- Choose one piece of the problem to work on at a time. For example: if they need to go to sleep at 9pm AND they need to get up at 6:30, but they have been going to bed at 11pm and getting up at 9am all summer long. Have them begin a night time routine at 8 with lights out at 9pm. The morning wakeup time will flow out of the nighttime rituals.
- Establish a reward system for the length of time that they choose to do the right thing. So if they have lights out at 9 for the entire week, they get to stay up late and watch 2 movies on the weekend. If they do it for a month, they get to go to their favorite store and pick out a prize.
- Help your children understand the consequences of refusing to change their behavior. It is okay to take away privileges and prizes if they decide not to make wise choices.
It may take a while, but if you have asked the hard questions and your child is beginning to see a pattern, there is hope. After you and your child identify what habits are not working, you can move on to the next phase, which is changing the behavior.