“My kid refused to get changed into their uniforms!”
“My boy loves to laze in bed, doesn’t want to get up to brush his teeth!”
“How to prevent meltdowns at 6 am?”
“How do I get my child ready for school in the morning when they refuse to cooperate?”
I’ve been through it myself and I tried several strategies to finally make my mornings peaceful.
Here are some practical tips to make your life easier in the mornings.
Note that you don’t have to try them all at once. Take baby steps and implement one strategy over a few days before trying another.
1. Make sure that everyone gets enough sleep.
When both YOU and your children do not get enough rest, everyone is likely to fall in the traps of power struggles because there is reduced access to the logical brains! When you kids sleep enough, you don’t have to force them out of bed, and that is definitely a good start! The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends:
- Ages 4-12 months: 12-16 hours (including naps)
- Ages 1-2 years: 11-14 hours (including naps)
- Ages 3-5 years: 10-13 hours (including naps)
- Age 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
- Age 13-18 years: 8-10 hours
2. Prepare the night before.
You want to reduce the duties and responsibilities of every family member in the morning.
Things you can do the night before:
- Prepare breakfast
- Pack lunches
- Choose clothes
- Pack bags, sharpen pencils, fill up forms
- Assign a place for school essential
3. Create a morning routine chart WITH your children.
Make your children accountable for their routines by getting them to tell you what should be done. For little children who loves to laze in bed or refuses to brush their teeth/ get dressed, try making the process fun and enjoyable with visual reminders.
I have created a free printable download to help ease your morning anxiety.
Some ways to use these printables:
- Cut them out and have your child arrange them in sequence.
“Move a button magnet” along as your child completes each task.
- Create a flip flap chart as a visual checklist.
- Cut them out and create a board game. Move a counter or use a magnet as your child progresses.
- Paste stickers on the routine checklist as they progress from the time they wake up to the time they leave the door.
Tips for success: Have your little children do a pretend play of the morning routine ahead of time!
4. Wake up in a good mood.
Play your child’s favourite music, give 3 min hugs in bed, sing a song, tease and ticket them, tell a joke, make them laugh. Use stories and pause at the most interesting part, continue on the way to school. Since laughter and happiness can be infectious, you will want the mornings to be as positive as possible!
Don’t forget to encourage and praise your kids when they did well ‘E.g. you remembered your water bottle! You brushed your teeth promptly today!”
5. Use a visual countdown timer.
A visual timer helps to to increase the sense of urgency in your children. Encourage your children to start the timer to instil the sense of ownership in them.
6. Stay calm
Avoid nagging your children. Before giving any instructions, go low and talk to them at their eye level. Let your children synchronize to your calm composure. When you are rushed and frantic, they will start to go against you by slowing down. Eliminate stress by using a calm voice, you can try whispering too.
A successful morning routine depends on everyone in the family, not just the kids. In fact, if parents can stay unruffled, focus on having a positive mindset, and stay connected with the kids, it is much easier to get everyone out the door!
Download the free printable here!