A Morning Routine for kids
“So my Yoga expert pal tells me to start my day with few yog asanas to keep myself focussed for the entire day. Motivational gurus I follow on web preach at their loudest best to start my day looking at my goals, making a quick wunder list (read to do list) for the day. My dietician says the first thing you wake up and do is eat proteins and nourish your body. Mother in law tells me to drink 6 glasses of water while my Mom advises me to go for a walk in the morning. And P.S. All these messages reach me; without me making a slightest complaining mention about how my mornings actually start. Well that’s how you attract the relevant messages from the Universe I guess. The mornings usually start by running around the house from kitchen to the kids’ room. Well this running around is something I don’t mind but what makes me lose my strength is when it becomes a hurdle run. Challenges vary from I don’t want to go to school today, to I don’t want to eat this for breakfast. Where is my id card, to making sad face all the time till I literally drag her to her school bus.”
She said to me, in one breath, on a challenging day she has just finished living.
It is especially strange to see her, a management graduate adept at managing people and complex projects at work losing her ground every day in front of her 8 year old. Well there definitely can be better mornings and better skills to handle this.
Making the change
I suggested her to sit with her dd and make a list of all tasks that were needed to be done every morning before she leaves for the school. She made it interesting by making it a craft project using a chart paper, coloured pens of dd’s choice. So for every 1 activity that the mom writes, there was one the dd added. After writing every small task like brushing teeth to tying laces, from hugging good morning to kissing good luck to her; they sorted them out on the basis of the person responsible for the task completion. Finally there was a list of tasks for the mom and another list for the dd. Now was implementation part. Motivation – A treat added to both on successful completion of their morning activity chart and each deviation meant giving up one thing dear to each of them. So for the dd it was her favourite snack and for the mom it was her shopping. Well all rules you set require communication, commitment, consistency and discipline.
Good moods are infectious and Yes they are. Get up 20 minutes earlier and you could actually enjoy your morning coffee and make yourself ready for an active, happy and smiley start to your day. Believe me this is going to get contagious…
A little mindfulness in the morning to realise that your kids are growing up fast to independence every day is a great help. It empowers you to know that this chaos is not permanent and energises you to enjoy all their little nuances and tantrums.
All areas of trouble should be talked upon and decided a night before. So clothes, breakfast, and snack at school was discussed the previous night. Children usually like order and rhythm and hence behave better when they know what is going to come next.
As a rule, just try to stay away from open ended questions like how would you want your hair to be, or what shoes would you want to wear today? Open questions like these help when your intent is to connect, know more about kids’ feelings or how they think. For quick answers and easier processing in the morning, use close ended questions like black shoes or blue shoes today? Black hairband or clips for the hair today.
Lastly give them respect as individuals. And it will take time for them to realise the change. Work with them and they will work with you to make things better. And like in any other team work, don’t forget to appreciate and celebrate successes on way…..