Hopefully, by now you’ve been implementing the morning routine hacks, and your mornings have already improved a little bit. This new hack will make a world of a difference as well, because it’s all about starting the day connecting with your children.
The payoff of taking the time to ease your children in their first transition of the day, from being asleep to being awake, is tremendous. A few minutes devoted to connecting with your child first thing in the morning will vastly transform your mornings, and your family dynamics.
When our children feel connected to us their mood and self esteem are higher, and they are more willing to cooperate with us. Children with their connection and love tanks running on empty will feel angry, disengaged, oppositional, defiant, cranky, unloved and uncooperative. When they are sent into the world (bus, school, park…) they feel insecure, they question themselves, they can’t socialize properly, and they feel out of place.
To the contrary, children whose connection and love tanks are full, feel loved, confident, motivated and eager to start the day. When they are sent into the world they are secure in themselves, they are confident in who they are, they don’t need to look for love or validation in others because they already have enough of that at home.
Five minutes of connection first thing in the morning can transform your morning and your child’s day! By starting the day with connection, our children are so much more likely to be co-operative! So, let’s fill their tanks! This is how I try to connect with my daughters in the morning:
Let the light in slowly. I open the drapes to let the day light in, instead of turning on the lights. One of my daughters is particularly sensitive to the light in the morning, and she’d rather get their eyes used to the natural light before turning on her bedroom lights.
Wake them up slowly
Ideally, if your children get enough sleep at night, they would wake up naturally, without the need of an alarm clock or without you having to go into their rooms. However, when my daughters don’t wake up naturally, I make sure I don’t wake them up yelling from the doorstep, or rushing them out of bed. I help them wake up slowly.
Cuddles and conversation
I take the time to lay down with them on their beds and cuddle. I take that time to help them feel loved. I want their first thought to be about how loved they are, and not about how much they need to do and rush in the morning. I also use this time to talk to them:
- Check in about their night: how did they sleep? did they have any cool dream? are they rested?
- Set the intention for the day: Are they excited about anything in particular? What are their goals and plans for the day?
- Gratitude: I help them think of at least three things they are grateful for. They need to be specific, instead of just saying ‘I’m thankful for my sister,’ they would say ‘I am very grateful that my sister A always helps me with my homework’
- Positive affirmations: I tell them good things about them, being as specific as possible and giving them examples when necessary. Lately I have been using cards that I got them for Christmas and they love them! These cards help me showcase their positive attributes in an easy and beautiful way. You can get them in Amazon if you’re interested in using them.
Empowerment, Trust and Self-Discipline
When it’s time for my 9 year old twins to finally get out of bed and start their day, I let them know I trust them to follow their routine charts (I’ll talk about this in more detail in my next post), and that I will join them downstairs for breakfast. After that, I do a simplified version of the steps above with my three year old, and I help her follow her morning routine. She loves being independent and do things on her own, so my main role with her as she’s getting ready, is to be patient.
This is a perfect moment to love and support each other before we head out into the world. We always make time to sit and eat breakfast together as a family. During the weekends, our breakfast are even more special since my husband cooks for all of us.
This is what I’m looking forward the most in the morning. When I only had the twins, we had plenty of extra time in the mornings. When I had my third daughter, our mornings got a little bit more hectic and I usually found myself rushing more and barely having any extra time. Since our au pair joined our family, I’ve regained a little bit of extra time in the morning, which is a tremendous blessing.
These are some of the things I like doing with my daughters with the extra time:
- Read with them. I will certainly do a post about our family reading, because it’s one of our passions.
- Play with them in their playroom following their lead.
- Play in the backyard with them and our dog.
- Go for a quick walk with our dog.
- Meditate together, and repeat positive affirmations.
- Put on our favorite music and dance to it.
Put Away Your Phone
Our electronics usually get in the way of our connection with our children. It’s easy to get lost reading an article, checking Facebook, reviewing the agenda for the day… Therefore, in my house we only check the phone once in the morning before coming down. If we want to play music, know the weather, know the time or an answer to a random question, we use Alexa.
Every single one of these things sounds simple on its own, right? Do I accomplish all of them every day? Absolutely not! But at least I try, and even if I don’t do it all, I know that they are starting their days with their love tanks full.
How do you connect with your children in the morning?
Much love, Diana-