Getting both yourself and your children ready in the morning is no easy feat. Most of the time it seems like anything that can go wrong will, including stubborn toddlers, forgetting lunches, or even just waking up late.
But a stressful morning is no reason to stop parents from having a good day and work and children from having fun at daycare. The proper morning routine can be key for setting both parents and kids up for success. Take a look at these top tips to make sure your family’s morning not only run smoothly but guarantee a good day.
Pick Out Outfits the Night Before
One of the many questions parents have about raising their child is when to begin teaching them independence. Allowing children to make decisions for themselves – such as what clothes they want to wear – is a great way to start them down the path of independent thinking and can be a fun and easy way to get them motivated in the morning.
Of course, giving a toddler free reign over their wardrobe can backfire – what should be a five-minute process can quickly turn into a twenty-minute tantrum of finding that special dress or pair of shoes.
To avoid this, consider setting up a selection of outfits the night before – or even during the beginning of the week. (Think: clothes prepping.) This will set up some time-saving boundaries while still giving the child the chance to choose.
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is true for both children and adults. Although it may be easy to skip breakfast knowing that your child will receive a nutritional meal at daycare, making sure the whole family receives a healthy morning meal is key to success throughout the day.
Meal prepping or buying quick, hearty meals is a good way to guarantee a full breakfast. There are tons of great breakfast options you can make at the beginning of the week to satisfy the whole family, including:
- Yogurt cups (or parfaits for parents)
- Fruit cups
- Overnight oats
- Breakfast sandwiches
Waking Up Your Child
Although it may seem like kids have an endless amount of energy, they require a huge amount of sleep at night. This can make getting them up in the morning difficult.
The key to making sure your child wakes up on time is to make sure they maintain a healthy bedtime routine. Monitor how well they fall asleep at night, and plan their next-day wake ups accordingly. Give them at least a ten-minute window of start-up time to make sure their brains are up and running.
Another pro tip is to make sure you’re awake before the kids. A fully awake parent is much more useful than a parent that is half awake. And happy parents in the morning sets a good example of how to power through for the kids. It also prevents parents from being rudely woken up by children at play in the early hours of the morning.
Having Fun on the Commute
Getting to daycare is the final part of the morning routine. For parents who drive their kids or take a carpool car , make sure your child’s bags are packed and they are properly situated in their appropriate sized car seat. For parents taking public transportation, remember to keep a close eye on children so that they don’t wander away.
The best way to keep kids satisfied on the way to school is by keeping them entertained. Consider plugging them into a device with their favorite cartoons or educational apps. If you’re looking to spend more time with your children, consider playing a carpool game or asking about their plans for the day.
Morning don’t have to be a burden. With a little pre-planning and a positive attitude, mornings can be the start of a great day for both parents and kids.