Parenting Tips: De-Stress the Morning Routine
Our Mornings are a little more fun now...
The Morning Rush
It’s 7 am and the kids are still not up. Getting a cup of coffee is priority number one, but the filters are nowhere to be found. Quickly setting a pot to brew anyway, you shuffle to the kids’ room to start the arduous task of waking them for school.
Finally succeeding in pulling the sleepy children from their beds, you return to the kitchen to pour a much-needed cup of coffee. Unfortunately, you forgot to add coffee grounds to the machine and have succeeded only in making a cup of steaming water.
Starting from scratch with the coffee, you take orders for breakfast from the kids. Of course one of them cannot decide what to eat, so you spend five minutes listing the breakfast foods she may choose from.
It’s now 7:20 and the kids are due at the bus stop in 20 minutes. The problem is that hair is still not done, teeth are still not brushed, clothes are not yet decided on and lunch bags have not yet been packed. It is quickly becoming one of those mornings and you still have not had your sanity-saving first cup of coffee.
Common Stress Among Families
It’s a common problem among families with school-age children and working parents. There are so many things to think about, to remember and to do before everyone parts their separate ways for the day. When the morning routine is not organized, it can quickly become a dreaded part of the day not only for parents, but for children as well. It can cause feelings of stress, anxiety and even anger in both parties.
But wouldn’t it be great to send children to school in the morning feeling relaxed and organized? Wouldn’t that work day be a little more agreeable knowing that everything and everyone is properly taken care of?
Following a few simple tips can be the difference between a hectic morning send-off and an easy-going, drink-my-coffee-in-peace kind of morning.
What to do to De-Stress
First of all, having the children pick out their clothes, including socks and undergarments for the following day is something you can do with your children before they go to bed. Be sure to lay them out on their dressers so there is no confusion in the morning.
Putting children to bed at a decent hour is also imperative. It gives parents a chance to re-organize for the following day and to relax in each others company before heading to bed.
Next, pre-program your coffee pot before going to bed so that it is brewed and ready for when your alarm goes off the next morning. This eliminates mistakes that can be made during sleepy preparations. Having snacks and lunches pre-packed the night before is also a good idea.
Another handy trick is to arrange cupboards containing cups and plates to be within reach for your children. This will make it easier for them to get their own milk for cereal thereby lessening your responsibilities each morning. The same can be done for food closets. Make a special shelf for the children of foods that they can eat for breakfast. This will give them an independence that they will appreciate and they will be less likely to whine about what they want to eat.
One of the most important ways to be sure of a hassle-free morning though, is to keep the television off. When children wake up in the morning and are not required to get busy they can become whiney and spacey. Instead of television, put on some music so the children can energize themselves and get ready for a long and busy day.
It may not seem important to some, but an efficient morning routine has more advantages than meet the eye. Children who can predict what will happen and have a well-rounded routine are generally happier throughout the day. Stress during the morning routine causes anger and it is often directed at the children. Sending children to school unhappy is never something a parent wants to do.
So keep a routine that is easy to maintain and that benefits everyone for a more enjoyable and stress-free morning.
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