Rise and shine! That’s what you want your children to do in the mornings before they go to school. When children can make a smooth transition from home to school with a good breakfast and cheerful feelings about the day, they are most likely to be able to learn.
But we all know that getting out the door in the mornings can be really hectic. There are teeth to be brushed and lunches to be made and homework to be found. Phew! If things are really confusing in the mornings, children might not get a good breakfast or might get to school without all the things they need for a good day. And parents who have had a stressful morning might not feel that great about their day either.
So what can you do to help your child (and yourself) to get the best possible start to her day? Set up a morning routine! A routine can help keep everyone on schedule and remind you to take all the things you will need for your day. While every family’s morning routine is likely to be different, here are a few tips for setting up a morning routine:
- Decide what needs to happen for your child to get the best start to his day. What are the things that your child has to do before he goes out the door? If it is get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, and get his backpack, then make sure that those things are on the list first. If your child likes to watch a cartoon in the mornings or to listen to music, those things should come after everything else as a reward for finishing the essential activities.
- Give yourself enough time. It is no fun for you (or your child) to have to rush out the door feeling like you are already behind before you have even started the day. So when you list the activities that have to happen in the morning, also decide how much time each one will take. Then figure out when you and your child need to wake up in order to get it done. You can post the routine and the times so that your child can see it. That will help both of you to follow the routine.
- Start your morning routine the night before. It can be really helpful to do a little planning for the next day the night before it all has to happen. This could mean making lunches while you make dinner so everything is ready to go in the morning. Or deciding on tomorrow’s outfit and setting the clothes out so that they are easy to find. Having a spot to put backpacks and making sure that everyone’s homework is in the backpacks the night before can make the morning so much smoother. Your child can help to get ready for the next day and you can reward her when she does. For example “When you put your homework in your backpack and pick out your clothes for tomorrow, you can choose which story we will read tonight.”
- EAT BREAKFAST! It really is the most important meal of the day, especially for growing brains. Children need energy to be able to go to school, pay attention, and learn. So make sure that your child gets a healthy breakfast every day. All the schools have lunch and breakfast programs and many children can get free breakfast so if it is too busy to make breakfast at home, your child could eat at school.
A solid morning routine that fits your family’s needs can be one of the best ways to make sure that your children are ready for school. And a routine can really help you to shine every day!
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