Getting ready in the morning can be a challenge for parents and children alike. With everyone having different schedules and preferences, it can be difficult to coordinate and streamline a morning routine. However, with a few hacks and tips and some good morning routine ideas(from yours truly), parents and children can make getting ready in the morning a breeze.
the K.I.S.S. Principle
I speak about this on my ‘about us‘ page. Back in College, my professor used to say Keep It Short and Simple, K.I.S.S. But I put a ‘Simply’ twist on it with Kind, Involved, Super-fun, and Sage. That’s my style! I use this not only in these morning routine ideas but in my fathering method, simply.
Mornings are awesome! I wrote about it in many of my previous articles. I love mornings with a passion, and I’m trying to pass this down to my son. Granted, he’s only 6, but so far so good. He loves mornings(knock on wood) and I hope he continues.
But, we are not perfect and there are always things to do in the morning before we all leave the house. Fortunately, his school is only a 6-minute walk from home. Many Korean neighborhoods were constructed with the kids and schools in mind, thus giving the parents and kids extreme convenience with going to and from their schools.
Here are a few morning routine ideas that I use to get us ready and going. I try to keep things at a slow pace so as not to give my son the impression that we are rushed or late. Big no no! The morning ‘mood’ will dictate most of the day’s ‘mood.’ So, don’t be ‘that’ guy that wakes up on the proverbial side of the damn bed. Make your morning awesome. Follow me…
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Create a morning routine
Establishing a morning routine can help parents and children get ready for the day. A routine will help everyone know what to expect and can make the morning less stressful. Parents can create a routine by making a checklist of tasks that need to be completed in the morning, such as getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and eating breakfast.
Routines are the backbone of any success in life along with consistency. So, from Monday through Friday be consistent with your routine and things will be so much simpler for everyone in the house. Period! I don’t know what your family needs as a routine, but you do. KISS…establish these right here…
-Wake up time/Breakfast time/Brushing teeth time/Shower time(if needed)/Dressing up time/Departure time.
Put these in writing on a piece of paper on the fridge. Once the routine sets in, it gets easier. Routine!
Lay out clothes the night before
I’ve got a boy. I don’t have to make braids/ponytails or pick out a range of clothes for him. Easy stuff, for the most part. But, mornings can be hectic, so laying out clothes the night before can save time and reduce stress.
Parents and children can choose their outfits the night before and have them ready to put on in the morning. This will eliminate the need to search for clothes in the morning and ensure that everyone is dressed and ready to go on time. This includes school backpacks, all that is needed for school, homework, and so on. Check this Hack out…
++Hack! Purchase this hanging shoe rack from Amazon. Don’t use it for shoes, use it to prep your child’s clothes. Roll up their outfits for each day of the week and place those clothes in each opening. The top one starts as Monday and work your way down to Friday or Sunday, all up to you.
Boom! Do this on Sunday evenings and now your kid is dressed right through Friday without wearing the same thing twice. Awesomeness!
Prepare breakfast in advance
Food might vary widely depending on where you are in the world, but you can make this as simple as possible. Breakfast is an important meal, but it can also be time-consuming to prepare. It’s also the biggest part of these morning routine ideas.
Parents and children can save time by preparing breakfast in advance. This can be done by making overnight oats, baking muffins or breakfast bars, or preparing a smoothie the night before. Having breakfast ready to go in the morning will make it easier for everyone to start the day.
We eat eggs daily with toast, oatmeal, Korean bread, rice, or potatoes and we include fruits as well. We do the same menu a few times a week, so we know what to expect.
++Hack! Get the utensils/cups/plates ready on the dining table the night before. This will save a little time. If you’re having cereal, get the cereal boxes out the night before and set them on the table. The only thing you’ll need to do is get the milk out in the morning and prep the other stuff as needed.
++Hack! Make some cold oatmeal the night before. That’s good for the kids as well as the parents. Soak some dry oatmeal in some milk overnight. The next morning the oats will be soft. You can add honey or brown sugar and fruits. For the fit dads out there, you can add a scoop of protein to the mixture.
