Families: Curb the Crazy Morning Routine

September 03, 2014

Families: Curb the Crazy Morning Routine

Whether you’re flying solo or trying to get multiple kids out the door, weekday mornings are a breeding ground for total chaos. We’ve got a few tips to help you nail down an easy, breezy, organized routine that let’s you get out the door without losing your cool. Up this month: a sweet plan for families.

Make a list and post it

It’s hard to keep straight what every family member needs to get done in the morning in order to get out the door on time. Make a list for each child that details what tasks they are expected to accomplish in the morning before school (make the bed, brush hair, put breakfast dishes in the dishwasher). Go over the list with your child and then post it in their room or downstairs in a common area.

It’s not only little ones who can benefit from a daily list. Creating one for the adults in the house can keep moms and dads on the same page. It’s also a great way to divvy up details that sometimes slip through the cracks (ahem, who’s driving the school carpool).

Get it done the night before

Limit the number of things you need to tick off your list in the AM by getting them done the night before. Set aside 30 minutes before the kids’ bedtime to have them pick out clothes, pack backpacks, and prep lunches. Nix morning baths for little ones and tack tub time onto the the end of the day.

Once the kids are in bed, get yourself organized — select an outfit, make a list of errands you need to run, gather together any odds and endsyou’ll need to for the next day (Car keys? Check. Cell phone? Check.) and take a shower so you can hit snooze at least once without feeling the pang of parental guilt.

Nix the bathroom hog

Got a bathroom hog on your hands? Rather than engage in a major morning battle, give them a time limit so everyone is able to get a turn in front of the mirror. In fact, big families with few bathrooms may want to go one step further and also create an order of who gets to use the loo first. If this ends up meaning you’re plagued by kid-sized complaints about always being last on the list, switch up the order every month.

Simplify breakfast

Establish a firm time that everyone needs to be dressed and downstairs for breakfast. Reserve items like pancakes, eggs, and bacon for weekend mornings when time isn’t of the essence. Instead, offer up healthy options that are quick and easy to make (hello, cereal and bananas). If you’ve got choosy little ones who love to play the “I can’t decide” game, give them only two breakfast options to choose from.

Limit screen time

Keep TV and smartphones from becoming a distraction (or creating fights), by only allowing screen time if your child has ticked everything off of their list and there’s minutes to spare before leaving for school.

Have a suggestion about how to make weekday mornings less crazy? Let us know in the space below.

Megan Mostyn-Brown

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