I am a morning person, always have been. In fact, my mother who is not a morning person has always envied my dad and I’s ability to bounce out of bed happy and joking from the moment our feet hit the carpet. However if you ask my children if I am a morning person, they might tell you otherwise… 🙁 Morning time in my house can be rough. I have children who wake early, earlier than an early bird, and I have a baby who still likes to wake me in the night, I guess just to make sure I am still here. So when morning rolls around I’m not always ready to get going. I haven’t set an alarm in 8 years because what could I possibly need to wake up for before 5:30am? Because that’s when my son typically enters my room, ready to start his day! AAAhhhhh!
My kids are morning people, thankfully. But we still have our battles: getting them moving faster than a snail’s pace, cooperation with daily hygiene routine, wearing what is laid out for them (without arguing), and getting their hair combed (without whining). Pretty typical stuff, morning issues most of us face when you are trying to dress, brush, wash and feed our children before the bus comes or your “bus” has to leave.
I was chatting with a friend today who had a rough morning with her little ones. I reassured her we have all been there (and will probably be “there” again soon). Below are the ideas we swapped to help ease the madness of our mornings.
MM (Morning Madness) Tip #1: Lay out the kids’ clothes the night before. This will help alleviate most battles over clothing in the morning. If you have a child who likes to tell you what they are going to wear, give them acceptable choices (chosen by you!) so that they still have some control of what their outfit will be.
MM Tip #2: Set a timer. One of my morning battles is getting my kids to do what needs to be done within an acceptable amount of time (so we aren’t scrambling out the door or missing the bus!). If we have 10 minutes before we need to be downstairs for breakfast, I set a timer for my daughter and tell her she has that amount of time to get dressed, brush her teeth, wash her face, etc. before she needs to be downstairs. This saves me a lot of frustration (and saves my vocal cords from the abuse of yelling at her over and over to get moving!) and the timer becomes the dictator, which ironically, she obeys better than me…hmmmm.
MM Tip #3: Post a morning routine schedule in the bathroom. Some mornings my kids will come to the bathroom when I call for them but once there, they stare into space as if they have no idea what to do next. ??? You’re telling me you don’t remember what to do?! The same routine of personal hygiene we have completed every single morning of your life thus far!!!!????!!! Shocking! So I posted a picture schedule, simple black and white drawings of a little man brushing his teeth, washing his face, brushing his hair and using the potty. This simple schedule, again, saves my voice and keeps my anxiety at bay as they follow the simple steps of their morning routine without my constant nagging. Beautiful!
MM Tip #4: Make a weekly breakfast menu. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to create an elaborate menu for every morning of the week that requires a special grocery trip! All I am suggesting is that, given the foods your kids normally eat for breakfast, pick a day that each will be served. This will eliminate the question/ (much) delayed answer to “What do you want to eat?” Or this preselected menu could nip any fussing in the bud if you have a picky eater on your hands. Mondays are pancake day, Tuesdays cereal, Wednesdays toast and fruit, etc. Remember, kids love routine and predictability so although this may seem a little boring to you, they may love it!
So there you have it, Morning Madness tips we hope help you keep your sanity as your day begins. If you have any other tips to share, please do in the comments section below.