Get Back to Bathroom Routines
Another summer has flown by and now (somehow) the school year is quickly approaching.
We can’t believe it either.
Summertime comes with slower mornings and fewer responsibilities. But just because the school year requires an earlier alarm and a regular get-ready schedule doesn’t mean that the easy lifestyle of sweet summer has to end. Yes, preparing entire families for the day can be stressful…but it doesn’t have to be. Routines can – and should – be enjoyable for all, as they provide consistent expectations and familiar structure everyone can depend on. The trick is to find a routine that suits each family member’s personality and needs.
Every person, no matter if he is an adult or she is a child, is motivated differently. Some of us are lucky enough to be bright and bubbly even before the sun has risen, while others can barely keep their eyes open well after sunrise. So today, we’re sharing strategies to motivate three types of kids and keep them happy – and moving – first thing in the morning.
For Goal-Oriented Kids:
If your kids are driven by achievement, inspire them to complete every get-ready step with positive reinforcement. We love Amy McCready’s “When-Then Routine” she recommends in her book, Positive Parenting Solutions. Give your kids tasks to complete in a specific order. Only once they complete those mundane tasks first will they be able to get to the more enjoyable steps. You can say something like, “When you are done getting dressed and brushing your hair, then you can have some breakfast.” The trick to making this tip work long-term is to stay consistent in what comes first. Never give in to whines and groans or risk losing any progress.
This approach will motivate your little ones to get the not-so-fun to-do’s done first so they can feel rewarded with the good stuff. By saving the more enjoyable parts for later, your kiddos will move quickly to get to their sweet reward at the end. Added bonus: you’ll have more time to prepare breakfast – and yourself – as they prep for their day.
For the Gold-Star Obsessed:
Some kids respond to positive reinforcement in the form of meeting a goal. There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with completing tasks, one step at a time. Don’t we all love crossing things off our to do list?
Create your own get-ready checklist for each of your kiddos to complete each morning. Of course, make sure they’re age appropriate. Some assistance from you or an older sibling may be required. Each child’s checklist may include:
- Wash your face and hands.
- Put your clothes and shoes on.
- Eat your breakfast.
- Grab your backpack.
If you have more than one child, rotate the order of to do’s so they don’t bump into each other…or you’ll risk morning arguments.
For the Snooze Button Fans
If your little ones tend to start off groggier than most, help them prepare the night before when they’re full of energy.
Set your morning up for success by:
- Packing backpacks and lunches/lunch money
- Picking clothes, shoes and any necessary outerwear.
- Selecting breakfast, preparing when possible (i.e. overnight oats or smoothie).
Inspire your night owls by making this a fun family affair. Even you and your spouse will benefit by getting your bags, outfits, and meals ready before the early morning wake up call.
With these three tricks, your family’s morning get-ready routine will become as sweet as summertime. No matter what method you choose, set the next day up for success with an early bedtime the night before. You’ll want to get to bed too so you can get up before the kids.
Hear me out.
A few moment of peace and quiet will help you get centered before the day and even give you time to sip your coffee. Savor the calm before the storm. You’ll be less stressed and never miss a drop-off again.
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