Simple Morning Routine Tips for Kids

8
Sep
2011


For some families, mornings are the best time of day, but it seems that mornings are often the worst and most dreaded time of day.

You do not have to feel like you are stuck in that pattern, there is always a way to change your behavior and provide tools to help your children be more productive, self-reliant and task orientated.

I suggest beginning the idea of a morning routine from a very young age.  The routine will change as they get older, but the idea that they are accustomed to a flow to their morning and the expectation of their participation will develop to be part of their nature.

Here are a few ideas and tips to get you started on creating a simple routine for your child.

Planning Is Key

Problems in the morning are often rooted in the fact that things should have been done the night before.  Think about whatever you can do in advance and fit that into your ‘evening’ routine!  Helping your child discover the benefits of doing what they can in advance and ahead of time will end up flowing over into other areas of their live later on.

If they are school age, here are a few things that can be done the evening before:

Packing lunches

Preparing backpacks with homework, fresh supplies, library books, permission slips, etc

Decide on tomorrows outfit – even laying out the jacket/coat and shoes

Setting out breakfast dishes/cereal/non-perishable items

Alarm Them

It is not uncommon for parents to wake kids up in the morning, but often that is when the negative battle can begin.  The goal with your child is to find a way where they can get themselves up so the day does not begin in a negative way.  I found it very helpful to set up my children with their own alarm clock.  If you do not have a spare one laying around, make a special trip to pick out one that they will like – either with an alarm, musical wake-up or one with a radio.  Allow them to choose and be part of the solution -  telling them they are big enough to get themselves up and get their own day started gives children a wonderful sense of autonomy.  Teach them how to set their alarm and fit that into your bedtime routine.

Enough  Z’s

If children don’t get enough sleep, they will tend to be grouchy or angry – this should be no surprise, because I know I can be just the same if I miss out on my beauty sleep!  Making sure your child gets at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night will prepare them to face their morning with a much better attitude.  You may have to re-structure what happens in the evening to create the window your child needs to get enough sleep.

Back To School Morning Routine Tasks

Here are a list of tasks that we’ve incorporated into our children’s routines.  Depending on your child’s age, choose a few tasks to start with and then slowly add new ones to get them to a place where they are truly taking care of a majority of their morning needs without you nagging and prompting them.

Making their bed

Getting dressed

Put pajamas away

Eating breakfast

Taking vitamins or medication

Clearing dishes and cleaning up

Brushing Teeth

Helping your child develop a ‘system’ for remembering their tasks is key.  Is your child a verbal learning or visual?  Most kids are very visual and it is very helpful to create some type of list or chart which has both words and pictures.  I create my own chart with laminated task cards with Velcro on the back so they could move the tag when they completed a task, but there are several printables that I have run across lately that will work great as you decide what works best for you child.

I love these FREE Kids Morning Routine Flash Cards from Living Locurto and these Free picture cards at Do2learn.

When you take the time to create a routine for your child beginning early on, you are giving them a lifelong skill that will evolve as they gain more responsibility and independence.  Routines free our minds up, cut down on stress and develop patterns that quickly develop into habits.

Get more great ideas on routines and helping your child become responsible in the Back 2 School Survival Guide!

You can create an easy and fun mood to your home and teach wonderful lessons in the process.

Next week I will talk about effective after-school routines! 

 

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  • Valerie

    I love this!! This helps me a lot. Now that school has started, I’m trying to set up a routine. One problem though- I’m not sure what age group you’re aiming this at, but 7-8 hours of sleep is absolutely NOT enough sleep, unless they’re a teenager (which we all know stay up until 12-1am! I know I did! lol). 3-12 year olds are supposed to get 10-11 hours of sleep a night. Plus, us as moms need that break between when the kids go to bed and we do. That 2-3 hours is nice and MUCH needed!!! :)

  • http://www.theconfidentmom.com Susan

    You are correct, 10 hours is a great number to shoot for on younger kids!

  • http://doublestrollersforinfantandtoddler.org/ Heather

    This is a great article, the planning portion is absolutely key. By the time Dave and I sit down together in the evening, the kids are sleeping, clothes are out, lunches are in the fridge and we get about an hour and a half to converse and reconnect. The only thing I wanted to mention, was with respect to alarm clocks, our kids dont’ have one. I find that if they get to bed early enough, they wake up naturally usually within 10 or 15 minutes of the necessary time pretty much everytime. But they are still all under 6, so we haven’t hit the teenage years just yet!

  • Jennifer

    It can sometimes be tiresome to instill discipline to my kid. Sometimes I feel I sound annoying on constantly telling him what to do. But I know it is for his own good and I must be patient until he finally gets them.

  • Emily

    Great post! I had baby #3 in July and then my oldest started kindergarten 5 weeks later. I think I’m finally getting into the groove! (But I’m thankful for her school uniforms!) Honestly, some mornings she brushes her own teeth – for probably 20 seconds – but on those days if she doesn’t do it herself, it won’t get done otherwise! Hope her oral hygiene can survive these crazy days! :) If you ever need some good tips on caring for kids’ teeth, I’ve found this Mom’s Guide to be helpful. Thanks for your post. Now I’m off to get things ready for tomorrow morning!