Thinking of back to school conjures up thoughts of manic mornings, school lunches, uniforms, drop offs, and more! It’s a daunting prospect after several weeks of relaxed mornings. But there are a few key things that will help ease the stress of those crazy school mornings. Here are our Top 10 Tips to nailing the morning routine.
Before the morning even arrives, it is incredibly important that your morning routine is established on a solid foundation — and that foundation is sleep. It’s no surprise parents and kids alike function better when they’ve had a good night’s sleep. Sleep helps children develop both mentally and physically and development varies at each age, so your child may require more sleep than you think. Creating effective night time routines is an important step to nailing the morning routine.
Tips to establish healthy sleeping habits:
A good way to be able to sleep easy is to prepare as much as you can the night before. Whether you’re packing lunches or having kids pick out their clothing for the next day, getting things ready in the evening can help to eliminate that morning rush. Incorporating certain tasks into the evening routine can also establish responsibility for your kids if they know what is expected of them.
Tips to prepare at night:
Spend some time doing what you need to do before the kids get up. It can be as long or as short as you like but take this time to get yourself ready, collect your thoughts, have a cup of coffee, exercise, read. Just do what you need to do so that when the kids are up, you can assist them with a positive mindset knowing that your needs have already been met.
Tips to make the most of your morning time:
Make waking up more enjoyable by incorporating some small steps into your morning schedule. Some kids prefer to be snuggled while others like to listen to music. If your child has a hard time getting out of bed, give them something to look forward to by reminding them of a friend they’ll see or an activity they’ll do. Set the tone for the rest of the day by making sure everyone gets up in a good mood.
Tips for a positive morning routine:
Even when your family is cutting it close on time, reach for a protein bar or yoghurt cup to start off the day. When you have a bit more time to prep a morning meal, encourage your kids to choose from breakfast options to strengthen their decision-making skills and give them flexibility in their routine. Make sure your kids are well-hydrated before heading out the door. Being hungry or dehydrated can cause kids to not feel their best and distract them during their school day. There’s truth to the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this is especially so for your kids.
Tips for a healthy breakfast:
Screens are a distraction in the morning and once your child starts, it’ll be hard to get them to focus on the routine and getting them out the door. Make it clear that there is no screen time until all the morning tasks have been completed.
Tips to keep the kids away from screens:
Depending on your child’s age, they may need some extra help to make it through their morning routine. However, kids of all ages can start the day off by making their bed. This simple task encourages tidiness, organisation, and discipline all at once and can trigger other tasks to fall into place.
Make a morning routine chart for the kids. Ideas of tasks you can add their chart, include:
If you have younger kids use pictures instead of just words in your morning routine chart.
Once you have picked a morning routine for kids, go through all of the steps with them talking about each step as you go along your morning. This will help you recognize any glitches or perhaps the need to re-order some of the steps.
Throughout the morning routine, encourage your child to take ownership of these tasks and try not to do everything for them. It might be quicker in the short term to put their pants on for them but you will just contribute to a power struggle that you will pay for in time and frustration down the road.
Image Courtesy of The Organised Housewife
It’s a good idea not to stray too much from the routine on the weekends. Continue to ensure your kids are getting enough sleep but you can enjoy a more relaxed pace by making a special breakfast or having story time before doing the usual routine like brushing teeth and brushing hair.
Tips to making weekends special:
If you have a spouse or partner home with you in the mornings, as the kids are getting ready, then plan out between you as to who will take care of what. One of you might be in charge of getting breakfasts ready while the other wakes the kids and gets them into the shower. Being clear and consistent on who is responsible for what will assist with the smooth running of the morning and the kids will respond positively to having both parents involved in their mornings and consistency in who will be getting them up, helping them with breakfast, getting them to school etc. If you are sans partner/support for whatever reason, as your kids get older you can start to provide them with specific tasks to be responsible every morning.
If everything always went as planned, there would be no need for a morning routine. But as we all know, there will be times we lose things, oversleep, and simply can’t get it together. Just remember that your family is creating memories and spending time together in all of the craziness. So next time that shoe goes missing or homework gets left behind, take a deep breath — remember, you can handle anything.
Tips for conquering your morning routine:
The Organised Housewife has some incredible Back to School bundles of charts, labels, lunch boxes and more to help you achieve all of the above! Check out her collection of routine charts on her website.
For more Back to School advice, take a look at our Back to School Tips blog.