The Importance of Morning Routines

The MomCo Staff

Establishing a peaceful morning routine is crucial for families to start the day off on the right foot. Having a predictable routine gives children a sense of structure and organization first thing in the morning. This reduces chaos, stress, and frustration that can occur when everyone is scrambling to get ready.  

A peaceful morning routine helps set a positive tone for the entire day ahead. When children know what to expect each morning and have a set schedule, it gives them stability and self-confidence to tackle the day. Routines make mornings feel more manageable. Rather than nagging and yelling, parents can work together with kids seamlessly thanks to an established flow.  

Morning routines also encourage children to build self-discipline as they learn to independently follow a set schedule. Whether it involves making their bed, getting dressed, or eating breakfast, children gain important life skills through morning routines. Families can spend quality time together before the busyness of the day pulls them apart. Mornings are an ideal opportunity for family bonding. 

Overall, families that commit to a morning routine will reap invaluable benefits. Morning routines lead to lower stress, greater organization, improved time management, and stronger family relationships. By setting children up for success first thing in the morning, parents start the day feeling calm, focused, and fulfilled. 

Setting a Regular Wake-Up Time 

Establishing a consistent wake-up time 7 days a week is crucial for morning success. Children thrive on routine and consistency. Decide on a realistic wake-up time that allows enough time for your child to fully wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and get out the door without feeling rushed.  

Aim to wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends and holidays. While it may be tempting to sleep in when you can, inconsistent wake times can disrupt your child’s circadian rhythms and make mornings much harder.  

Use alarm clocks or sunrise clocks to help wake your child up pleasantly and on time. Place the alarm across the room so your child has to physically get up to turn it off. Sunrise clocks that light up the room gradually can provide a gentler wake-up call. 

Sticking to the same wake-up time daily develops a healthy sleep routine and makes mornings feel familiar. Your child will adjust to the schedule and be more cooperative getting up and ready. 

Creating a Visual Schedule 

A visual schedule uses pictures or words to depict the activities in a child’s morning routine. This schedule should be posted on the refrigerator or another central area in the home.   

The night before, review the schedule with your child so they know what to expect the next morning. A predictable routine removes uncertainty and helps children cooperate. 

Some elements to include on the schedule: 

  • Wake up time 
  • Get dressed 
  • Brush teeth 
  • Eat breakfast 
  • Take medication (if needed) 
  • Pack backpack   
  • Put on shoes and coat 
  • Leave for school/daycare 

Customize the schedule based on your child’s age and abilities. For non-readers, use photos or icons. As they learn to read, transition to simple words. Allow your child to participate by adding stickers as activities are completed. 

A visual schedule empowers children and reduces morning struggles. Following a consistent routine makes mornings calm and pleasant for the whole family. 

Getting Ready the Night Before 

Getting ready in the mornings with kids can feel rushed and chaotic if you’re not prepared. Take some of the stress out of your morning routine by getting ready the night before. 

Lay out clothes and pack backpacks – Have everyone pick out and lay out the clothes they plan on wearing the next day. Get backpacks packed up with homework, devices, and anything else your kids will need for school. Setting things out the night before prevents kids from scrambling to find what they need in the morning. 

Make lunches ahead of time – Avoid the morning rush of packing lunches by preparing them the night before. Get lunch bags or boxes ready with sandwiches, snacks, drinks and notes. Making lunches ahead takes a time-consuming task off your morning to-do list.   

Set the breakfast table – Set out bowls, spoons, cereal boxes, milk, juice and anything else you’ll need for breakfast in the morning. Setting the table at night lets your kids grab breakfast and eat first thing without needing your help to get everything ready. 

Preparing the night before helps make mornings feel less stressful. Doing little tasks ahead of time ensures kids have what they need for the day and gives you a smoother morning routine. 

Morning Breakfast Routines 

Morning breakfast routines are a key part of peaceful mornings for families. Having a quick, easy breakfast ready helps everyone start the day on a positive note. Here are some tips for morning breakfast success: 

Quick, Easy Breakfast Ideas 

  • Breakfast sandwiches – Cook up some eggs and bacon or sausage ahead of time, store in the fridge, and assemble on an English muffin in the morning. Add cheese for extra protein. 
  • Overnight oats – Combine oats, milk, chia seeds, nuts and fruit in a jar. Refrigerate overnight. Grab and go in the morning. 
  • Yogurt parfaits – Layer vanilla yogurt, granola and fresh fruit in a cup or jar. You can prep these in advance. 
  • Avocado toast – Mash avocado and spread over whole grain toast. Top with eggs, cheese, or veggies. 
  • Breakfast burritos – Scramble eggs and veggies, wrap in a whole wheat tortilla with cheese. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap to grab and go. 

 Make it Fun – Breakfast Charcuterie   

Set out an array of breakfast foods in a charcuterie style presentation. Include items like hard boiled eggs, cheese, fruit, nuts, whole grain crackers or bread, smoked salmon, nut butters, jam. Let kids pick what they want for a balanced breakfast. 

