As working parents, we know how stressful mornings can be and how easy it is to fall into parenting traps--things that make it hard for children to get into a good morning routine. Examples include getting up late so everyone is rushed and having to look for things you need that morning. This often leads to parents taking over and doing everything for their child. Children learn faster when they have opportunities to practice their skills. Additionally, if parents give too many reminders to “hurry up”, children may learn to rely on this, and only get ready after repeated reminders. Here are some suggestions to help establish a good morning routine and AVOID MORNING TRAPS!
- Plan ahead. Before going to bed, be clear about the activities for the next day.
- Be organized and get everything ready the night before (clothes, food, etc).
- Avoid distractions (phone, tablets and TV)
- Discuss morning rules & create an activity schedule (a chart with photos or drawings for each step your child must complete)
- Prompt your child to use the schedule—what’s the first thing you need to do? Praise them initially for each step completed, even if reminders are necessary. Once your child can do the step by themselves, reserve the praise for when it’s done without a reminder. Provide a reward such as an after school activity they enjoy. Gradually reduce the prompts and rewards once the routine is established.
Five ways to connect more deeply with children:
Be intentional about your language
Know your hot buttons
See and honor their strengths
Share with children something you love
Be mindful about what you say and how you say it
Ms. Debbie says: “Sing with Your Children!”
There’s a wide-eyed owl with a pointed nose, with two pointed ears and claws for his toes. He lives high in a tree and when he looks at you, he flaps his wings and says, “Whooo, Whooo!”
A tip for learning new songs: Write down the words to the song by hand. If it’s short do it more than once.
Some Tips from Ms. Keri…
- Remember that little things matter
- Embrace Play
- Turn off distractions (simplify, slow down)
- Have relentless compassion for children
Nature/Biology + Nurture/Experiences = Whole Child.
The quality of our relationships with the children we care for is the most important factor that contributes to their growth, development and success.