Have you ever arrived at work in the morning and felt like you’d already fought a war and lost? Do you find yourself stressed out or yelling, “brush your teeth,” “get in the car,” or whatever other task needs to be done at least 100 times? Does it seem like it might be easier to herd cats than get your kids out the door in the morning? Mama, you are not alone. How the morning goes at home can impact our entire day. It affects our kids’ days, as well. How in the world do we create a morning routine for our kids that we love too? Well, we have to be strategic, practical, and more than anything, consistent.
Let’s start with practical
How long does it take to get the kids ready in the morning? How long does each task take? Grab a pen and paper and work on this exercise as a family. Ask the kids to help walk through what needs to be done each morning and estimate how long each task takes.
- Wake up
- Get dressed
- Brush Teeth
- Comb Hair
- Eat Breakfast
- Gather School Supplies
- Pack Lunch
Look at the list of tasks that have to be completed before leaving for school and determine who’s responsible for each item on the list. Do the kids get themselves up and dressed before coming out of their room in the morning? Do they prefer to have you wake them and snuggle for a few minutes? Either answer is OK. What we’re looking for here is a routine that works for your family. You may have different routines for different children in your home, based on their ages too.
How long will these tasks take?
What time do you need to leave?
Add 10 -15 minutes padding if you’re working on toddler or preschool time because somedays they move at sloth speed. It happens. It’s less stressful to be early than running late regularly.
Are there additional activities the kids want to do in the morning? Do you have time to fit them in? If your child wants to watch a show on the couch while they wake up, It’sIt’s OK, as long as you have the time to do that.
What time do the kids need to get up in the morning to do everything and get out the door on time? This is their new wake up time. How does it compare to the current wake up time?
From here let’s get strategic
Is there anything on that morning list that could be done the night before or over the weekend to speed things up in the morning? Does it take the kids forever (insert eye roll here 😉 ) to choose their clothes in the morning? If so, have them pick their outfits all over the weekend or the night before. Place the outfit on the dresser or a shelf in the closet, and they can grab it and go in the morning.
Are you packing lunches every morning? Can you speed up the process by doing it meal prep style? Prep 2-3 days worth of lunches or lunch parts at a time. If the kids take fruit every day, why not slice up 2-3 days worth of fruit and store it in lunch containers in the fridge. If you’re making one sandwich, make two and save the second one for tomorrow. You can mix up the ingredients a bit so that it’s not the same thing every day.
If they have a project or something special they need to take with them and a there’s a big chance that they’re going to forget it and you’ll have to go back for it in the morning, have them load it in the car before bed or at least leave it by the door you’ll exit.
Above all, be consistent.
Once you establish a morning routine that works for your family, stay consistent. Don’tDon’t switch things up on the kids regularly. Kids need routines to help them feel safe. They’reThey’re less likely to push or challenge when they know what to expect. If the kids have helped to create the routine, you’ll hopefully have more cooperation from them as well. Not always, they’re kids after all, but we often see them be more engaged when they feel like they were part of the process.
It may take a while to find the morning routine that works best for your family, but you’ll find it, and once you do, keep it consistent, and hopefully, the frustrations and battles will be behind you.
Klein-Spring Montessori has been part of the Spring community for over 35 years. We’d love to have your family join ours. Contact us today to learn more.