Ideas & Advice

Make mornings easy – Saratogian

Make mornings easy – Saratogian
Written by Publishing Team

Alright, we’ve taken the leap and the new year has started.

As the second phase of the school year begins, some may have deep apprehension about these morning routines. Many of you are guilty of constantly pushing, pushing, and harassing to keep children moving. It turns into arguments and battles, whether it’s brushing your teeth or putting on a coat, or some other simple daily task.

For some families, the morning routine is the worst part of the day. The constant conflict, harassment and incitement and escalation of emotions often results in angry and frustrated goodbyes between parents and children. Some of you even know what’s next: your kids miss the bus or mom is late for work. Not good.

But here’s the good news: These morning struggles can be (fairly) easily avoided.

Three keys to easy morning routines

Be the leader in preparation

If you are not ready, you are trying to deal with the kids, their routines, and your own life. Showering, getting dressed, and yelling at kids to get up simultaneously is chaos and a losing system.

Do this instead; get up half an hour early and be ready and ready to go before you try to send the kids away. Yes, I know this is an absurdly simple suggestion, but it works! No confusing theory or complicated steps.

With those extra thirty minutes, you can be a role model of what you want from your children. Show them how comfortable the morning can be when you are up and well prepared. This makes you more resourceful and calm when you start the “herd”. Perhaps more importantly, being prepared gives you time to focus on the following two strategies for changing your habits.

Use the simple leverage tools

In the morning, I find parents have two types of levers that they rarely use. The first is breakfast, and the second is a form of “hello”, like playing Legos, for a few minutes on the iPad, sometimes on the computer, phone, or television. Yes, these need to be controlled carefully, but if kids aren’t so motivated to move quickly, learning to use these tools as leverage (even if only for ten minutes) is an effective way to get moving. things.

How to use morning leverage: Set a rule that your kids should be up, dressed, wearing shoes in their bags, and be ready to go before breakfast or entertainment. This means the television is not on, the toy room is closed, and no electronic devices are allowed in any form BEFORE these morning routines are completed. Use your phone to set a start time for breakfast and a time when your breakfast is over (and you start clearing the table). Do it every day and sit at the table, make your breakfast and eat yourself. Keep your energy forward, model movement and calm. If they don’t make it to the table when the alarm goes off, throw breakfast away. (Yes… throw it away!)

Remember, no breakfast until your son or daughter is ready to go to school. If they have to go to school hungry a few times because they wake up late and miss breakfast, let it happen. Believe me, this natural consequence is vital for them, and they will remember it tomorrow. For some children, missing breakfast is not a big deal. Relax and stick to the plan. Don’t let their attitude put you off!

And then when they are done with their breakfast, dressed and ready, all they have to do is brush their teeth and have their bags by their side… and now they can play a bit. All the fundamentals are now complete. This is where you give them screen time, game time, or even a video game before the bus arrives. Set up the system so that once your kids have done everything they regularly have 15-20 to play a bit before they leave for school

Set up this system with automated alarms for breakfast hours, so you don’t have to use your words. Set up another alarm to stop recess, with five minutes to spare before getting on the bus. These automated signals / alarms will save you a lot of trouble. Give it a try!

Invest only your energy in the forward movement

In no way do you harass, push, plead, or pull to make them move forward. Stop any engagement of their lollygagging around. Ignore their moans and complaints. Ignore their laying bed. If you keep putting energy into their resistance, their negativity and their sluggish behavior… this will be your life! In essence, you cannot continue to invest your energy in the “non-movement” of your children and end up with the “movement” in the morning.

To put it another way, you can’t continue to engage your kids (with your focus and energy) for the behaviors you don’t want – and end up with the behaviors you want. Yelling at him while he’s in bed, complaining repeatedly about his sluggishness, or pulling him at every step of the morning only serves to make the habits you want to change worse.
If you keep engaging them because they’re slow and distracted, you’ll see more of them in your home. It is one of the laws of human behavior!

Instead, follow this simple tip for 30 days and watch life become more manageable.

Dr Randy Cale, a Clifton Park-based parenting expert, author, speaker and licensed psychologist, offers practical advice for a multitude of parenting issues. Its website,, offers free parenting advice and an email newsletter. Readers can find out more by reviewing previous articles found on The Saratogian, The Record, and The Community News websites. Submit your questions to

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