You don’t have to be a morning person to love mornings. The trick to making every morning great is using preparation, demonstration, delegation and admiration. Check out these four handy tips for making mornings shine.
1. Get Ready the Night Before
Mornings are a busy time in most households. Parents go to work, kids go to school or daycare and certain chores, such as feeding the pets, must be done. By preparing for tomorrow morning tonight, you can cut back on the stress level and get out the door with time to spare. Try doing these things before bedtime:
- Set out clean, matching outfits for everyone
- Pack sack lunches or the diaper bag
- Organize important papers for work or school
- Do the dishes and sweep the kitchen floor
2. Show Them How It’s Done
You know how to get yourself ready, but do your kids know what to do? Depending on their ages, teach them to be as independent as possible. Preschoolers who can dress themselves will save you ten minutes. Grade-schoolers who can pour their own cereal and milk will shave two minutes off the clock. Older kids or teens can pitch in where needed and keep the younger ones on task. Just be sure to make your expectations clear, and reinforce the idea that if they make a mess, they need to clean it up.
3. Make a Chart
Give everyone a job to do, such as putting lunches in backpacks, feeding the dog or cat and turning off lights. Utilize a chart with tasks that can be assigned to a different family member each week. The chart can be bright and cheery or a simple black-and-white, whichever is most inspiring to your family.
4. Be Rewarding
When your family masters their morning routine with time to spare, show them how proud you are by rewarding them. You can offer a daily reward, such as their favorite treat after school, when the morning goes smoothly. For a whole week of happy mornings, offer a bigger incentive, such as pizza and a movie at home on Friday night. If the family masters an entire month of stress-free mornings, the reward can be as big as you want: a visit to the zoo, a camping trip or a night in a hotel with a pool are all reasonable options.
The desire for an easier morning routine is one that is shared by almost everyone. By setting a good example and making expectations clear, you can achieve your goal of good mornings for the whole family.