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Transform Morning Madness into Morning Mindfulness (no magic required)

Getting children up, dressed, fed and out the door for school can feel like a herculean task, regardless of their age. The experience can be just as maddening even when your children are able to do all of that themselves. For those of you with younger kids, I know you’re thinking, “No way. That would be a dream.” I have one thing to say to that, “just wait until you have a teenager.” And if you have girls, get ready to turn up the morning madness a few levels! The reality is that morning madness can negatively impact our entire day.

Do you want to transform morning madness into morning mindfulness, without being a magician? 

Here are some tips to simplify your morning routine by helping your child become more self-sufficient.

  • Plan ahead: 
    • Make a list of days your child needs to bring or wear something specific. Hang it in their room or in a central location. Get them in the habit of looking at it prior to leaving the house in the morning. 
    • Go food shopping on Sunday and plan out the weeks meals, lunches and dinners. Want to take it one step further? Create a shopping list along with lunch and/or dinner forms. Children can fill in what they want or make it a checklist so all they have to do is mark the box!
  • Prep the night before.
    • Pick out clothing
    • Pack lunch, water and/or a snack
    • Pack the backpack
  • Empower your child to do what they are able to do. This is not only a gift for you, it’s a gift for them.
    • Set their alarm and get up on their own (this can take a whole lot of stress out of the equation for some parents).
    • Instead of asking your child if they’ve done those important things like brush their hair or teeth, make a checklist of the things you expect before they come downstairs. At the beginning, it might require you asking if they’ve done them, but hopefully after a couple weeks, it will become a habit for them.(can you tell I’m a huge fan of lists?!)
    • Make their own breakfast and/or lunch.
  • Have grab & go breakfasts on hand. This is great when your child oversleeps, can’t get out of bed or is simply lollygagging the entire morning. It’s also helpful if you typically play the role of the chef and/or the server in the morning. And when you have children who simply aren’t happy with whatever you make for them. You can do the same with lunches. Hummus and pretzel cups are a savior in my house!

Some of these ideas may seem insignificant, like having your child set their alarm instead of you waking them up, but every little piece can make a difference. You might be pleasantly surprised how one simple thing can change the whole dynamic. Keep trying and good luck!

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