How to turn morning routines into joyful connections with your kids
Morning routines have always been a bit of a stretch for us. For years it was wake up early, rush everyone out the door, barely eat a decent breakfast (okay, probably nothing), and shuffle everyone to daycare or school. Our morning routines were far more chaotic than they were rhythmic. Joy is not necessarily the word that would come to mind when I recall that season of parenting. Instead, I wish there was more… Unlearning the precedent we set early on has made room for how to have a morning routine with kids and embrace it with joy.
Discovering how to create a morning routine with your kids without all the yelling and meltdowns takes some time. We’ve been on a journey of relearning how to communicate with our kids. With some intentionality and planning, you’ll look forward to your family’s morning rhythms. Don’t get me wrong, there are still days where someone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed and we have to reset. Or where everyone didn’t get a sufficient amount of sleep and the morning just drags. So setting the tone with healthy expectations and a simple routine can truly make mornings enjoyable for everyone…including YOU mama!
Plan the Night Before
Morning routines actually begin the night before. Most days I’m wiped out after a full day and the last thing I want to do is think about the next day. However, setting small tasks in place before the next day just help Take some time to evaluate what your evening looks like and start from there. Spend time with your kids before resetting the house and rushing them off to bed.
Carve Out Your Routine First
There’s something about waking up BEFORE your kids. I have not mastered this skill yet. However, on the days that I do things run far better than usual. Taking 15-30 minutes before everyone wakes up can allow you to mentally clear your head and prepare for what the day may throw your way. In that time you may enjoy a Bible study, time of meditation, even yoga. However you spend that time, it is meant for YOU.
Here are some helpful tips and ideas to make the most of your morning time:
- Personal reflection & meditation: Grabbing a cup of coffee or tea while reading a Bible study or even time resetting your thoughts can fill your heart and mind with the right thoughts for the day.
- Stretch and Reset: There are amazing yoga videos on Youtube or even just simple stretches can help your body loosen up and relieve any hidden anxieties and stress. Even a quick workout can get the blood flowing.
- Do something you enjoy: Journaling, reading a favorite book, even listening to a podcast. Whatever it is, do what you love and enjoy before pouring out to your family.
3 daily steps to simplify expectations
Too many directives in the morning make for chaos. As I noticed my kids frustrated and appearing to be like chickens with their heads cut off, I knew we needed to figure out a new strategy. I’ll be honest, the issue wasn’t so much their lack of listening (which trust me happens…) it was ME. Our mornings consisted of me yelling directions AND questions.
“Go brush your teeth…”
“Did you put your shoes on yet??”
“Stop making your bed we’re late!”
It was too much for them and for me. So our morning routine starts with 3 simple steps before they transition into the day. The kids know that they can play quietly in their room, lay a few extra minutes in the bed with me and talk about their dreams, or even read. However, before we transition to breakfast and into our homeschooling day they must:
- Brush Your Teeth
- Make Your Bed
- Change Your Clothes
Yes the list seems so simple, but it’s easy enough to manage. Even our three year old understands the routine and can implement it with help. Less is more when it comes to jump starting the day. Have you ever noticed that when you rush the morning routine, it’s the most simplest of things that throw you off. Our was someone ALWAYS forgot to brush their teeth!
Prioritizing dental health starts when our kids are young! I’ve learned over the years to not just trust the health of our teeth to just anyone. It’s amazing to have access to dentists such as, Metro Decatur Dental Group PC. Dr. Simms has dedicated his professional life to dentistry, both cosmetic and function. Whether you need basic teeth whitening, cleanings, fillings, or more advanced dentures, wisdom teeth removal in Decatur GA they are a phenomenal dentist!
Start off with these three routine builders and start off on the right foot!
Stay Flexible and Remember what’s Important
Routines can easily become rigid and not leave room for the unexpected. When we mix up our priorities the first thing to go usually is emotions. It’s easy to become frustrated and snap at our partners and especially our kids. So, learning to stop and remember that how we start our day makes an impact has been key. When I find myself ready to snap, I stop and do some box breathing exercises or walk away. Keeping this mental checklist in my mind helps tremendously:
- Is getting out of the door on time worth my relationship with my kids?
- How can I speak life into my kids before they head out?
- A day or even week from now, will this matter?
“If everything always went as planned, there would be no need for a morning routine.”
We know that as much as we try to plan how to have an efficient morning routine with kids, well life happens. Planning ahead, carving out time for yourself, keeping realistic expectations, and remembering to stay flexible help return the joy in morning routines. They create the space to breathe and embrace that our time is short, but the impact in parenting is powerful and everlasting.