Good Morning Sunshine
Let’s face it, mornings can be rough.
Not everybody is a morning person. Personally, I enjoy mornings and think that the earlier I am up is even better.
However, it is not the same for everybody. For example, my twelve year old daughter is not a morning person at all. But because she is part of the family, she is still expected to be involved when it comes to our morning routine.
Eliminating as many surprises as possible allows my non-morning person of a daughter be able to succeed in the mornings. And if you think about it; mornings are when we first begin our day. What we do the minute our feet touch the ground, to the thoughts we think, and our first actions of the day greatly influence the duration of the rest of the day.
Children will succeed and have much better start to their day if they have a consistent and expected morning routine. If you have tried routines before and by the third day end up resorting back to old habits, maybe it is time to start fresh.
Below I have listed five easy tips to help you create a morning routine so that your child(ren) are able to have a successful day, each and every day.
5 Tips for a Successful Morning Routine
1. Choose the Child’s Responsibilities and Make a List that is Posted in a Visible Place
In our house there daily responsibilities that my children must do before they go to school. These all take place from 6:45 – 7:45 Monday through Friday.
These are our expectations for our children:
- Make bed
- Get dressed
- Tidy rooms
- Bring dirty clothes to laundry room
- Be in the kitchen by 7:20 daily
- Eat breakfast
- Brush teeth
- Take vitamins or essential oils (based upon need of the day)
- Grab backpack and lunch
- Walk out the door
Of course, these are just our expectations that have become their responsibilities. It has become so routine, that they do not even think about what is next. It is just done.
Whether you are a homeschooling family or send your children to public school, choose what will work for you. Be consistent.
Post this list in a visible place.
You may find it necessary to make and print more than one of the same list. With six children it has been necessary at times to have the list posted two or three different areas.
2. Explain the Routine
You cannot just make a list and stick it on the wall and expect your children to obey it. It is your job as a parent to go over your expectations; and explain to your child why it becomes their daily responsibility. This is key especially if you have not been consistent in the past.
Children thrive on consistency and routine. The stability becomes comfortable because they know what to expect.
Be aware that often there must be a certain degree of flexibility within this time frame. Each child depending upon their age will have varying needs and a dependence on you as their mother.
For example, a thirteen year old is able to function more independently and differently than a three year old who will need regular reminders and assistance to accomplish these.
And it will take time to teach these and have these become routine. If you expect perfection, these will fail for both you and your children. It took me years to realize that my perfectionistic tendencies and expectations for my children do not mesh.
3. Have Consequences
When the children do not follow through on these responsibilities, there are consequences that have been previously designated and decided upon. For example, my children are required to be in the kitchen by 7:20 to eat breakfast with everything completed beforehand.
There have been times when my children have been lolly gagging in their bedrooms and then race to the kitchen for the breakfast deadline. However, they have not completed their responsibilities in their bedrooms. When this is the case, they lose precious time from their evening media.
When choosing consequences, choose something that means something to the child, not an obscure consequence. The punishment should fit the crime.
In our case, we have decided on taking away a portion of their media time because we only allow media and television at night. We feel that if our children choose to waste time in their bedrooms and fail to fulfill their expectations than it seems fitting that they lose time from something precious to them, such as time on a tablet or a television show.
4. Be Consistent on Timing
- Wake up your children every day at the same time.
- Give them the same amount of time to accomplish what needs to be done.
- Eat breakfast at the same time daily.
Consistency is key on maintaining a smooth running schedule. Consistency is the key to stability. Allow room for flexibility and for things to pop up. Things always do. We have a ten minute window just in case a situation arises that causes our schedule to fluctuate a bit.
With small children things are especially bound to happen: spilled cheerios, missing homework, a child that cannot find a sock, overflowing toilet, and so on. These have all happened at our house and others on a weekly basis.
5. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Repeating the expectations, explaining them, and helping your children with their responsibilities may seem redundant at times, but do it until it becomes a habit.
Be careful that you do not nag or yell at your children. (Trust me, it does nothing but overwhelm them and add fuel to the fire on both ends, I’m speaking from experience.)
You cannot choose your child’s actions, but you can choose your reaction.
If your reaction and teachings are calm, then expect better results from your child as you are modeling to them what they are expected to do.
Remember you are mother, and it is your job to effectively manage the home.
If expectations are explained, modeled, visible, and dealt with respectively a morning routine will help your child have a successful day!