Mornings. So much possibility and yet so much responsibility. First we must actually leave the warm and comfy bed. Then we dive into our day. Because we are parents we also get to help/persuade/coach our children to leave their warm comfy beds and dive into their days as well.

“How we begin our day becomes our day” – Tori Steinman

Let’s talk morning routines to get the kids off to school. What works and what doesn’t work. First of all, I’ve discovered that not setting an alarm doesn’t work! We all wake up late and then we are forced to rush around. This inevitably causes bad attitudes and is maybe the worst way for everyone to start their day.

Over the years I’ve also discovered that not having a plan for breakfast doesn’t work. My kids are actually pretty good at feeding themselves for their respective ages (8, 5, & 3) but what they choose for breakfast may not be what I would choose or want them to be eating for their first meal of the day. Also, the cereal or oatmeal may or may not end up all in the bowl. While this makes the dog happy, it does not make the hungry kid happy and it certainly is not how I want to start my day.

In order to avoid what doesn’t work, hopefully you’ve figured out that you do need some kind of a plan for mornings to be smooth and as stress-free as possible. Here are a few things to think about when developing your morning routine for getting kids to school:
– What time will everyone need to wake up to have ample time to get ready?
– What does everyone need to do in the morning to get ready?
– What will everyone eat in the morning for breakfast?
– What time do we need to leave the house to be on time?

Morning Routines for Kids that Work

What time do kids need to wake up in the morning?
In our house I give my kids 45 minutes from when their alarm goes off until when the alarm goes off to leave the house. I have discovered that the more time I give the kids to wake up in the morning, the better attitude they wake up with. If they are just needing to wake up slowly, no problem and no fights because I have given them the gift of time. If they wake up and get going, often they have a little bit of time to play before we need to leave.

What do kids need to do in the morning?
Some people use checklists or visuals so that kids know what they need to do in the morning in order to be ready to go. Pinterest has so many ideas! Have your kids help you determine this list and the order. Then let them be responsible for accomplishing the tasks (age appropriate of course). Both my 8 and 5 year olds are responsible for themselves in the morning, the only thing I really need to help with is hot water for oatmeal or cooking the bacon or sausage; they are able and capable of doing everything else on their own. The 3 year old is still going through training, he can do some things but I still supervise or assist as needed. Empower your kids to not need you!!

What is for breakfast on school day mornings?
In our house we need to change up our breakfast options, if it was up to them they’d eat frozen toaster waffles everyday. No judgments if that’s what happens in your house, we definitely go through our seasons of daily waffles. Now that we are focused on having a variety of breakfast foods throughout the week, when I go in to the kids rooms to say good morning I just let them know what the choices are for breakfast today. Usually it’s just 2 choices, or they can have what they want but they must have bacon, sausage, or egg with their choice. I try to keep it as simple as possible.

What time do we need to leave to be on time?
The alarm to leave the house goes off 20 minutes before carline drop off begins, even though we only have a 10 minute drive. I like to include buffer time so that even if we aren’t all ready as soon as the alarm to leave sounds, the kids will still be on time for school. Yes, I have an alarm set for leaving the house! It is so much easier for everyone to hear that particular sound going off on my phone and know that it is time to walk out the door as quickly as possible than it is for me to constantly give time updates in an effort to get everyone out on time.

Add some magic in your morning:
My favorite part of our morning routine happens in the carline at school. As soon as we enter the parking lot we begin reciting our affirmations aloud. The kids like to help lead and have come up with their own affirmations to add to our list. Some of our latest additions are: I am kind to nature! I am powerful with my words! We always end with the loudest one: I AM AMAZING!! Just about the time they need to hop out of the car and head in to school. Since we have started this practice they walk into school with a little more pep in their step and stand a little bit taller. Get your own copy of our Affirmations for Students to get you started on using affirmations with your children.

If you are looking to make over your mornings, you don’t want to miss our upcoming 7 Days to a Better Morning Challenge!! We will begin Monday, October 1st, click here to join the challenge and the challenges will come right to your inbox!