School mornings are often one of the most stressful times of the day for both parents and kids. I know when my kids have finally left for the day, I take a huge breath of relief and then spend a few minutes settling myself in the quiet and calm.
Crazy as things are, they actually used to be a lot worse! I’d spend most mornings stressed, yelling and even bargaining with my kids just to get them out of bed. Lots of patience and organization were in order to help transform our school mornings into a more positive routine.
5 SIMPLE STRATEGIES TO HELP CREATE A STRESS FREE MORNING SCHOOL ROUTINE
Maintain a regular schedule
Kids cope much better when they have a regular routine. My kids and I agree upon a reasonable bedtime…and then it’s up to me to enforce it! I don’t allow very much wiggle room around my kids sleep schedule. Even if they put up a fuss about it, ultimately everyone is happier and less whiny when they’ve gotten that much needed sleep.
This goes for me too..it can be so tempting to stay up late after the kids have gone to bed but I know I’ll pay the price with more fatigue in the morning. So I make sure I get to bed at a reasonable hour.
Practice being positive
Note I said practice…being positive in the morning doesn’t come naturally to most of us. But give it a try, it will make a huge difference in your home.
Think about it..which sounds better?
“Time to get up! You better not be late again! What is taking you so long?”
“Good morning kiddo, It’s 7:05 and it is sunny! Can’t wait to see you at breakfast! Your favorite pants are cleaned and ready for you to wear!
Don’t get angry
I’m just like any other parent. I can get pretty frustrated when my kids stay in bed until the last possible minute. But blowing up never helps! To keep things in perspective, I try to remember that even as an adult, I often don’t like to get out of bed the minute the alarm goes off. Extending grace to your kids will help to keep the anger to a minimum.
So, instead of yelling:
“Just get out of bed already!
I try to say something like this:
“Looks like you are having one of those mornings. It can be a real challenge to get out of bed. Let me know if you need my help.”
Talk to them
I know that after the alarm goes off, I need at least 10 minutes to come to. I’ll try to open the shade so I can see the sun, before I actually pull myself out of bed. Everyone has little tricks that they use to get themselves going. I try to help my kids think of what can work for them. Brainstorm with your kids and see what ideas you can come up with.
“What will help you get out of bed?”
“Do you want the light on, will that help you wake up?”
“Do you want me to just leave your door open so you can hear a little bit of noise. Do you think that could help?”
“Would you like the window open, maybe some fresh air will help?”
“Sometimes a shower does the trick. What do you think?”
Maybe your child won’t like any of these! But perhaps, down the line they will remember these ideas and will have some strategies that will help them have an easier time getting out of bed in the morning.
Teach them to own their schedule
Many parents put themselves in charge of their child’s schedule but kids want to have some control over their time. They like to make their own decisions. This is an important part of the maturity process; teach them how to own their schedule and you might be surprised at the results.
- “What do you think would be a good time for you to wake up in the morning?”
- “How much time do you think you need in order to get out of bed, get dressed, eat breakfast and walk to the bus? Once you figure it out, you can work out a good schedule for yourself or we can do it together. Let me know.”
- If the schedule that you have both decided on is not working, you can always say:
- “I know you have been having trouble getting out of bed in the morning. What do you think you need to do in order to make it easier for you?”
Mornings with kids can definitely stressful. But learning to create (and then implement) a reliable morning school routine will go a long way towards establishing a less stressful home.
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