A few weeks ago I posted about a webinar I attended where I learned some tips and tricks for getting the mornings off to a better start. It was spring break and not a great time to start a school-morning routine. The next few weeks I eased Child #1 into a routine without talking to her about it. It went kind of like this:
- Feet on the floor by 7:30
- Dressed, Bed Made, PJs put away and upstairs by 7:50 (report in and let me know you are done).
- Breakfast, Brush teeth, Brush Hair, Backpack, Teeth, Devotional reading by 8:10
- Out the door for the bus at 8:15
It was going well. Then this week, I saw a light on in her room during the school day so I made my way into her room to turn it off. The bed was not made and her PJs were not up. I chose not to talk to her about it until bedtime. At that point I applied something else I learned in the webinar…a way to approach it, rather than scolding I asked how to help…it sounded something like this:
“So today I came in your room to turn a light off and guess what I noticed…yep, your bed was not made and your PJs were still out….whoops! What can I do to help you remember the things you need to accomplish in the morning? (Silence and a shrug) What about a list? (to which her face lit up and she quickly jotted down a list)
Her list? She totally knew everything she needed to do. So already, I know she can remember it and now we just need to make it a routine.
I did add something to her list–a wildcard and a prayer/blessing.
The wildcard is something that I will ask her to do at 8:10 or before is she is ready. It might be to help me empty the dishwasher, or practice a song on the piano. It could be to go over her spelling words—anything! I just wanted her to know to be expecting something else.
The prayer/blessing is a time for us to just read a scripture and set the tone for the day. She liked this when we did it last week and wanted to make sure we had it on her list.
I am trying to make sure I build in margin to my morning so I can help her be successful.
We have good days and not so good days but I’m happy to say that our mornings have gotten a LOT better. I’m not harping and saying things over and over and that helps everyone be in a better mood to start the day. I’m already mulling over what the summer morning routine will need to be.