Now that school is about to be back in session, and I need to let the dogs out, get the kid's ready and out the door, and get myself ready as well, it's a chaotic one coffee cup spill away.
We get it. As parents, morning times can feel rushed, stressed and chaotic. Some days result in tears and spilled coffee, other days result in mis-matched socks and Halloween costumes to school (in April). But what if there was a way to re-frame your idea of the morning routine to create cooperation and less stress? How?
Here's our top tips below:
1. Get everyone to bed as early as possible (including yourself).
If you have to wake your kids in the morning, they probably aren't getting enough sleep. Sleep is essential for brain function and development. So if you're dragging your child out of bed, make it top priority to start bedtime earlier. JoySpring Vitamins SleepBerry is perfect way to help your kid's get to sleep easier at night and have a more restful night sleep. The morning routine requires energy from you, the parent. There's no way to stay patient and happy when you're exhausted. And if you're running around trying to shower and get yourself ready because you woke up too late from going to bed too late, it's hard to give your kids the patient connection they need from you.
2. Build in extra time.
Get up earlier than your kids so you're dressed and have had time to enjoy your coffee and some quiet time before you interact with them. Plan on getting anywhere fifteen - twenty minutes earlier than the time you need to be there. Half the time, you won't make it but you also won't lose your temper at your kids because you won't actually be late. The other half of the time, you'll have a more relaxed start to your day having time to spare.
3. Prepare the night before.
Now that everyone is getting enough sleep, the next step is to try to minimize the number of responsibilities everyone has in the morning. It will just make everything easier in the morning if tasks are already taken care of. Here's what you should consider doing the night before:
- Prepare breakfast the night before. It sounds nice to have a hot, warm breakfast every morning but let's face it, that's just not realistic for busy mornings. Take the stress out of cooking by preparing some overnight oats the night before, muffins, or if you're feeling really fancy a breakfast casserole. Wash and cut up some fruit to have ready to serve in the morning as well, and those mornings that a Pop-tart may be the go to breakfast running out the door - don't feel guilty and beat yourself up. Have a healthy dinner planned for dinner and give them their JoySpring Vitamins to supplement for that Pop-tart.
- Pack lunches. Pack up the school lunches the night before or even meal prep on Monday for the week. Our top tip is to get everyone a Bento Box style lunchbox that has separate compartments - saves you on having to baggy up each food item and keeps everything separated and refrigerator in an easy-to grab and serve lunchbox.
- Choose clothes.Picking out clothes is usually what takes the longest and may cause some tears when it's just not what your kid wants to wear that day. Instead of waiting for the morning, let your kid pick out their outfit the night before and lay it out to be ready to throw on in the morning.
- Assign a box/hook/shelf for all of the school essentials -Instead of running around the house looking where your son put his backpack or your daughter put her binder, have one place where that's where all the school items should be put the night before.
- Set out the vitamins & supplements - Keep your kids healthy is essential to the happiness for everyone, but remembering to give them their daily vitamins and natural-supplements can be tough. That's why it's best to make it part of your morning routine. You know how most of us can’t function without a cup of coffee in the morning? It’s a routine. Miss this and your entire day is off. So make vitamins and supplements part of the routine. Our tip is to keep your family’s supplements right by the most important thing in the kitchen: the coffee pot! That way no one forgets to take their JoySpring Vital Vits and Genius Dropsto start the day!
4. Make 5 minutes of relaxation.
If everything else is already done, you can learn to relax for five minutes with each kid. That time connecting with your child will transform your morning. You will provide your child with an emotional connection first thing and re-connect after the separation of the night, which gives your child the motivation to cooperate instead of fight with you. This is the best way to create a stress-free, loving environment in the morning and prevent resistance.
5. Realize that kids need your help to move through the routine.
If your goal is to give your child a good start to his or her day, then you need to see your job as helping them move through the morning routine happily, not just giving out orders to them. Focus on praising them "You're working so hard on figuring out which shoe goes on which food. I'm so proud of you. Do you want my help? It's okay we all need some help sometimes!" Keep the morning and routine on track with positive reinforcement.
6. Keep the routine as simple as possible.
We get it. Life puts pressures on us parents to feel rushed to have everything in order and be perfect to get out the door. But at the end of the day, it's creating a happy, stress-free start to the day that helps kids not only cooperate but to thrive. Simplify the routine by doing whatever you can the night before to have a little more time for more relaxation in the morning before the day starts. So, for instance, as we stated before, you may want to rethink breakfast. The perfect image may be everyone sitting around the table enjoying a hot breakfast in the morning, but some adults and kids just aren't ready to eat as soon as they get it, so maybe more peace will be created if the kids eat a sandwich in the car on the way to school.
Creating a routine that works for you and your family takes some trial and error but with some practice and consistency your mornings will be happy and stress-free in no time.