If you're sick of stressful mornings with your child, you're not alone, but we've got help for you! Use these tips to make a morning routine for your child that helps you get out the door with ease. This post includes affiliate links.
These revolutionary tips for a better morning are by Dayna Abraham – author of the Superkids Guide to Conquering Everyday.
A Better Morning Routine for Your Child (read: maybe it's actually possible to school on time without yelling!)
By Dayna Abraham
Mornings are the absolute bane of my existence.
From the moment my kid's alarm clock goes off (and I still have to get them out of bed) until I come back from dropping them off at school, my blood pressure runs at an unhealthy high. I am stressed to the max. I am trying my hardest not to yell. I repeat myself a thousand times, and my kids? They move like molasses.
Seriously, they are so sloooooowwww… no hurry to get anywhere.
But if you think about it, they're on their way to school. Why should they be in a hurry to get anywhere fast?
This year, I have vowed to have a better morning because I need to start the day on the right foot with my kids. So that the first thing they remember is hugs, and kisses, and encouragement to have a great day. The great day that they deserve to have. So this year I am vowing to make my morning routines, a routine that won't drive me crazy.
I used to think that mornings just had to be hard.
I mean when I scroll through my Facebook feed, all my friends are struggling with mornings. Whether it's getting their kids to get dressed, having them eat on time, their kids forgetting everything they need before they get in the car, or just the nasty attitudes that kids can wake up with.
Mornings can be tough. It's why coffee was invented!
This year, we are gonna have amazing mornings. Okay, scratch that. This year, we are going to have mornings that don't drive us crazy. And I want to share my tip so that you can have mornings that don't make you want to just give up, curl in a ball, and cry.
5 Revolutionary Tips to Make Your Mornings with Kids Suck Less
1. Be prepared.
My first tip is to start early. Like- days early. This can be as simple as setting out the clothes over the weekend and getting your kids to go through their clothes. Go ahead and have those discussions about whether or not it's okay to wear shorts because it's two degrees outside, or go ahead and talk about the scratchy feeling of the tags.
This way, on Monday morning, when they have to put on their clothes and be in a rush, they aren't tempted to throw a tantrum or a meltdown because their clothes just don't fit right.
2. Make things visual and clear.
What I mean by this is use pictures to make it very clear what your children need to get done in the morning. Set it up in a fun and interactive way. Kids can see the steps they need to take so that they can get dressed, brush their teeth, eat breakfast, get their things together, and get out the door in a timely manner.
As adults, we would never think of getting through our day without to-do lists and checklists. Kids are the same way, but they need it in a concrete way so that they can see their steps ticking away.
3. Break it down.
Break it down really, really small. Your child needs your help to break tasks down into little, tiny steps. The harder your kids are having with getting through the morning routine, the more steps that you need to break down for them.
For example, maybe getting dressed is a complete nightmare for you with so many reminders and nagging.
Stop! Try a different way. Your child needs the task of getting dressed to be broken down into each different step.
Maybe your kids are rock stars at getting their clothes on when you say, “Get dressed,” but spend 30 minutes after getting their socks on to get downstairs for breakfast. Your child needs you to break down the bathroom routines into smaller steps so they don’t get “stuck”.
Basically, wherever your kids are struggling most… that's the part of the morning that you want to break down into teeny, tiny steps.
I know it seems redundant, it seems ridiculous, and it seems like your kids are old enough to be able to get ready on their own; but I promise you when you break it down into teeny, tiny steps, they can't go wrong.
4. Set up a routine and make it a habit.
Do the same thing over, and over, and over again. Practice that routine at night. Practice it a week before they go back to school. And whenever you have a struggle, come together at dinner time, come together another part of the day and talk about what you're seeing that the family is struggling with.
Ask your kids, “I notice that in the mornings there is a lot of arguing going on. Can you tell me what it is that you're frustrated about? Do you know what is causing you to be arguing with your brother?” Then give them the words and/or strategies to help them solve the problems on their own.
When we put it into our children's hands, it's so surprising what they are magically able to problem solve and figure out; but we have to trust them. By making it a routine something that they can expect, they are going to be more successful in the morning.
You are going to be repeating yourself less because it's going to become second nature.
Yes, that's right.
Everyone in the house needs to learn some good old regulation strategies. Even you mama or papa. You need to be able to take a deep breath. You need to be able to center yourself and remind yourself that this is a busy, bustling time for everyone in the house.
There are outside triggers and stressors that get you going and can get in the way of you connecting with your kid.
Together, as a family, learn the strategies to:
…take real deep breaths,
…to engage in some good morning stretches,
…to get started on the right foot
…to ground yourself and your kids so that you can have an amazing day and they can conquer their day the way they're supposed to be.
Look, I know mornings can suck.
I know they can drain you and pull you, and they can feel downright disgusting and awful, but they don't have to. With these simple steps, you can transform your mornings into something almost magical. With the right amount of prep work and the right systems, everyone in your house can conquer the morning routine.
Want to find more revolutionary strategies for empowering your kids, building on their strengths and helping them conquer every day?
You can order the Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Everyday now!
About the Author:
Dayna Abraham is the mother to three totally awesome superkids who inspire her every day to be the best grown-up sidekick they could ask for. When she’s not helping her kids conquer the world, she keeps busy by writing at lemonlimeadventures.com, writing books like Sensory Processing 101, STEAM Kids, and Learn and Play with LEGO®, and drinking lots of coffee. She loves getting her hands messy and creating crazy science projects and crafts to keep her super kids at home busy. Before she was a writer, she was a National Board Certified teacher, where she met some of the coolest superkids on earth. As a little girl, she wished grown-ups and other kids saw her as a superkid, so now she’s made it her mission to inspire kids like you to love who they are and embrace their differences.
More Help For Morning Routines:
- Getting Kids to Listen Using the “Specific Language” Method – helpful for breaking down routines, and making sure kids actually can follow the directions you're giving!
- 5 Tips for Starting New Routines – how to make the new routine stick