Another way to incorporate these morning routine ideas for breakfast is to keep things plain and boring. Yes, I said that! You can make the same menu every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and have a separate menu and Tuesday and Thursday as well. Simplified!
Use a visual schedule
As mentioned above. Write it down so the kids and you can see it. If it’s written, nobody can say “no, that’s not what you said.” Because the proof was written down. ..You can use that in the office too. It works wonders! Or have a visual schedule for the younger ones…
Visual schedules can be a great tool for children who struggle with getting ready in the morning. A visual schedule is a series of pictures or symbols that represent different tasks that need to be completed. Children can use the visual schedule to see what they need to do next and stay on track.
Depending on their age of course. You’re not going to give this chart to your teenage son right? I’m just saying…
Use a timer
Timers can be useful for children who need extra motivation to complete tasks in the morning. Parents can set a timer for each task and encourage their children to try to beat the timer. This can make getting ready in the morning more fun and engaging for children.
Make it a race if things are slugging along in the morning, tell the kids, ” first one ready can have ice cream after dinner.” Or something of that nature. How about “last one ready folds the laundry?” Chores are never-ending! Get your kids involved!
++Hack! Use the countdown timer on your phone, the one with a loud buzzing sound, to let everyone know if it’s time to leave, or time to be dressed, etc… Feels a little Damon Wayans in Major Payne but it works!
Have a designated spot for items
Keeping track of items can be challenging in the morning. To make it easier, parents and children can designate a spot for items that need to be taken to school or work. For example, backpacks and lunchboxes can be placed by the door to ensure that they are not forgotten.
“Where are my keys?” “Dad, where is my school bag?” etc… I Heard that one this morning!
++Hack! Put things where they should go in the first place…right?! Backpack near the door, Check! Car keys, Check! Taekwondo uniform, Check! Don’t put the items in their right place sometimes, do it all the time… Consistency always wins!
Practice good sleep habits
Getting enough sleep is essential for a successful morning routine. Parents and children should practice good sleep habits, such as going to bed at the same time each night, avoiding screens before bedtime, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine. Getting enough sleep will make it easier to wake up in the morning and start the day.
I have several articles on this blog about sleep, for kids and parents, please take a look at them. They are very helpful. I also believe in lullabies both for kids and parents. As cheesy as it may sound, there are many positives about using these gentle sounds to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try them out!
Recent research by the National Sleep Foundation indicates that children are not getting enough sleep. We are raising sleep-deprived kids. So, make sure your kiddos are getting enough shut-eye by following the guidelines in the link provided.
++Tip! Get them to bed early! This gives their bodies a chance to rest and grow, and it gives mom and dad time to relax and have a cold beer.
A little note~
I did not include making and packing lunches, as we don’t need to do this in Korea. Again, depending on where you are in the world, lunches might be a large part of your morning routine. You should prep before you sleep, get menus organized, and KISS… I’m not a lunch-maker so I can’t be too detailed, but it all comes down to being organized when you wake up.
++Korea has a Free-lunch program for students here, and their lunches are very nutritious. Students never bring their lunches to school, it’s non-existent.
Morning Routine Ideas-Conclusion
Mornings can be challenging for parents and children, but with a few hacks and tips, it can be made easier. Establishing a great start to the day is essential for everyone in the house. With all the previously mentioned morning routine ideas, you’re surely on your way to having a great morning and this will ‘rub off’ on your kids… Monkey See, Monkey Do.
++Hack! I know you don’t want to hear this. I know… But if you wake up a little earlier, shit won’t hit the fan in the morning. Simple. Stop hitting that ‘snooze’ button, and get up 10, 20, or 30 minutes earlier to make sure everything runs smoothly.
++Where’s coffee in all of this?… That’s up to you to purcolate that solution!
These morning routine ideas are meant to help you out, but if you do get up earlier it’ll help you out. Also, before everyone rushes out the door, make sure that kisses and hugs are exchanged. Always!
Enjoy this time in your kids’ lives. They are only young once!
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