Morning routines help everyone stay stress-free. Many people are finding it hard adjusting to getting up and out the door this school year after almost a year of being home because of the pandemic.
If you feel like you are off your game, or your kiddos don’t seem to be adjusting well to going back to school outside of the home, then setting a routine with clear expectations will help.
Let’s explore some options that may help the whole family start the day off on a positive note.
1. Prepare the night before. After dinner, check over anything that may need signed or packed the night before so no one is rushing around in the morning.
2. Put all of your items in the same place every day. Designate space for each child for their backpacks, shoes, and lunch, so they know exactly where to retrieve them before walking out the door.
3. Get everyone to bed as early as possible. If you or your children are not getting enough sleep everyone will move slower and be grumpier in the morning.
4. Get moving before your children, if possible. Plug-in devices, pack lunches, set breakfast out and set out everyone’s clothes if you didn’t the night before. Options may be a great thing for those picky, fashionable kids.
5. Use lists or charts. Routines with lists make things smoother. Some kids thrive on visuals. Have some fun and pick a Saturday or Sunday to create a list for each child of to-do items at bedtime and in the mornings. Brush your teeth, put your clothes in the hamper, brush your hair, wear CLEAN socks. (Moms of boys we’re talking to you!)
6. Eat breakfast. Set clear expectations with yourself when it comes to breakfast time. Do not feel guilty if their breakfast is not hot, especially if your children don’t like the same thing. There are some really amazing recipes for homemade breakfast bars, bread, and muffins, that you can make on weekends.
7. Stay calm. Some children move slow and that can bring up some impatience but try to avoid yelling. Walk into the bathroom and inhale, exhale a few times before going back to engage with your tortoise-paced child.
8. Keep it simple. It’s OK to give choices but make those choices minimal. Brush your teeth in the bathroom or in the kitchen sink—you pick. Put your shoes on first or brush your hair first; you pick. Little people like to give their input and it creates confidence when a child makes their own decisions. Especially at the start of the day.
9. Have fun. If you build in a few minutes of extra time each day you can leave some room for fun. Squeeze in a six-second hug or add in some high-fives when tasks are complete.
If you find that something isn’t working after a week or so, pinpoint the area or items that are causing struggles and meltdowns and make adjustments.
Every child is different and their needs and wants change year after year and that’s okay!
“Love your family. Spend time, be kind, and serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised and today is short.” – Anonymous
For tips on how to better handle those picky eaters click here.