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Morning Routine- Why is it So Hard?

The Morning Routine-  How Can it Be Less of a Struggle?


Everyone has “those mornings”, but when “those mornings” happen day after day with your child it can cause a lot of stress and tension at home.  Kids get crabby and dig in their heels.  Parents get frustrated and it feels like the day is off to a crummy start.  Here are some ideas to make the morning routine run a bit more smoothly:

1.        Make sure your child is getting enough rest.  Children ages 5-10 years old should be getting ten to eleven hours of sleep every single night.  Teens need about 9 hours of sleep a night.  Evening activities on top of homework may be eating away at your child’s must needed rest.  Try to limit overscheduling as much as you can.

2.       Consider your child’s temperament.  Some kids get up easier.  Some kids take a while to get up.  If you have a child that needs a little more time build that into the schedule.  No one likes to feel rushed first thing in the morning.

3.       Make sure your child isn’t anxious about school.  If you are getting a lot of resistance from your child it may be helpful to talk to the teacher.  You should also periodically check in with our child about friends, how school is going and how they feel about homework.

4.       Try to avoid power struggles.  Sometimes this is easier said than done.  Keep calm.  Some kids don’t like to hurry and if pushed will push back.  Kids being grumpy may be them trying to take some control back.  If you have a child that isn’t at his or her best in the morning pick your battles.  Maybe eating leftover pizza for breakfast or wearing fuzzy slippers to school isn’t a battle worth fighting.

5.       Leave enough time to get ready.  Try doing more prep at night like laying out clothes, making lunches and getting your child’s backpack ready.  Make sure you have planned enough time for your child to get ready.  Add some extra time if you have a morning slow poke.

6.       Minimize distractions.  Some kids are easily side tracked and having a structured routine can be helpful.  Some parents have found that no screen time before school is helpful for keeping kids more on task.

7.       Be flexible about breakfast.  Not everyone wants to eat a lot first thing in the morning, but a healthy fat, some carbs and some protein are needed to get that brain and body going.  Maybe a smoothie or something put in your child’s backpack like an energy bar will be the best choice.

8.       Work out a plan together.  Decide on a routine with your child.  Make a list of things that can be done the night before and a list of things that must be done in the morning.  A visual reminder of morning tasks can be very helpful for kids.

9.       Rethink your bedtime routine.  A good bedtime makes for a better morning. 

If you have any questions about sleep, bedtime, school or your child staying on task we can help!  Give us a call at 651-636-4155.


1935 County Road B2 West Suite 100 Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 636-4155