Do Gro-Clocks Work Or Are We Kidding Ourselves?

  • Parents Only

By: Alex Harmon, ellaslist

My toddler woke me up at 5.45am this morning, because, as he said, "it's light outside." By his logic he was right. And who am I to argue with a toddler at 5.45am? I guess it's time to get up then, buddy? I sighed.

To some of you this might be classed as a sleep-in, but to my 3 year old who regularly wakes at around 7am, this was torture! He actually looked horrified when I told him my eyes were stuck together (this was somewhat true). But we got up - it was light after all - and sat on the sofa for an hour and a half watching Spideman clips on YouTube (they just get weirder and weirder if you leave it running continuously) before the rest of the family stumbled out of bed.

Then, as fate would have it, when I arrived into the office my colleague told me about Gro-Clocks. I was tired enough to hear her out. These clocks use images of the stars and sun to communicate to your unsuspecting toddler when to go back to sleep and when it's time to get up. A bit like prison does with its lights on/lights off policy, right? 

Stars In Their Eyes

I wanted to believe it would work. I wanted to believe in the marketing hype of the Gro-Clock! But then I thought to myself, is this the biggest slap to the face ever? Not just to parents who pray for a sleep in, but to our kids too? Are we tricking them into being prisoners in their own beds? And are they really stupid enough to fall for it?!


I consulted the expert in all things real-parenting, my guru, Hurrah For Gin, to see what she had to say about the ultimate "first-world problem" product.

"It’s always funny when you tell people that your kids are early wakers," she wrote. "I love the advice you get. For example “Have you tried a Gro-Clock?” HA. Funnily enough yes I have. I have also tried taking a hammer to the goddamn thing because it doesn't fucking work."

Black Hole Sun

Ok, so are black-out blinds the answer? This is something else I am considering as I hit my third coffee for the day. It seems more humane, like the way airlines tell you to close your window shutters and dim the lights at mid-air "bedtime". It seems Hurrah does not agree. 

"We do a thing called ‘triple protection’ which is basically a suction on blackout blind, topped with a roller blackout blind, topped with blackout curtains and in truly desperate times I have also been known to gaffa tape blackout material directly onto the window panes. Guess what? That doesn't fucking work either." Oh..... damn. 


A Load Of Grubbish

The reviews out there are mixed. Some people swear by them. Most Gro-Clocks however, have ended up on Facebook sell groups in the hope that some other sucker is desperate enough to put all their hopes and dreams into this products. Oh the sweetness of dream! Please, god, let me sleep! Not Hurrah though, she's not having a bar of those parents out there who swear by them. Especially the smug ones! 

"My absolute favourite is when people say stuff like “On the weekends we put our Gro-Clock back an hour to trick the kids so we can get a lie in.” HAAAAAAAAA HAAAAAAAA HAAAAAAA!!! The one saving grace here is that at least when my kids say ‘it’s just so boring waiting for the sun to come up’ and/or unplug the bloody thing, I take some pride in the fact that they refuse to be dictated to by a piece of electrical equipment with a stupid smug smiley face. Whereas your kids? Sorry but they’re just idiots."

I am going to give Hurrah the benefit of the doubt here and agree. And as for my kid, I'm sorry but he can grow to learn that a clock has real numbers and hands on it like the rest of the bloody world. Even if it does point to 5.45am. FML. 

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