Mornings can make or break us. Every household is a little bit different but generally they all have one thing in common, and that’s a need to get out of the door and be somewhere by a certain time.
Unlike nights, which can also be a parenting struggle, there’s more of an urgency for things to be done. We all need to get up. We all need to eat breakfast. We all need to clean our teeth. We all need to get dressed.
We all know these daily occurrences must take place, and yet some days are a constant battle to get our kids (and ourselves) across the line.
One question I consistently ask parents is ‘are you explicit with your kids?’ By that I mean, do you tell your kids EXACTLY what they need to do, or do you assume that these tasks are daily rituals that they SURELY must know need to be done?
The more explicit we are with our kids, the more we are setting them up for success. Further, the more ownership we give our kids over their own life, the more likely they are to take responsibility and show independence.
Here are 3 ways we can support our children in being organized in the mornings – explicitly and positively!
- Find out what they already know. Chances are they do know a lot about their responsibilities in the mornings, even from the age of 2 or 3. By asking your children ‘Hey, what do we need to do EVERY morning to help us be ready for the day’ we are valuing their ideas and also getting an insight of what is in their little minds.
- Formalise their ideas by writing them down. Even better, draw pictures to add a visual to their ideas. Even children who can’t read yet can use images to prompt them to do the jobs they need to do each day.
- Celebrate success! Once you have made your expectations clear and explicit your children have a benchmark of what they need to do to be successful. Praising children descriptively is a way to let them know that they are on the right track and that their actions should be repeated daily.
Having a resource to help keep children on track in the morning is a useful guide for organization. Kids Checklist is a perfect example of using visuals to keep kids moving forward and achieving success every day. Children can also take ownership of their jobs and feel as though they have control over their little lives – because let’s face it, they really don’t get much of a say over where they go and what they do each day! This is their way of exercising their control of the ‘consistencies’ within their life.
Check out www.kidschecklists.com.au for more information about creating successful morning routines in your home.