How to Improve Your Morning Routine
The start of the new school year can bring with it excitement and stress. Mornings are one time of day that can be hectic (and potentially stressful) for everyone. There are so many things and oftentimes people to get ready and only so much time! As the start of the new school year approaches, now can be a great opportunity to start a new morning routine or revamp your current one.
As much as possible, prepare the night before. This can help to ensure that no one (especially not an adult) is running around looking for a lost and needed item. It may also potentially allow space and time for some distractibility or extra attention that might be needed.
Decide on breakfast and get things ready if you can. If you have a child who is old enough to get their own breakfast ready, have healthy options within easy reach or set out on the table.
Pack lunches and/or snacks. A recent minor shift in my house that has had a huge impact on reducing stress levels was picking out and packing all of the snacks for the week on Sunday night. While it takes a little bit more time and planning, there is no longer a nightly battle about what to bring for snack.
Pick out clothes for the next day. Letting your child pick out their own clothes can allow them to feel more excited and hopefully engaged.
Have a child who likes to wait until the morning to see how they feel? Awesome, help them choose two options the night before to minimize the number of choices the next morning.
Does your kiddo insist on wearing the same outfit every day? Sweet, buy multiples of their favorite things so you aren’t doing laundry every day.
Have an individual space for school things to land. This will hopefully help to minimize searching for needed things in the morning. It also allows prepared things to have a place to wait for the morning. As an adult, you can model getting ready the night before by placing the items you need for the morning in their space.
If you are able, try to get up before your littles. This allows you uninterrupted time to prepare yourself before turning your attention to others. For some adults, this may be waking up 5 minutes before your kids so that you can brush your teeth and go to the bathroom alone. Other adults may find it helpful to read or journal in the quiet of the morning and may benefit from more time to do so.
Remain calm. Sometimes this is easier said than done. A Fine Parent has an awesome suggestion. When feeling frustrated or mad, use a quieter voice. This can help you remember to stay calm. It is also a great reminder to ourselves as adults that we set the stage for our kids. Often if we are in a grumpy mood, our kids mirror that.
Do you feel like your child has an especially difficult time following a routine or staying focused on a task? Does your child insist that there is only one way to complete an activity? If you are concerned about your child’s attention or behaviors, please contact your child’s pediatrician.
Contact us with questions or to gain more information about your child through a psychoeducational evaluation.