Does it feel like your kids have difficulty with everything that needs to be done before school starts? The checklist of things to do before running out the door can feel hefty, especially if you have multiple kids:
- Brushing teeth
- Eating breakfast
- Getting dressed
- Putting on (weather-appropriate) shoes (on the right feet) Oy!
- Using the potty
- Zipping up coats
I know. Mornings with kids can be tough. And tough mornings don’t necessarily jumpstart fun days. Here are three tips for a smoother morning routine with kids.
It can sometimes feel like the morning routine is daunting and painful.
In this article, I will share some simple ways to start your mornings more smoothly so that the rest of the day will be a success!
Build your child’s independence
Tricky mornings can happen when kids don’t get enough sleep; that’s true for all of us! Experts consistently stress the importance of healthy sleep for kids to promote proper growth and development. But what if your kids get enough hours of rest at night but struggle with the morning routine? I can help!
Whether mornings are exhausting to you because your kids are constantly whining, you’re dealing with parent burnout, or you’re just plain tired, encouraging independent play will help everyone. Imagine a morning when your child willingly got themselves ready for school so you could enjoy your coffee and watch the morning news…
Our kids rely on us so much. We often get into the habit of reminding them of everything that needs to be done, which eats away at our own time to being productive in other ways.
Independent mornings start with building their confidence in their ability to be independent. And the basic foundation of independence starts at a young age with independent play.
Remember, activities for kids should be low-prep and encourage your kiddo to create, learn, and play on their own!
The earlier you can start this stage of independent play, the better. If you have a little one at home, make sure to take a look at my 40+ Best Activities for One-Year-Olds to start now! An easy fall festive activity that all of my boys loved when they were very young was Sticky Pumpkin. This activity is a simple setup that introduces colors, sorting and fine motor skills.
Overwhelmed? Don’t be. As long as you have this simple list of supplies for kid activities, you will already be well on your way to creating smooth mornings with easy kid-friendly activities.
How Soon Should My Child Be Independent in the Morning?
Every child is different. And don’t we know it. It is hard to put an age expectation on our kids, especially if you have multiple children. It’s the beauty of that independence, isn’t it?!
Help your child get ready for school by cueing into their world. Children are visual learners.
If you have a young one who is particularly difficult with morning routines, try creating a visual checklist to help your little one SEE and APPLY what is expected of them in the mornings.
When my preschooler was struggling with getting ready for school, I created a visual checklist.
It helped to boost his confidence in himself and the process, which greatly improved the flow and mood of our morning routine. Creating a list for your child can help to increase their own independence and understand that a morning routine is all part of the bigger plan: making a daily schedule for kids. It is an essential part of a smoother morning routine with kids.
3 Easy Tips for Less Stressful Mornings
Smooth mornings can mean all sorts of things. Everyone woke up on the right side of the bed. Everyone ate breakfast with no complaining. Everyone’s on time. There’s no yelling involved. You got to drink a full cup of hot coffee, maybe even pour yourself a second cup!
There are 3 secrets to a smoother morning routine with kids that you can do as a parent to help your kids (and you):
Breakfast invitations are my answer to breaking the cycle of difficult mornings that are often initiated by kids who roll out of the wrong side of the bed. They are easy to set up, hands-on preschool activities that are designed to help build independent play and learning in your kids, so you can enjoy a peaceful morning with your coffee! Check out my Breakfast Invitations Cards here!
2. Keep paper and pencil next to your bed.
Does it feel like your mornings are stressful because YOU have so much to do? Well, that’s because you do! And most likely, you think of every detail as your head hits the pillow. Try keeping a piece of paper or a small notebook next to your bed to jot down your thoughts as they come. Getting these thoughts down will help create a smoother morning routine with Kids and a clear head.
3. Ask yourself, Can I do this with kids around?
If yes, do it even if it is inconvenient. Here’s why.
I don’t want my downtime to be filled with chores. My children also need to see how the house is maintained. (the clothes don’t wash themselves) So the next time you have a to-do list, ask yourself, what do I save for naptime that I can do with kids around?
This could be:
- Folding clothes
- Grocery shopping
- Prepping meals
- Working out
The trick is not to let your to-do list pile up for naptime. That would leave no time for YOU.
What is something you wait on that you can do with kids around that you may not have thought of.
RELATED: Here is how I try and reframe powerstruggles to get the most out of our days.
Boost the Morning Mood
Helping yourself and your kiddos by changing the morning approach to getting ready for the day sounds difficult. But it doesn’t need to be. Thinking about what can be done with kids at home and setting up a Breakfast Invitation are simple things you can start doing now (well, tomorrow morning)! Kickstart your day with a joyful, coffee-filled morning!
Frequently Asked Questions
Poor sleep, too much screen time in the mornings, sleeping in, not sleeping in, packing lunches, sibling rivalry…and the list goes on! There are so many reasons why mornings can be tough. The good news is that they don’t have to be this way! Encourage some independent play from a young age to get your kids familiar with their own imagination and learning.
Drinking your coffee and putting on your mascara shouldn’t be so difficult, but it can be when you have kids. Try thinking about what you can do with children by your side so naptime can be left for something you enjoy solo.
All children develop at different rates so it’s difficult to set these kinds of expectations. However, you can help set them up for success by creating a visual list for them to follow to help your child get ready for school. When they SEE what they need to do, they may feel more motivated and confident in their abilities and success.