Mornings with multiple small children can be tough. There are no easy answers to everyone’s morning chaos.
In our house there are times when the morning routine runs smoothly, with no issues and then there are those other times when we have mornings from hell! Lately, we have been having rather too many of the mornings from hell. Hence this morning, I decided we needed to turn things around, so I gave the children incentive with a little competition. Here’s how they got on…..
The rule is, any time before 7am is night time, so the children have to stay in their rooms and read quietly until then. This was BB at 7am this morning…
He was in bed looking at a map of the UK, trying to work out where things are. I love seeing him so interested in things. Whilst on the other hand, this was how I found the girls this morning…..blowing raspberries on their arms together….hmmm, not so quiet then?!
I told them, we need to start getting ready quicker and nicer in the mornings again, so whoever gets ready the quickest, without any fights or arguments gets a piece of pasta for their jar, which is their reward system we have at the moment. This definitely produced the result I wanted. They were off like a shot.
BB ran into his room and changed at the speed of light! Pinky and boo weren’t far behind, not arguing about what they were going to wear, which can so often be the case these days. They just got on with it. They brushed their teeth without any problems. I couldn’t believe how good they were.
Unsurprisingly BB won the race to get ready first, but I must admit, they all did brilliantly, so in the end BB got 3 pieces, Boo got 2 and Pinky got 1 piece of pasta. They were very pleased with this result.
It was time for breakfast. The children love helping, so today Boo was playing waitress and taking the breakfasts to the table. I find this helps speed things up for me and the children feel helpful. It’s a winner all round.
After the children finished breakfast, BB fed the fish and everyone put their shoes on without fuss. I couldn’t believe how well this morning went, we were all up, washed, dressed, fed and out of the door within 45 mins! That has got to be a record! I will definitely be trying this again.
This was just an example of one morning in our house. I must admit it doesn’t always run this smoothly, there are many ups and downs.
If you are struggling with chaos first thing, here are a few morning tips you could try……
10 morning tips to help them run smoothly…
- Be prepared. Get bags ready, lunches packed and clothes out the night before. I know it’s not easy, I confess I don’t always manage this, but it is very effective if you can.
- Set clear guidelines for the children so they know what is expected of them and when. Maybe sit down with them and talk through/write down the morning routine together.
- Get up before the children, so you are ready before the children’s chaos starts. This is my huge saving grace, I do this every school day without fail and I wouldn’t manage otherwise.
- If you are regularly short of time/late, get up 5/10 mins earlier, so things don’t need to be such a rush.
- Make getting ready a game or competition. This certainly worked for me today.
- Give lots of praise and encouragement when they’re doing well, it’s easy to forget praise when things run smoothly, but makes a huge difference to how everyone feels.
- Use a reward chart or other reward system whilst you are all trying to get into a new routine, it can work wonders.
- Give your children responsibilities, such as setting the breakfast table, it gives them something to aim for and a sense of helpfulness.
- Allow extra time in your routine for potential issues.
- Above all stay calm, the more you get stressed about the morning chaos, the worse the children will be (I know it’s easier said than done)!
These are just a few morning tips for you to try to help, I hope you find some of them useful.