Okay, time to try again.
I wrote an entire post on Morning Routines, and then it disappeared *poof*. So I get to write it again!
Hopefully, I’ll do a better job this time? Here goes:
Now that we’re back in school, we need to establish new morning routines. Lazy summer days are over.
Not that they ever were lazy, come to think of it. Busy, busy, busy is more like it.
In any case…
Morning routines start our day. They act as predictable, soothing surprise repellents against the occasional – or even constant – upheaval of life.
Every day, we know breakfast will – somehow – be eaten. People will be dressed. Or, at least, they’d better be dressed. I definitely don’t want to see people out there on the street in their pajamas.
Our family has a point system in place that rewards for a) being dressed and b) having already eaten breakfast. Both with no reminders. All the same, I really liked an idea we came across several years ago.
Choosing and laying out clothes the night before.
It’s lovely. Half the job is already done. Plus, the visual reminder – hey! here are your clothes! Put us on! – really seems to help get the job accomplished.
Our occupational therapist also had a winner of an idea.
She swore up and down that exercise – just walking or doing the exercise puzzle game – calms the body and improves concentration. It really does work, too.
And yes, I know the morning is crazy. Lunches have to be made, people dressed and fed, backpacks packed, and so on. But this should really only take about 10 or 15 minutes. Plus, it’s worth it.
We also like to talk over the events of the day.
This seems to lend structure to a day that hasn’t happened yet. Plans and expectations are laid out there – with the caveat that they can and do change from time to time – to avoid uncertainty and help preparation.
Just knowing, for example, that a trip to the dreaded grocery store is planned can prevent wailing later on. Acceptance does set in. Thank heavens for free cookies from Publix!
And yet, the most important thing, I’ve found, isn’t about the morning routine at all. It’s about the morning attitude.
A calm and friendly attitude – from everyone – can prevent that rushed and hectic feeling. Which can prevent panic. Which in turn prevents meltdowns.
Meltdowns are not the way we want to start the day.
I’m not just glibly saying this, either. It’s not always easy to remain calm and smiling under time pressure. But communicating tension and rush – hurry up! we’re running late! Come on, come on, let’s go! – leads down a path I know I don’t want to go.
Don’t ask me how I know this. Bet you can guess. 🙂
Please share your successful morning ideas. Everyone out there has so many interesting stories and helpful hints… and we want to hear them!