The first 30 minutes of the morning can set the tone for the day ahead. So it’s no surprise that a predictable and positive morning routine for children can help them feel calm and ready to make the most their day.
Children don’t understand responsibility and time management in the same manner as adults which can make mornings stressful for the entire family. The most useful way to reduce morning chaos is to establish a morning routine to help children predict what’s coming, and remember what they need to do. Here are some ideas to take some of the pressure out of mornings – even if things don’t always exactly as planned.
- Try getting up 15-30 minutes earlier than needed. The extra time might help things run more smoothly and allow plenty of time to get from home to school. Rushing can really increase everyone’s stress levels.
- Think about an alarm clock like the BEDDI for children who find it hard to wake up or don’t like getting out of bed. An alarm clock can help them feel independent and responsible and setting it a few minutes before they need to get moving will help them wake up and become alert. An alarm clock with a wake-up light can also help prepare the body to wake up naturally when the sun might not be illuminating a room yet.
- Tackle the morning as positively and as optimistically as you can. Good moods can be infectious.
- If your children are young, remind them what they’re meant to be doing and when. Simple ‘to do’ checklists, even with pictures, can help as a reminder.
- Once your children are old enough, encourage them to do more for themselves – for example, getting dressed on their own, making their own breakfast, and tidying up after themselves. Mornings are easier when your children are more independent.
- Cut down on distractions. Television can distract children from getting ready, and many families have a rule about no television in the morning. Think about leaving the TV off, unless it’s a special treat for being ready on time.
- Always check the weather before you start getting ready for the day to determine if outfit changes are necessary or if it might affect your traffic.