Our daily lives are filled with stress from the first second our little darlings open their eyes in the morning until we see their angelic little faces peacefully asleep at night. Our mornings usually set the tone for the entire day. If mornings are chaotic and frustrating, usually the rest of the day will feel that way, too.
Wouldn’t it be great to start your day peacefully and relaxed? Impossible, you say!
It actually is possible with some pre-planning, limit setting and consequences.
So, how does this transformation take place? It starts with some work from you. Let the kids know that Mom and Dad are no longer going to nag and yell to get them ready for school. Tell the kids that they will now be responsible for getting themselves ready for school in the morning (of course, young children will still need help). It is important to teach the children the new routine before you implement it, so you might want to practice the new routine on a weekend.
Before dinner and after homework, all notes from school should be given to you to sign. All items needed for school the next day will be put in a designated place by the door. If your child forgets something he or she needs for school, let the child take the natural consequences of forgetting. Yes, even a sweater or jacket. All clothing for the next day will be laid out and rooms straightened up before going to bed. Younger children should be given a choice between two outfits, not their entire closet. Each child should have an alarm clock in his or her room. Place it on the other side of the room from their bed and make sure it is loud enough. If the children don’t get ready on time, ignore them, don’t nag or take notice, just tell them to get in the car when it’s time to go. They may still be in their pajamas and unfed, but once they know you mean business, they probably won’t persist in their old habits for long.
When the kids get themselves ready in the morning, they feel proud of themselves. The household is calm and everyone is ready to sit down for breakfast and enjoy each other’s company before a tough day in the outside world.
Faith Golden lives in Encino with her husband, Avery. She has two grown children. Faith has a bachelor’s degree and teaching credential in Home Economics and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education. She also holds an Early Childhood Special Education Credential. Faith has experience helping over 2400 families with parenting tips and skills. For more information on Faith and her company, It’s Aparent, Parenting and Behavior specialists, please call 818.222.2606 or visit itsaparentparenting.com.