Tips for a Better Morning Routine
No one likes starting his or her family’s day on the wrong foot. After a morning gone terribly wrong, all parents will feel a pang of guilt over leaving their child upset at school or day care. It’s understandably difficult when nobody in your house is a morning person and there’s never enough time to prepare ahead the night before. Are you tired of your stress level going through the roof? There are ways to make the morning routine more manageable—and maybe even stress-free. Here are some tips to make mornings smoother for the entire family…
Communicate and plan ahead –
Before school starts, have a family meeting to discuss the morning routine. It’s the perfect opportunity to make schedules and roles clear. For example, you can set bedtime and wake up times—the earlier the better. As you plan out your morning, remember to add in extra time. That way, you won’t need to rush if you’re having a slow start. You might also want to give each family member specific responsibilities. Dad is in charge of packing lunches, mom will make breakfast, and it’s the kids’ jobs to get their backpacks ready. Creating a morning routine chart can be helpful as well, especially for younger children. It will allow your children to see what needs to be done and take pride in checking off their completed tasks. When everyone has a clearly outlined list of duties, they will be more likely to stay on schedule!
Be consistent –
It’s important to have consistency around your morning and nighttime routines. Consistency is key for children and teens alike. Help your children get to bed and wake up at about the same time every day. You can remind them 30 minutes before bedtime to start winding down and getting ready. Why not make mornings fun? Get your kids started on the right foot by getting them up with wake up tunes. Your children can take turns picking the wake up songs for the week as a reward for getting ready on time. Clocks can help you remain on schedule too. Place clocks in every room—bathrooms, bedrooms, the kitchen, etc.—so everyone knows how much time they have to get ready. Offer your children rewards for getting ready early in order to encourage positive behavior. If your children do not follow their morning routines, be consistent about enforcing consequences as well.
Be a role model –
Children see their parents as role models on how to and act in the world. They tend to mirror their parents’ behavior, whether it’s good or bad. Therefore, remember to be mindful about how you act in the morning. Do you have trouble getting out of bed? Do you complain about the morning chores? It’s possible that your children are picking up on your behavior. Model positive morning behavior by waking up early, preferably a little before your children. It’s best if you complete some of your routine before your kids wake up. Try to avoid using devices in the morning; they can be major distractions for your children. In addition, prepare as much as you can the night before. It’s easier when bags are already packed and at the door. Be an organizational role model!
Let’s face it—mornings can be stressful, especially at the beginning of the school year. It’s not easy to get back into a routine. Unfortunately, the level of stress that you bring to your morning can be contagious. Don’t get stuck in a habit where everyone in the family yells, screams, and rushes out of the house at the last minute! Start your mornings feeling more calm, cool, and collected using these helpful tips. Over time, you’ll all grow accustomed to the routine and go through the motions smoothly.