I am by no means an expert of organization or routines with my kids, and I definitely struggle with being consistent with anything I put in place. Habits are hard to form, and you have to find what works for you. However, I've implemented a few key things that make a big difference in terms of tackling the morning. If you're like me, having a rough morning can set the tone for the entire day so I want things to go as smoothly and happily as possible.
Here are my top 4 tips for a smoother morning with kids!
Start the night before: Set out clothes, lunches, and backpacks the night before to avoid chaos in the morning. This gives you so much more flexibility in the morning, in case kids (or you) are moving slower. I can't tell you how much this helps me out! I am not a morning person, and while these are all little tasks it saves so much time to just knock it out ahead of time.
Rise a little early: Giving yourself an extra 10-15 minutes in the morning is an easy way to fit in more tasks and help keep kids on schedule. Leaving earlier than you think is also a good trick. I feel like it's often surprising how long it can take to load up into the car.
Have a routine: Whether it's listening to a certain song, having a certain order of tasks, or a certain location where all their things can be found, having a routine will help your kids remember what they need to do and help the morning go more smoothly. Kids thrive on structure; I'm not saying be rigid, I'm saying be predictable.
As your kids get older you can also set them up for success with a checklist or non-verbal reminder of what they need to complete each morning. This promotes independence and can *sometimes* help to reduce all the nagging, errr, reminding.
Give yourself grace: Kids will be kids, and setting unrealistic expectations can lead to frustration. Give yourself and your kids some grace and recognize that things may not always go as planned.
Praise them on great days! Everyone feels good when a routine went smoothly.