Slowing Down The Morning Rush
April 13, 2010 · Posted in K-5 Kids, Parenting, Preschoolers, Pressure on Children, Toddlerhood · Permalink

ME/METROMornings are hard for families.  There is always so much to get done. The clock is ticking as mom, dad, kids – all need to get up and get going. The ‘Morning Rush’ can feel very hectic especially if you expect children to move at the rate of adults. By honoring the pace of children in the morning, you are more likely to walk out the door without feeling like a week has passed between 6:30 and 8:30 am.

While adults have big goals in mind, kids are living in the moment with their own smaller goals. Mushing the oatmeal, zooming the trains on the floor of their room, the water flowing from the faucet. Wherever they are in their morning, they are in the moment and unaware of the next thing to get done. Parents can experience this as dawdling, not listening, and of course sometimes it is. Regardless, keeping the child’s experience in mind while you keep your eye on the prize – getting out the door – helps the morning feel less like a battle.

Here are a few tips parents have found very helpful for pain-free mornings:

  • Set your alarm at least 15 minutes before you need to wake your children or they would normally wake you.
  • Get yourself up first and take care of at least one big task: make breakfast, hop in the shower, get the lunches made.
  • Don’t let your kids drag you out of bed. You will end up rushed and impatient.
  • Make getting dressed the first task for kids so that they are motivated to get it done and go have breakfast. Most fights happen over getting dressed.
  • Don’t expect your young children to move the morning along on their own. They need you to shepard them through the morning.
  • Make a list with pictures of everything that needs to get accomplished so you can ask your kids to check and see what they need to do. It encourages independence and ownership of their own self-care.
  • Unless you have more than one and a half hours don’t use TV on a weekday morning – it creates more problems than it solves.

Remember to allow enough time, be ready yourself and don’t take it personally if your kids sometimes lose themselves in their teeth brushing or in selecting a book or toy to bring to school. Kids hate the rushing around that we get caught up in.

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  1. Michele
    April 13th, 2010 | 6:40 pm

    I do feel like a week passes each morning between 6:30-8:30am!!! This is very helpful! Thanks so much for addressing this!

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