If we’re always dashing for the door in the morning, looking over our shoulder to make sure we’ve got everything, it starts the day with stress. Here’s how to help your kids begin their day stress-free and teach them organization skills they need for a lifetime.
Tip #1: Plan ahead and do things the night before.
The best morning routine starts the night before. Taking a few minutes to plan ahead at night makes a HUGE difference in the amount of stress experienced in the morning rush.
Prepare the breakfast table.
After the children helped clear the table and wash the dishes, everyone prep the table for breakfast the next morning.
- cereal boxes (if use)
In the morning just add milk, fruit or juice to have a fast & easy start to the day.
Get clothes ready for next day.
Check the kids’ agenda and the weather forecast for the next day and make wardrobe suggestions. Have them choose their clothes and hair accessories and lay it out.
Apart from sleeping in, this is the part of the morning routine that can be time consuming.
Have them choose the whole outfit, including socks & underwear, jewelry & other accessories. That way you can have any necessary “discussions” when you’re not in a hurry.
t’s a great habit to start early in life to keep mornings stress-free forever.
Get backpack ready for next morning.
Check the children’s schedule for school the next day and gather up an items that are required for special events such as library day, sports practice, band practice, etc.
Put all homework and school books in backpack so it will be ready to go in the morning.
Have the lunch discussion & prepare food in advance as possible.
As you’re going out the door to school is not the time to hear that they don’t like their lunch. If you discuss it the night before you have time to find alternatives if necessary.
Put non-chilled food items in their lunch boxes – and while you’re at it, prepare any food for breakfast that can be made in advance too.
Tip #2: Use Music to Motivate
Create a morning playlist that does the “nagging” for you:
- start with gentle music that plays to awaken everyone without the jolt of an alarm or mom saying “aren’t you up yet?”
- move on to “up and at ’em” faster, louder music that you know they enjoy
- if you use the same morning playlist every day, you can teach them that when they hear a certain song it’s time to do this – such as go brush your teeth – so there’s no more “reminding”
- change the morning playlist on birthdays and holidays to add excitement to the special day
We had an intercom system in our home when the kids were growing up and I loved it – today it’s so easy to do with a bluetooth sound system. At night they listened to one last audible story after they were tucked in, and then lullabies until they were asleep. In the morning they listened to their morning playlist – as they moved from bedroom to kitchen to bathroom they could still hear the same songs playing.
Tip #3: Establish a Morning Zone
Putting all critical items into an established “morning zone” can eliminate a lot of headaches during the morning rush.
Use a hanging shoe organizer with pockets to keep essentials and accessories by the door such as dried mittens & hats ready for another day.
If they put their cellphones in the morning zone before they go to bed to charge for the next day:
- you’ll know they aren’t using them when they’re in bed
- accessing their phones only after they’re ready for the day can be added incentive to get ready faster
- if they don’t have their phones at the breakfast table, there’s a better chance that you can get their full attention. You can give them instructions for the day and make a connection before they start texting friends
When the “Zone” is clear, your family is ready for take-off.
All it takes is a little organization, a few new habits, and mornings are so much more happier for everyone – especially mom.
It’s your turn. Tell us what you think!
What is your best secret to getting everyone out the door in the morning happy & stress-free?