How to improve the morning routine with your kids

Awww the dreaded morning routine. Families rushing to get kids fed, lunches made, kids dressed and out the door on time, hopefully without any meltdowns. Stop the chaotic stress! Health Coach Heather is here to help you get that morning routine under control, so you can actually enjoy every aspect of your parenting journey!


Tip #1 – Visualize your morning – Think about and visualize (the night before), how you want your morning to go. In the best case scenario what would the BEST morning look like for you and your family. Most people don’t even think about this one, but visualization tells your brain what you want, and gives it a point of reference for making it happen. Now, visualize how you will you respond when your perfect morning visualization gets a few kinks in it…i.e kranky kids or spouse, family member moving way to slow in the morning, meltdowns or tantrums. How will you respond to each thing that might come up? Think about who you want to be as the parent in each situation that might present itself, and plan accordingly how you will behave as the parent, so you don’t end up mirroring the child’s behavior should things spiral out of control. Visualize what you want my friends…this actually helps get the ball rolling for my next tips.

Create the master plan

Tip #2 – Create the master plan. After you visualize how you’d like your day to go, it’s time to make the master plan. What needs to get done in the morning? Do you need to pack school lunches? Do you need to make breakfast? How about brushing and styling kids hair? Do you need to help them get dressed?  What needs to go out the door with both your kids and yourself? (think homework, gym bag, vitamins, supplements, or protein shakes, instruments kids might play or athletic equipment, does anything need signed?) This is usually the stuff that gets forgotten until the last minute, so make a list of common items such as these, and look over them the night before. Gather it all up and set it by the door so it’s ready to go by the time you need to leave (bonus points for packing it in the car the night before and putting together school lunches).

Calculate the time

Tip #3 – Calculate the time. After you plan everything out that needs done, now it’s time to calculate how much time it’ll take for each activity to be completed in the morning. How long will it take you to throw together school lunches and make breakfast? Personally, I give myself 45 min in the morning to complete these two tasks – Knowing this, if I want to cut this time down, then I can prepare the lunches the night before & plan what I’ll fix for breakfast the next morning. Styling my kids’ hair takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on if I’m braiding hair or just going with a ponytail. I give myself an extra 20 minutes to get dressed and put on a little makeup for the day. This helps me feel like my best self. Do you need an extra 10 minutes before leaving, to gather supplies and pack the car? Calculate it all! And remember, if these tasks will take too long in the morning, one of two things needs to happen. You either wake up earlier (see next tip) OR you get in the habit of preparing all you can the night before.

Wake up 1-2 hours earlier than the kids

Tip #4 – Assuming you don’t work a night shift, wake up an hour or two earlier than the kids. I have found that if I go to bed earlier (between the hours of 8-10pm), I can get up an hour or two earlier than the kids. I use this time to meditate, journal, plan my day, read a book, stretch or go for a walk. This sets me up for the entire day. Taking care of ME first, makes me a better mom all around. But getting that 7-9 hrs of sleep each and every night is crucial for my morning routine to go smoothly. According to Ayurveda, the best time to go to bed is between the hours of 8-10pm and awake no later than 6:00am. This routine syncs your body up nicely with nature. You’ll have all the energy you need for the day and you’ll feel amazing once you get this down. Go to bed just a bit earlier than you are right now and keep doing that until you can get your sleep in between these hours. Don’t stay up late. It’s tempting, I know, but trust me on this one. If you want optimal health, get to bed earlier. You’ll perform so much better the next day.

The Routine

Would you like to see a snapshot of what my morning routine looked like last year?

  • 4:00am – wake up, meditate, journal 2-3 pages, write out my day in my planner, go for a 20 min walk/jog, get a jump start on my IPA’s (income producing activities) in my business
  • 6:00am – Start making school lunches and breakfast
  • 6:30am – wake kids up and try to get them moving in the morning as I finish breakfast and making lunches
  • 7:00am – Get myself dressed and gather supplies for both kids and myself that we need to take with us
  • 7:20am – Out the door and on our way to school!

This was our routine last school year. The hardest part of course, was getting kids moving quicker. They would get distracted, or keep lying in bed. A lot of mornings were a real struggle. Especially if my Grant (hubby) would be at the gym working out in the morning. I had to do all of this on my own. But with a positive mindset and a determination, I totally got the job done.

This school year is different. About 2 weeks before school started, our family listened to the Audio books called “The way of the warrior kid”, and “Marc’s Mission” by Jocko Willink. Both Grant and I decided it was time to teach the kids more discipline. We would all be waking up early in the morning to exercise together. Screen time would be limited, and kids would be working on getting smarter, stronger, healthier and enjoying life without all the electronic devices. It’s been a tough one for the kids to swallow (and truthfully, a bit tough for the parents to follow through as well), but I can see some major progress in discipline and respect. We even listen to Jocko’s podcast for kids “The warrior kid podcast”, and it’s been eye opening for my kids and for me. We love it! So here’s what our new routine looks like:

  • 4:00-4:30am – I wake up and do my same routine
  • 6:00am – wake kids up and get a quick 30 minute workout it – This alternates between lifting weights in our garage gym, doing pull-ups, sit-ups, and push-ups, and swimming at the clubhouse pool or playing tennis or perhaps a bike ride. This sets them up nicely for their day. They already feel accomplished in something, and they tend to move quicker in the morning after we workout.
  • 6:30-7:00am – kids are getting ready for school, while I am fixing breakfast and school lunches
  • 7:00am – a quick 15 minute morning devotional as a family. Can be scripture reading, a TED talk, a podcast, but something that will connect us before we all head out the door.
  • 7:20am – OUT THE DOOR

The kinks we are working out with this schedule are: Getting kids to wake up (and hubby) on time and ready to workout BY 6:00am – so it looks like we’ll need to make the wake up time more like 5:45am. Getting myself ready to go plus cooking and preparing lunches, all within the half hour between 6:30 -7:00am. I’ll need to either make lunches at 5:30am or start them the night before. Getting everyone to eat and sit down together at 7:00am for our family bonding time (which is usually scripture reading and a quick prayer). But now that I am aware of where the kinks even are, I can make my master plan and calculate the time better. I’ll write it all out and see what I can do to make it easier on myself in the morning.

Be flexible and don’t beat yourself up

Tip #5 – BE FLEXIBLE! Almost every morning will go smoothly if you have a plan and execute it well, but sometimes you need a bit of flexibility when it doesn’t go as planned. It’s okay. Just breathe, relax and let go of what you thought it would look like. You gathered information for executing your plan better the next day.

Does your family have a morning routine? What does it look like? Post in the comments below.

♥️ Health Coach Heather

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