Last week we discussed establishing a night time routine. Well, the second biggest battle in the house is the morning routine. The need for a morning routine really comes into play when your child starts kindergarten.
The night time routine can be difficult because you are tired. However I think the morning routine can be much more stressful because you have somewhere you and/or your child need to be.
You need to get your child out of the house at a certain time. The process is pretty similar to the night time routine plan.
Step #1 – Take inventory – Write down all of the things you need your child to do before you leave – eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, prepare backpack, etc.
Step #2 – Establish the time you have to leave the house – Be realistic, do you need to allocate time for traffic, mistakes, etc. It adds extra stress if you leave it down to the wire.
Step #3 – Work backwards with realistic time slots. For example, if you need to leave at 7:30am, they need to have their backback ready at 7:25 and finish brushing their teeth and hair by 7:20.
Step #4 -Establish Wake Up Time – This is a crucial step as the wake up time then becomes the foundation for the schedule. If your kids are going to bed early and they like doing something fun before school, then you need to incorporate that into the schedule.
Step #5 – Print out multiple copies and laminate them – I put copies of the both the night time and morning schedules in each of my children’s rooms as well as in our kitchen. We laminated them so the children could mark off boxes with dry erase marker each time they finished the task.
Here are some tips that are important for morning routine success. Some of these are similar to the night time routine:
– Have your children take part in creating the schedule. Allow them to help establish the times.
– You need to be on the same page with your spouse – it won’t work if one wants routine and other doesn’t.
– You will need to give warnings on time but may want to try asking questions instead of telling them. “What comes after putting eating breakfast?”
– Be consistent – kids thrive on routine and consistency – Why do you think you watch the same movie 500 times or read the same bedtime story 1000 times.
I have personally recognized that me pushing them consistently about the time in the morning has not helped. It’s only caused more stress for me. I have recently made the effort to be silent about the schedule and they have been pretty good with it.
I know of a story that the child was a little older (I believe middle school) and was consistently late for school. So the mother (who was driving her and her younger sister to school the next day) talked it over with her husband who was going to be home for a bit) that if their child was not ready on time, they were going to drive the car off without her.
She wasn’t ready and the mom drove away. The teen went nuts and pleaded with the dad to take her but he insisted, “sorry, I can’t, I have some other things i need to take care of”. He made her sweat it out for an hour or two and eventually took her to school.
She was never late for the car again.