Family Essentials®

Kiddie Academy Tips for Morning Routines that Work

September 11, 2019

Posted in: Parenting

Dad dropping off son

Getting your entire family up, dressed, fed and out the door before the sun comes up is easier said than done. Forming and sticking to a morning routine will not only help your loved ones establish a sense of normalcy and save you a lot of headaches, but can also be beneficial to your child’s development.

A predicable morning routine can give children a sense of security, safety and comfort. Keep in mind, though, that at first, this new routine represents a change – something new to the child.

Children often fear the unknown – whether it’s something as trivial as the piece of broccoli on their plate or a big life change like moving to a new house or gaining a sibling. While change is a learning experience and growth opportunity, it can also be stressful for them. Children often handle change best if it is in the context of a controlled environment. It also helps them develop a sense of mastery, which will ultimately boost self-confidence.

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Ask your child to help create the routine. Allowing your child to participate in setting up the routine gives them some ownership of it and helps them understand what to expect once it’s put into practice.
  • Start the night before. Get a jumpstart on your morning by encouraging your child to prep for the new day the night before. Before bedtime, have your child choose their outfit for the next day, take a bath or shower, and ensure all books and homework are packed away and waiting by the door. Once the kids are asleep, take a few minutes to do the same – pack lunches and snacks, set the breakfast table, etc. Anything that helps you get you organized and ahead will pay back in dividends the next day.
  • Carve out some me-time. Consider waking up before your children so that you have a few moments to relax, savor your coffee, eat breakfast, or check email before the day begins. This will get you in the zone for the day’s activities and help you feel a sense of calm in the midst of hectic transitions to work and school.
  • Make wake-ups more pleasant. Blaring alarms can be jarring for kids and set a negative tone for the day. Make early mornings less of a rude awakening by setting alarms to your children’s favorite songs, or try rousing them awake with a snuggle or their favorite toy. A more pleasant wake-up doesn’t have to be longer, just gentler.
  • Follow a schedule. Make every day as predictable as you can by following the same exact schedule each morning. Try utilizing a morning routine chart and include all the things that need to get done like brushing teeth, getting dressed, eating breakfast, etc. Once you have your morning schedule picked out, go through all the steps with them – this will help you recognize any reordering that needs to be done.
  • Keep home items organized. Have set spots for school supplies, sports gear, outerwear, etc. That way your child will always know where to look for the things that he or she needs. Consider using plastic bins or organizers to keep things within easy view and reach.

Do you have any go-to tips for establishing a morning routine with your family? What has worked best for your children? Visit our Facebook page and leave us a message about what works best for you.

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