The Perfect Morning Routine

First published: 12-01-2015

Image 1 - breakfast

Mornings can be a stressful part of the day for the best of us - especially if you are tasked with rounding up an unruly bunch of kids. Tantrums over which channel to watch, missing school books, dawdling and refusals to brush teeth can all add up, make you late and increase your stress levels before you've even left the house.

A messy start will invariably seal your fate for the rest of the day where everything else just seems to go wrong - but it doesn't have to be like that. A few slight tweaks to your routine here and there can ease the pressure considerably, allowing you to seize the day and be more productive. Follow our hints and tips and you'll be able to banish morning madness for good and reign supreme as the ruler of your roost:

Get it right on the night

One of the best ways to streamline your morning routine is to spend some time preparing the night before. Check the weather report to ensure suitable clothing is ironed and ready to go (don't forget wellies and brollies if a downpour is expected). Get the kids involved and try to make it fun - some children will enjoy being able to help choose an outfit, just make sure they understand there's no changing their mind at the last minute!

Preparing packed lunches is another task which takes longer than you think, so getting this done once the kids are in bed could save you precious time in the morning. Get into the habit of ensuring your children have their school bags packed and that any permission slips have been signed too - the last thing you want in the morning is to begin hunting for your cheque book to pay for a trip you never knew about.

Lastly, make sure you all get to bed at a reasonable hour - a good night's sleep will put you in better stead mentally to handle the day ahead.

Make it fun

image 2 - teeth

It can be difficult to organise young children first thing in the morning, but there is a way to teach kids how to organise themselves. You might start by asking them to list everything they need to do in a morning between getting out of bed and leaving the house. You can then try and make the start of the day more fun by asking the kids to tick off their own personal tasks on a wipe board as they go through their morning routine, or even play their favourite CD and challenge them to complete each task by the end of a track. Rewarding them with a small treat on a Friday after school will give them a sense of satisfaction whilst also teaching them to be responsible.

The concept of time

Image 3 - childs watch

Precious minutes can be lost in the morning, if you've got especially talkative little ones, or kids who insist on an extra five minutes in bed. Set some alarms on your child's watch to sound when each individual task needs to be completed. You can even make it into a game by sounding different alarms for each individual task. This will help them stick to a routine and realise the concept of time. Lorus do a range of affordable children's watches which feature an alarm and come in a range of different colours.

Toughen up!

Image 4 - TV

Even the softest of parents can exert some discipline in the morning without coming across as Mrs Trunchbull. TV is best avoided in the morning, but if your child's favourite show is on then make it clear they can watch it for 10-15 minutes as long as they are clean and dressed with their bags packed and ready for school. Any disobedience in the morning should have a consequence of some kind to make it clear it won't be happening again - e.g. ban them from the X-Box for a week. They may hate you for day or two, but at least it won't happen again!

Play the blame game

Children will often take an apathetic approach to their morning routine if they see it as mum and dad's responsibility to get them ready. If you end up being 20 minutes late to school because your child is playing up, let the teacher know it was their fault and why. Letting their teacher in on it will help your child realise the consequences of their actions and they will be far less likely to do it again. If it gets to this point, just take the teacher aside for a quiet word to ensure you have their buy-in.

So there you have it - by taking control, utilising a little discipline and some careful planning you can completely turn your morning routine around, ensuring you and your children get a better start to the day.

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