We’ve discussed the importance of bedtime routines, but what about morning routines? Starting your child off on the right foot sets them up to tackle their day’s activities, whether it’s potty training or preschool. Here are five tips to make your morning routine bright.
1. Start the night before
Life is hectic, so having things checked off before your head hits the pillow will keep you from running through a to-do list instead of counting sheep. Jumpstart your day by packing lunches and backpacks the night before, preparing breakfast, and laying out your child’s clothes. As they grow, encourage your child to join in on the routine and eventually allow them to do it with less supervision. This way, they gain autonomy and life skills. A fun meal-prep recipe to experiment with is overnight oats! This health-packed breakfast requires no cooking and can easily be packed in jars and Tupperware in case your morning moves fast.
2. Mentally prepare your child for the next day
Ball game after school? Fun trip to the toy store? A dreaded math test? Let your child know what to expect the next day and ask them about their feelings. This way, they won’t be negatively surprised, and you can help them feel less stressed.
3. Give yourself time in the morning
If you know you need coffee before anything in the morning, give yourself some breathing room before waking the little ones. Set your alarm 15 to 20 minutes early and have some morning me time! You’ve earned it.
4. Limit screentime
I know we talked about screen time in our bedtime routine article, but screens in the morning aren’t great either! A French study found that screen time before school can negatively impact children’s language ability. General practitioner and co-author of the study, Dr. Collet Manon, explains, “Studies reported that when children were paying attention to a screen, they responded to a primary attention reflex (bottom up) which is not a deliberate intention of commitment (top down).”
It’s a tough example to set, but if you can limit your own screen time in the morning, you and your child can reap the rewards. Plus, being cautious with phones has other benefits as well.
5. Consistent farewell routines
Whether you’re dropping your kid off at school, the bus, or heading off to work, make sure to say goodbye and throw in a hug, a kiss, or both! Studies show that hugs benefit children immensely by releasing oxytocin and lowering stress levels. This small gesture eases anxiety, and who doesn’t love an extra moment with the people they care about most?