Mornings Can Go Well!

Dad and boy in amHere are five quick tips for improving your mornings when the kids drag their feet, delay, get distracted, and don’t seem to understand that you need to hurry.

1. First, take away that idea that they need to understand the urgency of the situation.  They don’t. This relieves you from having to convince them that they must hurry EVERY SINGLE MORNING.
2. Instead of convincing, convincing, convincing, try rehearsing the morning routine in advance at your next Saturday family meeting (which I’m sure you’re having regularly, because you are dedicated to the success of your family and realize it won’t just happen on its own … wink-wink.) After rehearsing the whole morning routine, including starting in bed, a wake-up from the alarm clock, a gentle touch and “Good morning! We’re having waffles today!  I’ll see you in the kitchen, all dressed and ready!”, getting dressed, and coming to the kitchen, the kids will have a map in their brains for what peaceful mornings look like in the “Sandfort (insert your last name) home.”
3. Give heartfelt appreciation for any cooperation you see:  “When you come down all dressed and ready, AND your hair is combed, I feel so relaxed and happy.  We are starting our day with such calm, which makes the whole day better, and you’re doing that!”
4. Talk about happy things that show you are not just focused on the kids’ morning routine performance.  Ask their opinions, advice and ideas.  This makes children feel grown up, and in turn helps them act grown up.
5.  Share your success with another adult. Maybe the child’s other parent, your sister, your niece, your best friend, or your parents, and let your child overhear this conversation.  Think of the huge neural pathway you’ve just formed and strengthened for the child’s cooperation.  You are so powerful!

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