simplifying mornings children

Simplifying Mornings for Your Children

November 14, 2023
Simplifying Mornings for Your Children

Mornings can be a tough time for some of us, and both children and parents can be examples of this. Especially when preparing kids for daycare or school, plus your own activities for the day, the morning periods can feel stressful - but there are also some simple ways to approach them that will make them easier for everyone involved.

At First Steps Childcare & Preschool, we know that mornings can be tough for many of our parents and children across our various programs in Salt Lake City, which range from infant and toddler care to preschool classes, and more. We're happy to assist with any morning programs or approaches you and your children maintain, plus with important concepts like naps, sleep schedules and related elements. Here are some simple tips on how to make mornings simpler for both children and parents alike.

Sleep and the Night Before

In reality, your preparations for any given morning actually begin the night before. This includes both children and adults alike - make sure everyone is getting enough sleep, and create an environment that's conducive to this.

For kids, consider a bedtime routine that's consistent each evening so they understand what to expect. Keep electronics away from their bedrooms if possible as well. Depending on their age ranges, they may need anywhere from 9 to 14 hours of sleep per night.

For adults, it's important to prioritize your own sleep as well. This will help you stay energized and focused during the morning routine with your children. Consider setting a bedtime for yourself and avoiding screen time before bed to promote better sleep quality.

Prepping the Night Before

To make mornings more efficient, try to get as much done the night before as possible. This includes setting out clothes for both children and adults, preparing lunches and snacks, and checking backpacks and other items that need to be brought with you in the morning.

This can also extend to certain child-related areas as well. For children old enough to be receiving homework of any kind, maybe you make a rule that all homework must be completed the night before, rather than in the morning.

Keep Things Positive

Mornings can be challenging for parents and children alike, but keeping a positive attitude can go a long way. Try to create an environment that's fun and upbeat - this could mean playing some music while getting ready or creating a game out of certain tasks.

Also, try to avoid getting angry or frustrated with your children during the morning. This can set a negative tone for the rest of the day, and may even make it harder to get everything done efficiently. Instead, try offering praise and encouragement when they complete tasks on time.

Simplifying Where Possible

As you assess your morning routine and areas that could be improved, look for opportunities to simplify. Maybe you can pack lunches the night before or have children pick out their own clothes ahead of time. The less you have to do in the morning, the smoother it will go.

Another common area that can often be simplified is breakfast. Some parents may prefer to cook a full, hot breakfast for their children, but this can be time-consuming. Consider simpler options, such as cereal or toast with peanut butter - but of course, be sure to keep nutrition and food allergies in mind.

Limit (Or Avoid) Screens

For several reasons, it's generally a good idea to limit or avoid screens in the morning. Not only can they be distracting and slow down your routine, but they also emit blue light that can suppress melatonin production and make it harder for everyone to wake up.

Of course, this doesn't mean you have to completely eliminate screens from your mornings - just be mindful of how much time is spent on them and try to limit it where possible. Some parents may use small amounts of screen time as a reward for completing tasks on time, but this will depend on your own household rules and routines.

Stay Organized

Finally, staying organized is key to making mornings easier. Create checklists or use digital reminders to keep track of everything that needs to be done each morning. This can also help children develop independence and understand their own responsibilities in the morning routine.

Overall, the key to making mornings easier for both children and parents is to establish routines and stick to them as much as possible. While it may take some time and effort to implement new habits, the long-term benefits will make the morning routine much smoother and stress-free.

At First Steps Childcare & Preschool, our experienced staff is here to support you and your family in creating a positive morning routine that works for everyone. Contact us today to learn more about our programs for SLC clients and how we can help make mornings easier for your family.

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