Get dressed now! We need to go soon! If you don’t hurry up, you won’t have time to eat breakfast! No, I don’t know where your homework is….! What note, you didn’t give me a note. Stop arguing you can both use the bathroom together!
A lot of many households sound just like the above. The mornings are full of the parents nagging, kids arguing, and everyone rushing to get out the door in the morning. Starting your day stressed and in a bad mood sets the tone for a bad day. Here are some tips to start your mornings and your day calm and happy.
Each child should have their own alarm clock set to their individual wake up time (I’ve found that putting the alarm across the room works the best). Each child is responsible to get out of bed, make the bed, get dressed etc., then be at the breakfast table ready to eat by a certain time. Young children may need some help, but let them do what they can. If you have followed the tips from our previous blog (read more here) all your kids will need to do is get dressed, eat, and brush their hair and teeth.
Set an alarm to announce breakfast. When this alarm goes off, everyone should gather at the table for a calm family breakfast before they go into the outside world. Allow enough time to eat and chat so the meal isn’t rushed. If a family member doesn’t make it to breakfast, it’s OK, he or she will go without breakfast that day, or have a hurried meal. There is no need to nag or bring attention to it.
When breakfast is over and dishes are put in the dishwasher, it is time for everyone to gather their belongings that they placed by the door the night before and head out to begin their day. Everyone is responsible to be at the door ready to go after breakfast or the time he or she needs to leave. If he/she isn’t ready to leave, they will need to leave in their current state, dressed in pajamas, unfed, hair un-brushed, etc. There is no need for nagging or an argument. The child will learn by experience that there are consequences for not being ready on time. There aren’t very many kids I know who want to go to school hungry and in pajamas more than once.
Children feel respected and trusted when they are trusted to do the things they are able to do and able to contribute to the good of the family.
Remember, you are the parent and you set the tone for the morning routine. You need to be actively involved in the routine also. So start working on the happier and calm morning routine now. Why wait for the time change to get your day off to a great start?
Please share your stories, routines and tips here. I can’t wait to hear what you are doing……