Good morning Part 2 Prep for the Day
Prepare the Night Before - NOT. Just kidding. I really dislike this tip. My organized friends and husband say "why don't you have them put their clothes out, shower and bag at the door?" I can honestly say I do not know why we do not do this but for our ADD brains, this seems to be more a challenge that is not attainable many mornings. We do our best but I find just getting the homework done, bed routine, read, kids activities etc. we have nothing left.
There are two things in our house that have to be done the night before:
- Uniforms in their cubbies (more on that later)
- Paperwork signed, Assignments printed, Extra money for pizza lunches, trips, etc are organized.
The reason these two things are on the list because these are the two that can really delay our departure in the morning.or start tears because of a forgotten pizza lunch.
I am going to touch on a couple of things that have have made a difference in our house.
- Routine and Checklists
- Physical Activity
- Paper Management
- Time to Yourself
1. Routine and Checklist
We do attempt at creating a routine with simple guidelines. These guidelines do help us. Do they happen every day? Not a chance. Do we have meltdowns? Absolutely. This just provides a baseline.
- Not allowed to sit down an have breakfast unless dressed.
- Shoes and socks on,
- lunch in bag, instrument and gymclothes and bag at the door
- 1 child has to walk the dog around the block,
- Agendas are signed,
- Protein Breakfast eaten
- All that done then they can go on the trampoline and/or treadmill and watch TV.
We are big breakfast eaters in our house for one my daughter eats very little during the day (earlier post about Sensitive Eaters) so I make sure the kids have a warm, full of protein breakfast. I am a bit protein obsessed in the morning. We make protein shakes with fruit to get one of their servings, eggs almost every morning, oatmeal, bacon etc. This makes me feel like I am helping their brains take on the day. They know they have to have protein in the morning because we have done an experiment about how they feel half way in the morning without having any protein at breakfast. This was an easy way to get them to eat a full breakfast.
Cereal they are allowed one bowl a day...would like to remove this food group entirely but the boys are in a growth spurt so it is a good way to fill them up.
3. Physical Activity
For us, this is an important step for our family to feel like they can take on the day. My one son gets up early and works out for about 15-20 minutes. He feels like he has accomplished something in his day. He is very disciplined about getting his workout done. My other son loves the trampoline or he walks the dog. We do make physical activity an essential part of our morning.
4. Paper Management
We do not do paperwork in the mornings. Any letter signature required, extra money we need has to be done the night before, all assignments must be printed at the door.
I thought uniforms would be easier, save time etc. but for our family they pose an additionalchallenge and frustration. For example, you cannot just wear anything...if your tie, black socks or proper shoes go missing from the day before you know you will have detention and that does not start the day off on the right foot. This has happened on more than one occasion so we have started a cubby system in their closet where the uniform (even if dirty) including the socks are thrown into a cubby so at least we know where one whole uniform is in the house.
I do not empty/clean my kids lunches. From a very early age, they have cleaned them. If that is not done then no lunch goes in the bag. My kids also do not like sandwiches so I prepare all the snacks and then they pick and choose what they want to put into their lunch. This also makes them accountable if there was not enough food in their lunch or they do not like it.
I really rather not have the TV on at all in the morning. I find it distracts the kids and we have very little conversation among each other. I do allow TV one day a week that they can pick while they are eating breakfast. This is a treat for them and it stops them from asking me everyday if they can watch TV.
8. Time To Yourself
I find that time to myself is the key to make a morning go smoothly. I have a dear friend that I walk with every morning at 6am. Rain or Shine. This activity I get 3 key things done: I get the dog walked, I have connection, I have some exercise. I have about 15 minutes when I get back just to be quiet, meditate and pray. Frankly, this puts me in a mood that is calm, patient and helpful to support my kids to have a good start to their day!.
If you want to learn more about organization and ADHD, get the Nov 2016 video package as our expert John Tucker reviews some great tips there. We will also be covering other topics that will help with the anxiety and concerns with learning that you might face in the morning, so join us at the Summit or get your Oct 2017 Video Package.