As a dad, do you dread mornings? You’re not alone. Most parents hate the morning struggle. They might not love the mornings themselves, and then you throw in the problems your kids might face getting ready and out the door each day, and it can be quite a struggle.
Staring off your morning negatively can have an impact on the rest of your day. You might be so exhausted by your morning routine (or lack of a routine), that you’re fatigued before you even start your work day or the rest of the things you have going on that day.
So, how can you make mornings better for yourself and your kids as a busy dad? The following are some helpful tips.
Give Yourself Time To Wake Up Slowly
Create a routine that allows you to wake up more slowly and get acclimated and ready for your day. Sometimes we set our alarm clock for the latest possible second we can wake up and still get places on time, but that creates more stress and can make things tougher for everyone.
You’ll have to create a waking up routine that works well for you, but whatever you do even waking up 10 minutes early than you usually do can help you feel more relaxed. Maybe consider an alarm clock with blue tooth so that you can listen to music as you wake up, or you could try a dawn simulator alarm clock that wakes you up with gradual light mimicking the sun in the morning.
Also, you may have heard this one before, but it works—put your alarm clock out of reach. If you have to get up to turn it off, you’re going to be more likely to stay up and stop hitting snooze.
While you’re at it, maybe give your kids their own alarm clock. Kids will like the sense of responsibility that comes with having their own clock, and they’re more likely to wake up on their own without as much prodding from you.
If you’re able to wake up before your kids and get yourself ready before you start getting them ready, it’s going to help too. Trying to get everyone ready all at one time is often a recipe for disaster.
Create a Chart of the Morning Routine for Your Kids
Kids benefit from seeing visual representations of what they need to do and what’s expected of them. You’ll see a lot of those sorts of charts and reminders when you visit their school classroom, and there’s good reason for that—they work.
Create a chart of the morning routine. Have it visually show your kids what they need to get done each morning.
When they finish, let them put a sticker, a check mark or something they find satisfying to show they’ve accomplished something.
Break Free on the Weekends
If you want to encourage your kids to follow the routine during the week, think about letting them veer off course on the weekends. Then, if they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to in the mornings before school, you can remind them their weekend free time is coming.
Consider letting your kids sleep in and maybe even pick their own clothes all weekend. It will give them something to look forward to as they’re following the routine for the rest of the week.
Prepare the Night Before
You may already be laying out your kids’ clothes and lunches the night before, but prep everything. For example, make sure there are shoes, socks, and jackets ready and waiting by the front door each night. Go through paperwork in backpacks at night rather than the morning and everything signed, filled out and ready to go.
In the morning the goal should be doing nothing but the absolute essentials.
Finally, if you want to destress the morning for everyone, you have to get organized in your home. You might want to create one specific area in your home where everything related to morning prep work and school will go. It can be a bin, a box or several bins. School items should always stay in this place, and this should be where everyone knows they need to go for their morning items.
You might consider putting your own items here as well as your bag for work, your gym bag, or anything else you might need for the day.
Add a checklist on the wall if you need to, to look at before everyone heads out the doors each day.