him to manage. Put things that he can mix and match himself and give up worrying about perfection. Give him the control of that. (as much as possible)
5. Tell him that it is now his job to get up when his alarm goes off and get ready, that you will no longer be reminding him.
6. Give the consequence: If you are not ready on time Mom will have a bag with clothes in it and you will have to get dressed in the car or will go to school in your pajamas. (talk to teacher if necessary in case this should ever happen, but I bet it doesn't)
7. Begin the new procedure. Make it fun and positive. That you are so proud at how big and independent he is.
This worked great for me for about two weeks and then one morning I heard my daughter turn off her alarm and go back to sleep. YOU CAN NOT REMIND OR INTERFERE WHEN THEY MESS UP! If you do you are right back fussing and nagging and begging them to get ready.
You must follow through with the consequence of calmly but firmly putting them in the car in their pajamas.
My daughter screamed all the way. You can not react. Just calmly state that you are so sorry they did not get ready.
8. It will rarely if ever happen again. My daughter became completely responsible and independent and our mornings were never a problem again.
Instead of you having all the responsiblity it puts the ball in their ball park and makes everything so much healthier for everyone.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I had many difficult mornings with my son at that age. I know it's hard to get into the school routine after summer vacation so I gave him a few weeks to adjust. When things didn't get better I started putting him to bed 30 minutes earlier and let him pick out an alarm clock for his room. That made all the difference. He's 14 yrs old now and knows he is slow to wake up. He sets his alarm 15 minutes earlier than he needs so he can snooze and wake up slowly.

A friend of mine had the same problem with her daughter. What worked for them was to wake her daughter up with something to drink, like chocolate milk or juice, and she turned the bedroom tv on. She gave her about 15 minutes to drink her milk or juice and watch tv before it was time to get ready for school. That seemed to work for them.

Well, I am going through the same thing with my 4 1/2 year old son so I do not have the perfect answer. I have noticed on days when I do not wake up with enough time or do not wake them up with enough time things become extra tense. Mornings are hard and I hate to wake up my peacefully sleeping children but if I can get them up with a full hour to get the two of them fed, dressed and ready for school, things usually go okay and I can get the morning accomplished without having to raise my voice.

My first instinct based on what you shared is that he sounds really tired. Maybe try an earlier bedtime for a week and see if that does the trick. I remember reading that kids age 5-6 still need from 10-12 hours of sleep per night.

It could also be that he would benefit from a list of things to do in the morning before school. Having it written down and following it like a steady and predictable routine might help, too.

Good luck! Hang in there! :)

Hi L.,
I don't have problems in the morning, mine is after school.I've done the reward chart.Possibly it can work for mornings.My son is eight and loved it.Get the colorful stickers and discuss w/your child that every morning for a whole week that he earns a sticker that there will be a reward at the end of the week.It doesn't have to be a big reward maybe something he enjoys to do,ride his bike around the block w/you,play time at the park or maybe a $2.50 happymeal.The alarm clock idea is a good one too.Have him pick it out help him set the time and show him how to turn it off.Things like that excite most children.
I start the routine of bedtime at 7:30 shower,brush teeth and off to bed by 7:50 and hes out by 8.Getting enough sleep for children should be very important cause not enough sleep for someone the age of six can be very stressfull for anyone having to deal w/a sleepy grouchy child.OHH and no naps after school that can delay bedtime.Very important NO NAPS instead find ways to exzert him durring the day so he'll fall asleep tired when bedtime comes around.GOOD LUCK!!

First, this really helped me deal with my stepdaughter when she was six and the SAME way!!
1. I made her bedtime at 7:30pm Sun-Thurs. Yes, it's early, but kids this age really need at least 10 hours of sleep a night!! She would wake up refreshed each day. This works for my 5 year old son too.
2. Menus- They pick what they for the week on a chart. Oh, you don't want waffles today? That is what you picked, eat it!
I also put school snack and school lunch on the same chart. They pick on Sunday night and thats it.
3. They can either sleep in their clean school clothes (my SD loved this) or I would recommend a closet organizer with clothes for the week in it (my son loves this).
4. I make them brush teeth just before bed. I'm not too worried about before school, it's just another kink in the morning.
5. Wake up is at 6:00am. Dressed by 6:30 (gives them time to wake up), breakfast between 6:30 and 7:00 and out the door at 7:15. IF AND ONLY IF breakfast is DONE by 7, they get to watch cartoons for 15 minutes before leaving the house. (no, they don't scream, we would "practice" and I would tell them, "okay, this is what 15 minutes is like" and turn of the TV after 15 minutes and explain that they would not get to finish a cartoon and it's too bad because it will be on again next time. If they do throw a fit, no TV at all for the next day) Believe it or not, it was acceptable and now, we very rarely turn the thing on anymore! Now its just play with cars or something before school.

None of this is guaranteed, but it sure works for me. Yes, they will still have their days when nothing is going to work, but at least it's not EVERY morning now! It did take about 2 weeks to get used to the new ways though! Good luck.

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.