After going over the first 5 hacks for stress free mornings, hopefully we find ourselves well rested and at peace, with plenty of time to do everything that needs to be done, and our kids with their love tanks full and ready to start the day. Yay!
Now that they are up, we need to get them moving. The best way to maintain the calm atmosphere we have created by starting the day with connection, is to have a clear chart of what they need to do and in what order.
Many kids dislike transitions and take a long time to move from one activity to the next one. This increases when they are unsure of what they are supposed to do next. A regular routine fosters responsibility and independence because it allows children to perform more activities on their own, and master them.
How to Make a Morning Routine Chart?
Get Your Kids Involved
The best way to get kids to buy into the chart is to get them involved in making the chart. My advice is to work together to design and create the morning routine chart. Give them options whenever possible as to what they can do first or second. That way they will feel ownership over the routine chart which will make them more likely to follow it.
Make It Visual and Fun
For toddlers you can take pictures of them at each of the steps in the morning routine. Then you can print them and let your child paste them in order in a board put the pictures or a colorful sheet of paper. Finally, hang it in a place where they can easily see it as they move from task to task.
For older kids, you can talk about they different things they need to accomplish in the morning, and let them write down or type the chart in their computers. Then, help them frame it and hang it in a place where they can check it.
In both cases, you can even laminate the charts and let them check each task as they completed with dry-erase markers. There are many different ways to make useful and beautiful routine charts for your kids, but that’s a topic for another blog!
Train and Teach Them
Making the chart is only the first step. Make sure the first few days, you are with your child as he moves through the chart. If questions arise, you can help him navigate them the chart and boost his confidence when he accomplishes the task.
Refer Back to the Chart
Whenever your child misses a step or asks you what they have to do next, send him/her back to the chart. Your child will gain autonomy, independence and self-reliance. When you put in place a routine chart, it becomes ‘the boss,’ you won’t be the bad guy chasing your child around the house. The chart is the leader, which eliminates the opportunities for morning power struggles.
Allow for Extra Time
Always allow for extra time in your morning schedule, because sometimes unexpected things happen that need our immediate attention. Furthermore, if you find yourself with extra time in the morning after everything is done, you’ll get a boost of self esteem and accomplishment before stepping out of the house.
I like to use that extra time to read with my daughters, play with them, meditate together, advance some house work, or just sit and relax enjoying a cup of coffee.
Let me know how it goes in your house!
Much love, Diana-