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Towards a more peaceful morning routine

 

morning routine

 

Towards a more peaceful morning routine

 

Rrrrrringggggg,  goes on the annoying alarm sound. You jump out of bed, quickly revising in your mind your to-do list while keeping an eye on the clock (or let me say the stop watch) because your time is so limited!

Ready, set, go! Your morning race has started:  Countless failing efforts in waking the kids up, helping them get dressed into their school uniforms, bathroom rituals. Quick! Think of something to put in their lunch bags. Are the school bags ready yet? Where is the other pair of the school shoes? Do you have to put the PE kit in the bag? Check the schedule..quick!!! They started fighting!! Now brushing hair time. Oh no! He forgot his jacket at school!! Is there any time left for breakfast? Check the time! The school bus has arrived! She just  remembered that she forgot to do her homework and has to do it now!! “Quick! rush to the bus or else I’ll have to drive you all the way to school”

It’s over. You finally reached the finish line. They are finally on the bus. Now what? A cup of coffee or back to bed? You feel like you are already drained of all your energy and need to rest which you might or might not have the luxury for!

Isn’t that our story every single morning for the whole school year? Every day we repeat the same thing over and over again. It’s true that the older they get, the more they can help out (although this is not always the case!!) but you’ll still need to wake them up and do things for them, or at least supervise!

Is there a way out of that other than hiring a nanny to do that job? Is there a way out where you and your children can stay sane and not dread that morning ring?

From my personal experience, a bit of organization and planning make life much easier. Let me share with you a few tips that I’ve learnt throughout the years. I’ll start with things to be done respectively:

1-Create your own customized checklist:

This should take around 10-15 minutes but it saves you from a lot of morning struggles!

Every house has a different routine but almost the same checklist. By a checklist, I mean: create a list where you write everything you need to check every single morning. However, do the list before you go to bed instead! This should clearly be written down on a piece of paper and could be an activity you do together with your kids. Invite your child’s cooperation until you train him to do it on his own as he becomes a bit older and more mature.  A checklist will usually consist of:

  • Was all homework done?
  • Check the schedule and make sure all books and school supplies went back into the bag.
  • Has the school jacket come back home and if not provide an alternative.
  • Do you need to provide them with their PE kit the following day (in case they don’t keep them at school)?
  • Are there any school notes that you should reply to?
  • Prepare together the school uniform, socks, hair brush and hair bands!
  • Ask your children if there is anything else they would like to take to school the following day? If there is, ask them to put it in their bag before they go to bed.
  • Place the bags and school shoes next to the door

2- Sleep time:

Kids need to sleep at a reasonable time. They need from 8-14 uninterrupted hours of sleep each night depending on their age. If they don’t get enough sleep (like us all) they’ll wake up  in a cranky mood and they’ll be so intolerant and uncooperative.

(for more details regarding this matter, check http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/how-much-sleep-do-babies-and-kids-need)

3- Lunch bags and breakfast:

Prepare as much as you can the night before. Prepare food that can be eaten cold or can be easily warmed in the morning before placing it in the lunch bag. Dips and vegetable sticks, cold salads, fruit, nuts, granola bars and cheese cubes all taste great when eaten cold! I sometimes put the whole lunch bag inside the fridge the night before and it works great!

Also prepare breakfast utensils on the table before you go to bed, be it the cereal bowls and spoons or the plates that you’ll serve their food on and the glasses you’ll serve their milk in.

4- Setting the alarm:

We have a long to do list every morning and you can’t expect it all to be done in 10 minutes! Morning routine needs at least 45 minutes! When you all get up earlier, you tend to be more relaxed, tolerant and less stressed. This will also help you think clearly, practice better anger management and take wise decisions. Best of all, it will give a good positive and happy mood to the whole family instead of a constant rise of stress hormone levels. It will also make some time for the “messing about” child if he decided to do everything in slow motion one morning (hopefully it is just ‘one’ not ‘every morning’!)

5- Breakfast is important:

Do not ignore breakfast! This is a big mistake most of us make while it is the most important meal of the day. It doesn’t have to be a big meal. It could be as simple as a fruit and a glass of milk or a handful of nuts and a glass of water. Sit together and have a little chit chat about your lovely night dreams or your happy prayers for each other.

Finally, school years will be over sooner than you expect. These days won’t last forever. Remind yourself every morning they will leave you for at least 8 hours so try to make these 45 minutes as pleasurable as they can be (not as stressful as they can be!) These few minutes can help build up your relationship with each other and alter the mood you and them will have for the rest of the day. Hope these tips will help ease your daily morning stress.

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Noha Abu-Sitta

Noha is a certified Health Coach by Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator and a passionate mother of two. Through her blog, she hopes to empower families and parents to lead a healthy, happy and well balanced life inside out.

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