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3 Ways to Get Your Tween Up in the Mornings

Gone are the days when your kid woke you before the crack of dawn. Now it takes all your morning energy just to get him out of bed. What's going on? The sleep patterns of preteens are different from those of adults and young children. Their bodies' internal clocks actually tell them to fall asleep later at night and to snooze longer in the morning. (So why the heck does their school usually start earlier than your kindergartner's? Go figure!) Here, how to make morning wake-ups less of a struggle:

Tone down the alarm

Instead of having the alarm clock blare just in time for your child to rush out the door, set it to play his favorite music about 15 minutes before he has to get up. It'll help him ease into the day.

Give him a good reason to get up

Bribe him with that sausage-and-egg sandwich he loves (his appetite is no doubt having a growth spurt, too), or arrange a morning carpool with a close buddy (friends also trump sleep at this stage).

Make it his responsibility

Explain that you've realized he's old enough to get up on his own, so you'll call for him only once. Then stick to it -- many kids will embrace the autonomy. Others will quickly learn how much they're missing at school when they're not there on time!