Stop Your Family's Snooze-Button Habit

Does your family's snooze-button habit have you down? No one ever plans on chaotic mornings, sleeping late, rushing the kids out the door, or missing breakfast, yet for many moms, this is a daily reality. If your family's morning routine leaves you stressed and ready for a change, consider these five tips for re-gaining control of your mornings and stopping your family's snooze-button habit:

1. Move alarms
- Hitting the snooze button two, three or four times every morning is easy to do when your alarm is next to your bed. To ensure your family gets moving at first ring, move all alarms far away from the beds. Place clocks or phones on the opposite side of each bedroom, requiring every family member to get up out of bed to turn their alarms off. If needed, set alarms in the hallway or somewhere else out of easy reach.

2. Reward getting up on time - Encourage your kids to rise and shine on time by offering an incentive or reward that works for your family, at least until good habits are formed. Try offering a sticker on a chore chart, extra bedtime stories, bonus TV time, or even a special treat in your children's lunch box.

3. Lay out clothes early - Mornings are much more stressful if I'm already running late, then can't decide what to wear. Prevent this by assigning yourself (and your kids) to lay out the next day's clothes the night before, making this a before-bedtime chore. If your mornings typically contain arguments over bathroom usage, form a new habit of taking showers at nighttime.

4. Prepare next day essentials
- To avoid the morning rush, collect and prepare everything that must be done or gathered the night before. Sign forms, prepare next day lunches, lay all backpacks by the door, and set out breakfast materials on the counter to let faster family members get a head start on their morning meal.

5. Get to bed early
- The best way to stop the snooze button habit is to ensure each family member gets plenty of sleep each night. When you make sure all kids - and parents - get to bed at a decent hour, the urge to the hit snooze button disappears as everyone wakes up energized and ready to go.

Traditional wisdom says it takes 30 days to form a new habit. If true, then permanently changing your snooze button routines will take dedication and commitment. Changing habits is hard, but if you don't give up after every setback, your family will soon start seeing the rewards in stress-free, happier mornings.

Content by Becca Swanson.