 Smoothie Meal Preps 

Make a big batch of green smoothies on the weekend and portion into containers to grab all week. Good smoothie additions include spinach, kale, frozen fruit, greek yogurt, chia seeds, ground flaxseed, peanut butter. Let kids decorate their smoothie jars with stickers for some morning fun. 

Having a few easy go-to breakfast options will help make morning routines more peaceful and set your family up for a positive start to the day. 

Optimizing Bathroom Time 

The morning bathroom rush can create stress and delays if not managed properly. Here are some tips to help optimize bathroom time for a smoother, more peaceful morning routine: 

  • Stagger shower schedules– If possible, have family members shower at different times in the morning instead of everyone trying to shower at once. For example, one parent showers right when they get up while the other showers after getting the kids ready.  
  • Set time limits for getting ready– Set a time limit for how long each family member can spend on brushing teeth, hair, getting dressed, etc. Use a timer or give reminders when time is almost up. 
  • Use visual timers– Timers with a visual component can help younger kids know how much time they have left. Setting a timer for 5 or 10 minutes for them to brush teeth and get dressed can prevent dawdling. 
  • Create morning checklists– Hang up simple checklists or use sticker charts so everyone knows what they need to do in the bathroom in the morning. Checking tasks off can motivate kids to move through the routine. 
  • Have stations set up– Have stations in or near the bathroom where everything needed is ready to go. For example, a hair station with combs and hair accessories, a tooth station with toothbrushes and toothpaste all lined up, etc. 
  • Get as much ready the night before– Lay out next day’s outfit, pack up backpacks, and prep lunches the evening before to avoid rushing around in the morning. 

With some preparation and organization, it’s possible to have a calm, efficient morning bathroom routine. Taking the time to set up systems and schedules will prevent that last minute scramble right as you need to head out the door. 

Calming Morning Music 

Playing calming, upbeat music in the morning can help set a relaxed tone for the day. Give children some choices over which songs or artists to play – allowing them to have input helps them feel in control. Consider making a morning playlist together the night before so it’s ready to go in the AM.  

While the music is on, take the opportunity to sing or dance together as you get ready. This can help transform mundane tasks like brushing teeth into something more fun. Breaking into silly dance moves while scrambling eggs or belting out the chorus to your kids’ favorite songs as you make their lunch provides small moments of joy to start the day on the right note. Morning music traditions create positive associations with beginning the day together. 

Morning Affirmations 

Starting the day with positive affirmations is a great way to set the tone for a peaceful morning routine. Here are some ideas: 

  • Post uplifting quotes in key places like on the bathroom mirror, above the breakfast table, and near the front door. Choose quotes that promote positivity, calmness, and togetherness. Some examples are “Today is going to be an amazing day” or “We are kind, we are caring, we are family.” 
  • Recite positive mantras together before beginning your day. Come up with a short phrase you’d like to make your family motto. Say it aloud together like “We choose happiness” or “The best is yet to come.”  
  • Create a gratitude jar that family members can add short notes of thanks into each morning. Take turns pulling one out and reading it aloud at the breakfast table. Noting things you appreciate helps start the day with an attitude of gratitude. 

Repeating affirmations helps get everyone in the right mindset. Start each morning by filling your home with uplifting words and you’ll notice the peaceful effects. 

Getting Out the Door on Time 

One of the biggest challenges families face in the morning is actually leaving the house on time. Kids often get distracted or forget key items, turning a peaceful morning into a chaotic rush out the door. Here are some tips for getting out the door on time: 

  • Give a 5-10 minute warning before it’s time to leave– Let everyone know they have 5-10 minutes until departure by setting a timer, playing a song, or giving a verbal heads up. This prevents last-minute surprises. 
  • Assign ‘car duty’– Have one designated parent or older child be in charge of getting the final essentials into the car, like backpacks, instruments, projects, etc.  
  • Have set spots for keys, bags, and items– Choose specific places for the items you need when leaving like by the door, in baskets, on hooks, etc. This prevents that panicked “Where are my keys?!” moment. 

Getting out the door on time prevents a stressful rush and allows your morning to stay calm and positive. A few simple adjustments like warnings, assignments, and set locations for the stuff you need can make all the difference. 

Being Flexible 

No matter how well you plan your mornings, things won’t always go smoothly. Kids will inevitably wake up grumpy some days or have trouble getting ready on time. As frustrating as it can be, try to remain calm when the morning routine gets derailed.  

Build in a 10-15 minute buffer in your schedule for unexpected delays. This gives you a bit of wiggle room when something takes longer than expected. On extra busy mornings, keep the routine simple – focus on the essentials like getting dressed, eating breakfast, and brushing teeth. Don’t worry about checking every box on your list. 

It’s also okay to have a simplified routine certain days of the week. For example, you may decide to skip sit-down breakfasts on Wednesdays when everyone has early activities. Or you can alternate showering at night vs. morning baths depending on your schedule. The key is being adaptable and not getting hung up on doing everything perfectly. 

With patience and flexibility, you can roll with morning mishaps while still maintaining a calmer start to your family’s day. 

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