Do your kids wake right up in the mornings or do you have to call them by their first, middle, and last names multiple times before they get out of bed? Mornings can be hit or miss in my house. I used to love the mornings and would be full of energy without any coffee. Fast forward to my mid 30’s and mornings have become my enemy.
I have one child that doesn’t have to be at on the bus stop until around 8:30 a.m. while another has to be on the bus stop at 7:05 a.m. So I wake up my 10 year old at 6:15, get her dressed, have her eat breakfast and we are on the bus stop by 7:00 a.m. After that, I wake my son up and do the same thing all over again. My children happen to attend different schools, elementary and intermediate.
So my mornings are a bit hectic because the 10 year old is not a morning person and neither am I. It takes a couple of stern “get ups” before she is fully awake and in the bathroom. Then there is a constant reminder of the time because she has to sit down to brush her teeth, put on her clothes, get her backpack together, etc. This child moves in slow motion.
My son on the other hand moves too fast and will bypass certain things like brushing his teeth or washing his face and I end up having to play bathroom monitor and watch him like a hawk. Not sure if that is just a “boy” thing or a gross thing. I’ve actually walked in on him, running the water, and sitting on the toilet. Like seriously, are you kidding me?
I wish I could say I had a fool proof solution for morning routines but I don’t. I just have a few tricks that I use to help get the kids out of the house without me losing my mind.
First is an easy one. Add 15-20 minutes to the time that it takes for your child to get ready. Sometimes my 10 year old will wake up and ask me what time it is but I won’t tell her because that determines how fast she moves. Adding those extra minutes does wonders though because it makes up the time that they just sit there and pretend like you’ve just ruined their day.
Second, my children take their lunches. I try and prepare them as fresh as possible so I like to pack the snacks and the drink the night before and make the sandwich/wrap or whatever the main course is in the morning. Also, I make sure that lunch boxes are in the kitchen pantry so that I’m not searching for them from the previous day.
Next, organization is key. I try to get the kids to put backpacks and jackets on hooks, shoes on the shoe rack next to the door, etc. This way they aren’t trying to find them early in the morning. I also have the kids’ clothes for the day picked out the night before as well as anything they need to take for the next day close to the front door or in their backpacks because it just makes sense.
Breakfast is pretty easy because I keep simple and quick meals like bagels, toast, and cereal (hot and cold). Most mornings, the kids will fix these items themselves. However, once in a while, I’ll fix it if they ask me to or if I just feel like it. Kids do enjoy the independence so I try not to do it too much.
Another tip I would offer is bedtime. I stick to routines no matter what. Just because it is the weekend, I will let them stay up later but not all night. Doing this can really mess up their schedules and make for a terrible morning. My little ones are 8 and 10 so they are in bed about 9. On weekends or when school is out, 11 p.m. is their bedtime. Maybe midnight if there is a sleepover, but never any later than that.
The only other advice I can offer is to stock up on coffee and be sure to say a little prayer. Mornings set the tone for the day. If I have a problem or issue with my kids, I try to wait until after school to address it. I don’t want them to start their mornings off being chastised about something that isn’t important. I want them to be successful in school and attentive. Starting the day off upset or in a negative tone, can set the mood for the rest of the day for anyone. I try and be positive, make sure to let them know they are loved, pray over them, and tell them to make good decisions for the day.
“I love you, have a great day, make great decisions and be great!”