What does your family’s morning routine for school days look like? Does it include fighting over the bathroom, burning the Eggos, yelling about shoes, and searching for missing homework? It doesn’t have to be this way! Just a few changes can make your mornings more peaceful and way less chaotic.
First, remember that the morning starts with you! When you’re on your game, you’ll be able to keep the kids on theirs, so don’t underestimate the power of a 20-minute head-start on the rest of the house. Once the kids are up and moving, put some routines in place that will not only get everyone out of the house on time but also build love within your family. Here are 8 things you can do to have a more peaceful morning routine for school days.
1. Pass the baton of control.
Give bigger kids their own alarm clocks and a list of what they are expected to do on their own each morning. Use iMOM’s kid-friendly organizational chart.
2. Have a morning soundtrack.
Play music in your house to get everyone up and running. It doesn’t have to be loud, but fun or inspiring songs will put a skip in the step of even the grumpiest kid.
3. Take time to show affection.
In a push to get to school on time, sometimes we forget to pause to show our kids we love them. Even a quick hair tussle or tickle as you are rushing by each other in the hallway is a sweet reminder of your love amidst the craziness. Be sure your kids know you love them before you send them off to school.
4. You shall not pass!
Set a rule that the kids don’t leave their part of the house to come to breakfast until they’ve done everything to get ready. Set an invisible line if you need to. This includes everything but brushing teeth – so shoes on (and tied!), hair brushed, backpacks ready.
5. Count up to food.
Have your kids shout out the numbers of their listed routine as they are accomplished (i.e. “one” after their first step is completed, such as the bathroom stop, dressing, bed-making, etc.). After you hear lots of final numbers, that’s a good signal for you that breakfast can begin.
Don’t skip breakfast or eat it in the car to save time. Instead, go for easy-to-prepare foods and save time-consuming meals for the weekend. Breakfast might be the only time you have with your kids in the day, so keep it simple so your focus can be on them. Take time for breakfast conversation like plans for the day, encouragements, and news. Let everyone share one thing they’re looking forward to that day.
7. Set time markers.
Have in your mind where the kids need to be in their morning routine for school at what time to stay on track. If the only time they know is what time you have to be in the car, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of last-minute pressure. Hit a few time markers throughout the morning to avoid screaming, “We’re gonna be late if we don’t leave in 30 seconds!”
8. Use car time as chat time.
Use your time carpooling to talk with your kids about what is going on in their lives. Ask them how you can pray for them, what they’re excited about, or just talk about what’s on the radio.
Bonus: Another great way for your kids to have a great morning is to attend an All Pro Dad’s Day Breakfast with their dad at school. Typically it happens once a month. It’s a wonderful way for them to bond and for their dad to have a presence at their school. Check to see if you have one at your kid’s school.
Tell us! What’s one morning routine for school is a must in your house?