Mom alarms

There’s a hodgepodge of alarms on the market, and they take a carrot or stick approach to waking up. Some aim to make mornings pleasant — for example, alarms that play your favorite radio station. Others try to make sleeping in unpleasant — like most alarms with obnoxious beeps.

One way to make either type of alarms more effective might be to verbalize the reward or risk with the voice of a loved one. Maybe in the future we won’t wake up to beeps or radio broadcasts, but to our mother’s voice reminding us to get out the door or risk getting stuck in traffic.

"Time to get dressed! And don't wear those colorful polka dot pants. You look like a leopard who fell into a rainbow."

“Time to get dressed! And don’t wear those colorful polka dot pants. You look like a leopard who fell into a rainbow.”

The voice of a mother, father or other guardian has a stronger emotional effect on us than a dull electronic beep. We associate voices of parents with many important lessons — the value of hard work, or the importance of honesty, for example. Even a simple reminder to “Wake up, or you’ll be late for work” can bring up other wise advice that our parents taught us, which can inspire us to get up.  Another benefit of a “Mom Alarm” is that it can be more convincing than a dry robotic voice. A parent’s words have authority because of their lifelong role as a mentor. We might think twice about hitting the snooze if it feels like Mom’s in the room to scold us.

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