Morning Routine Part 1. Good morning Merry Sunshine?!?
Good morning! Are you a morning person? I realize I am if I go to bed at a reasonable time. :) For the most part regardless of how many hours of sleep I am a pretty happy person - however, when I have 3 not-so-happy, very tired kids (honeymoon is over, work piling up, social pressures) lately it has not been too much fun in our house.
I refuse to have this be the start of our day. I want my kids to leave for school feeling loved, fed and prepared for the day. I would say this happens right now 2 out of 5 mornings. It is a process that we continually have to work on.
I am going to break this morning routine post up into 3 parts: Waking UP, Prep for the Day, OUT the door.
Here are a few tips that may or may not work in your house that we are trying out:
1. DO OVER.
Getting Up on the right side of the bed. - sometimes this does not happen for my one son who finds it tough especially when he is dreading school or assignment etc. We do a do over. I tuck him back in with all his clothes on, lights out. I then walk in again and wake him up gently and we start the day over again. It really works.
2. MUSIC to SET the MOOD.
It is magic.
- Playing Music - we will play a calm play list or a upbeat song to get us moving in the morning. I actually found a song about getting dressed that turned a freak out to laughter and restart. Spotify rocks. This is a good "electronic" activity to have them prepare a song list for the family in the morning.
- Singing- My mom literally used to wake me my brothers and I with a song every morning. It is funny what things we continue on. Good morning merry sunshine or the good morning song usually helps when the lights turn on.
3. Not ME.
With my daughter we were just getting into too many arguments about getting out of bed....so we got her an old fashion alarm (no cell phones in the bedroom or within reach). This has helped her immensely...she has time to get up on her own terms.
4. WAKING UP EACH BODY PART
This still works with my oldest. Being silly. When they were little it was a way to get them out of bed when they refused to....I wake up each body part...feet tickle (if feet move it means it is awake), I pick up their arm it drops, I give it a little rub to see if it will "wake up'. I run my fingers up their spine. Check their ears, eyes and mouth to see if they are awake. They still laugh when I do it. For those where there is a time crunch - it is less than 1 minute, it provides connection, a giggle and starts the day right.
5. MOVE CLOCK 10 MINUTES BACK.
I wake them up 10 minutes earlier than they need to be so they can have a 10 minute sleep in.
One word of caution....Thank goodness it is Friday Mentality - I would not recommend this for anyone. When you are in survival mode and your child really does not want to go to school counting down the days has worked as a visual tool. When things become less survival mode. I think teaching and modeling for the kids that each day has its potential and is special in its own way. Yes, Friday at our house means no school the next day, pizza and movie night but I do not want the week to be wished away. For example, one day a week they can pick the morning that they want to watch TV while having breakfast. They like they have the power to choose and this is a real treat.
Let me know what you use to wake kids up, particularly the ones that are struggling because they do not want to go to school.
At the Summit, we will be covering topics that will relate to what I was just talking about ...dread in the morning with Susan's talk on Dread in my Child's Head and Self Compassion when it comes you and your child moving through some not so easy times.
I hope to see you at the SYT Summit on Saturday October 21st, 2017 so we can dive deeper into the issues that impact our morning routines.