Does it feel like groundhog day at your house? The same routine . . . hit snooze, gently wake up kids, they ignore you, go in and fiercely wake up kids. Berate them, berate yourself. Blame them, blame your spouse, secretly blame yourself. Why? Why? WHY?
I don’t know why - but it seems to happen to all of us - below are 5 possible ways to transform morning mayhem into moderately magical mornings.
Acceptance: Accept that mornings are hard, just because they are hard. If you live with little kids they know that getting out of their pajamas means being separated from their very favorite person on the planet (you!). Little ones will beg, borrow and steal to stay in their jammies so they can STAY WITH YOU! If you live with teens - their circadian rhythm is BEGGING them to stay up until midnight and sleep until 8am. Teens will beg, borrow and steal to stay in their beds. If we know it’s hard we will prepare, strategize and be kinder to ourselves, and them.
De-Clutter: Imagine . . . there is only one pair of shoes per person at the front door. Imagine . . there is only one or two coats on their hook to choose from that is close to being the right thickness/weight for the weather. Imagine. . . the kitchen table is clear, ready for todays breakfast. Imagine . . when they pull out a shirt from their drawer, 27 other shirts don’t pop up and onto the floor. Imagine . . the calendar has lots of buffer space, there is NOTHING planned for this afternoon, what magical thing can happen between parent and child?
Say it Once: If you live with anyone 5 and over they KNOW they need their shoes on. They know. In their heart of hearts they are super duper clear, “We wear shoes outside.” Nagging, repeating and reminding weirdly soothes our anxiety - but at the cost of irritating and damaging our relationship with our kids. Say it Once is a practice for advanced personal growth. It takes effort, it is powerful.
Act As If: Kids want to mostly cooperate. They might not care as passionately about being on time as we do, but they do want to cooperate. Consider that our ‘over caring’ about being on time gives them the time/space/opportunity to not care at all. So, ‘act as if’ your child will come to the car if you leave 5 minutes early. Act as if your child will put on his own pants and you can confidently walk downstairs and start the dishwasher without yelling reminders.
Courage: Mornings take some creativity, some experimentation. It takes courage to walk out of the house with a 6 year old that hasn’t eaten breakfast, or a teen that is still in bed, or a 7 year old with un-brushed hair. Through your courage you will find creative solutions.
Join me Wednesday, October 23rd for a PEP (Parent Encouragement Program) webinar on this very topic, No More Morning Mayhem. We’ll chat solutions, watch role plays for do’s and don’ts and leave you with actionable tips and tidbits to create less mayhem and more magic in the morning.
"My spouse and I watched the morning routine webinar together and it was very helpful. We tried the "meet you at the door" approach this morning, rolled with their choice of attire and breakfast, and we actually all made it out the door on time with no yelling or nagging. THANK YOU."
--Participant, PEP Online