Your morning starts in the “usual” way.
Get up slow, look at your phone, have a “Holy ____” moment when you realize that 15 minutes has gone by, run to the shower, and spend the rest of the morning in a relative state of frantic excitement.
Transpose children onto this landscape. Busy mornings, likely some yelling or rushing around, then off to school.
Our children’s lives become microcosms of our own. While we might be “born” with problem solving abilities, our children learn from watching us. As adults, how we handle our lives become the ways that our children emulate us (or in some cases, try to do the opposite!).
A lot has been said about morning routines. Do a search on Google and you will see Tim Ferriss, Ben Hardy, and any other number of inspirational writers talk about what YOU need to do on your morning routine to improve your life…
But what about our children?
While we can’t necessarily set up morning routines with cold showers, intense workouts, and journaling practices, we can certainly work to improve the routines we show to our children.
Limit technology in the morning: I love all things technology. I mean everything. It has been a challenge for me to turn off notifications and remove social media apps from my phone. This article was a big help in getting me to prioritize my phone and it’s own organization.
I set aside time to look on the computer or iPad for social media when there is “free” time, or at least time that would not be better used for something else. When can you set up that time in your own life? The rush of the morning might not be the time to spend time checking out our Facebook or Twitter feed.
Not that technology needs to be hidden from our children like it’s contraband, but can we show a respect for communication as opposed to staring at a screen?
We need to show that kind of attention to more important things to our children.
Plan time in the morning by setting up the night: Night-time can be the worst time to make plans. You are tired, your mind isn’t working the same as it does at your best time of day- but this can be the best time to set yourself up for the morning.
Think about small things that might help your morning move more smoothly. Can you prepare lunches ahead of time? Can you organize your child’s backpack?
When thinking about developing positive routines, what responsibility can you give to your child? Can they organize something the night before to help them become more independent? Putting homework away and packing a backpack can be a great starting point. Completing necessary chores the night before might help with slowing down any rush of the morning as well.
Reflect on what works (and allow for things to blow up): Of course, you can plan and organize and there will be some mornings when nothing works. Children get up late, your clocks go out because of a power surge, someone is sick in your household; all of these things can blow up a morning routine.
The key is to be mindful about what is working in your routine and what might need a tweak. Success breeds more success and as some aspects of your morning become simplified and less stressful, you might begin to see what else could be changed (or might not need to be changed).
On a rough day, take the time to understand that not every morning is perfect (or even functional).
Understand that working towards improving your morning is the first step.
If anything, you are showing your children that the morning can be a time of less stress and more happiness as we step out to greet our day of work or school. Your successes (and sometimes failures) might pay off in the short term for you and your family and in the long term for your children’s growth.
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