No Magical Shortcuts to School Morning Routines

A distraught parent asked me yesterday…. what to do about their morning routine or lack of it?

“We’re all over the shop” she said with tears in her eyes. “I always end up screaming at the kids. We’re constantly running late. Or otherwise I feel like I have to be the Sargent Major to get it all done”, then there was a big sigh…

It’s not the first time I’ve heard this, neither will it be the last.

School mornings are honestly the bain of most parent’s life.

There are no magical shortcuts for making it better either.

The simply truth is it takes consistency and empowerment.

Here are our 5 tips for making our mornings amazing.

Tip 1: Be ready for your own emotional journey
Acknowledge what’s going on for you, breathe deeply, never let your own ‘stuff’ get in the way of what’s going on (or not) for your child (children)

Tip 2: Embrace routine
Give it a big hug. Have a morning routine, you have yours, make sure your child (children) develop their own. Not you telling them what to do every step of the way, they’ll never learn to think for themselves. Give them visual/learning clues to help them along. Refer back to our 3 questions in my last blog if you get tempted to start nagging.

Tip 3: Be curious and present
Children are different, no two will operate, think and function the same as you do. Help understand what’s going on for them, get down and listen, ask questions and offer help. But again, please stop telling them what to do, step after step or doing it for them. Whether or 5 or 15 they are perfectly capable.

Tip 4: Have a plan
This is more than routine, this is about understanding the desired flow for the week, term, activities and timing. Communicate this in advance, so that the family is working together and has an action plan around making the days, weeks and term work harmoniously and effectively. So kids understand what the parents have on and similarly parents are across what the kids have going on. Key is communicating a plan, rather than the rushing and racing which ultimately only stresses everyone out.

Tip 5: Use empowering language
Remove these words from your vocab “Don’t, Just, Try and But”. Yep, seriously. Rather than “Don’t do X”, focus on the outcome you want. No Just – it’s a minimiser, But – is a negator of everything previously said and in the words of Yoda – “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Here’s to magical mornings because they can happen with consistency and empowerment.

Genevieve & The rest of the Matthews Family xx

P.S Here’s the link to our School’s Coming Routine Kit, if you’d like some help with our pre-made & ready to roll morning routine. Read our book together, use the routine poster or design your own morning routine with our School’s Coming Routine Cards.