Managing Morning Madness

February 12th, 2013 posted by Elizabeth Pantley

Child and mother at the breakfast table Are your mornings rushed, chaotic and disorganized? Then it’s time to get control and make morning a good start to a wonderful day! When your morning activities run smoothly, and you’re out the door on time it can make your whole day feel better. To create a peaceful morning routine, follow these steps:

Start your morning – at night!

A real key to smoothing out your morning is to prepare as much as you can the night before. This means choosing the day’s clothing, packing lunches, gathering homework, signing permission slips and setting the table for breakfast.

Post a calendar.

Buy the biggest wall calendar you can find and hang it in a central location. Write down events and appointments for everyone. Use different color marking pens to code items for easy reading. (As an example: ball practice in red, carpool in green, doctors/dentists in purple) Keep the calendar up to date and you’ll be more organized!

Create a drop box

Have a labeled box for each family member by the door. Use this to store shoes, keys, backpacks, coats and anything else that goes out the door with you in the morning. Plastic tubs or decorated crates make great drop boxes!

Use Music to Enrich a Child’s Life

Music is a wonderful way for kids to express themselves and burn off extra energy. Have kids dance like their favorite animals. Pick music to match the dance. Let them “groove” to different rhythms. Or have them dance with props, like scarves and strings. Exercise their imaginations by having them make up silly songs about everyday activities. Everyone can enjoy a chorus of, “This is the way we brush our teeth, so early in the morning….” If your children are older, get them involved in band or chorus. At the very least, encourage them to sing in the shower!

Use a morning list. Sit down and analyze a typical morning. Make a list of everything that needs to be done. Create a poster-sized list of the standard morning activities listed in order to be done: If you have a child who gets easily distracted and ignores the morning chart – don’t give up! Just make a small mini- size chart, laminate it, put it on a chain and let your child wear it as his “morning necklace”! Your part is to make a few gentle reminders, “How are you doing on your chart this morning?”

Check out sleep time.

If your child has trouble getting up in the morning and sticking to his schedule take a look at what time he or she goes to bed. Without adequate sleep a child won’t be able to follow a morning routine successfully.

Fix problems with a family meeting.

If problems persist take the time to sit down with your children and talk about it. Let everyone have a turn talking, and then work to arrive at solutions that will benefit everyone.

Praise successes.

Remember, your words of praise will encourage your children to continue to meet their goals!

Elizabeth Pantley (57 Posts)

Elizabeth Pantley is also the president of Better Beginnings, Inc. She is a popular speaker on family issues. Elizabeth’s newsletter, Parent Tips is seen in schools nationwide. She appears as a regular radio show guest and has been quoted in Parents, Parenting, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, American Baby, Twins, Working Mother, and Woman’s Day magazines. You can visit her website at http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth/


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