Children, like adult human beings, are creatures of habit. They get used to something through repetition. According to Science Daily “habits emerge through associative learning”.
What this means is that our behaviour can be modified through learning.
The morning routine is one such activity that can be learned, and can inevitably become a habit.
The idea is to not only adopt an effective routine but to also involve your kids in the morning.
You might have a solid plan, but if you are going to be forcing people to wake up and brush their teeth, then chances are you are going to be late, again, and who wants that on the first day of school?
1) Be calm and don’t yell
Children are usually highly frustrated in the mornings because they are being pushed around by mom or dad. If we could be more centred as we go through our morning, then chances are that our kids could be a little less irritated as we ask them to brush their teeth and wear shoes. According to Dr Laura Markham, a peaceful parent is a happy baby. Barking orders around is the opposite of peace and will result in the opposite of happiness.
2) Make them do their bed
According to Amalia Home Collection: “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day.
“It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”
Not only will it instil a sense of pride in your kids, but also a sense of responsibility.
Children like feeling like big boys and girls. It is, therefore, easier to get them involved in the morning routine.
This is provided:
- They slept early
- You prepared things the night before
- Get a headstart and not wake up when they do
According to Psychologist Benedict Mlhongo, “from ages three upwards, they prefer performing and completing tasks alone”. This is the stage of autonomy. When given the appropriate praises, children enjoy being and feeling responsible.
3) Create a morning routine chart
This will be a chart everyone lives by, which includes daily tasks to be completed by your children. Make copies and paste them in their rooms and the kitchen. They must know it, believe in it and follow it. They can believe in it if they feel involved. Involve them when you create the chart so that they can feel like a part of the process. It will be easier to make them accountable.
4) Don’t forget to stay connected
It is easy to get swallowed by the anxiety of the morning rush. Imagine being abruptly woken up, forced to sit on a potty and shower. Cuddle the kids for a few minutes after gently waking them up. The emotional connection will ensure that the mood stays light and everyone remains happy.
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, it is always so difficult to go through the morning as swiftly as possible. Try these out religiously for a few weeks and watch it become a habit.
Karabo Motsiri is a first-time mom, over-sharer, lover of life, chronic napper and married to her best friend. She loves a good party because the dance floor is her happy place. She enjoys good food, good conversations, laughs a little too hard, and cries during every episode of Grey’s Anatomy. She started her blogging journey because she wanted to share all the ups and downs of being a young modern mama in South Africa. Her blog Black Mom Chronicles has been featured on Ayana Magazine & SA Mom Blog. She has enjoyed airtime on Power FM and frequently writes for the parenting section of Saturday Citizen. She also works with MamaMagic on their Product Awards, Milestones Magazine, Heart to Heart blog, and the Baby Expo, which is South Africa’s biggest parenting expo.