Mastering Your Morning Routine

How To Leave With Peace, Poise And Punctuality

By Bob Lancer

What happens in the morning is the springboard for the rest of the day.  Strife in your morning routine sets a momentum of discord and conflict into motion, sending both children and adults into the day with a lack of focus, self-esteem, self-control and motivation.
Children six years old and younger need about 45 minutes in the morning to calmly bond with their family, with their things, with their home before focusing on the tasks involved in leaving for the day. The more of this time that you spend connecting with your child in a close, loving way, the better. In this situation, as in all situations with children, the better you connect, the easier time you will have when it is time to direct.
Rushing a child to move through tasks and hurrying him out the door guarantees that you and the child experience too much unhealthy stress, strain, conflict and, ironically, more delay due to draining power-struggles.  Make it your aim to make morning a stress-free time of harmony.  If you don’t believe this is possible, your mindset stands in your way.  It is possible.  It happens.  And it can happen for you.  Here are some tips to keep in mind.

  1. Realize that it is really absolutely crucial that morning is consistently a time of loving, peaceful bonding for your child.
  2. Do as much prep work as possible the night before, so that you can spend quality focused time with your child, doing what she likes to do.
  3.  Avoid TV in the morning if possible, because that starts the child off with lack of focus.
  4. Get to bed earlier and wake up earlier yourself so that you have the time you need to get ready and to be with your child.
  5. Your child should be in bed by 8 PM and asleep no later than 8:30 the night before. (We can address bedtime at another time).
  6. If your child goes to sleep late, and then sleeps late, dress him while he sleeps.  He needs all the sleep he wants for health, growth, and learning ability.
  7. Remain calm always, even if it appears that things are moving too slowly. If you become tense, chaos and conflict are inevitable.
  8. If your child loses focus on her tasks when it is time to eat and get ready, get involved in a loving way.  Don’t make this a time for teaching self-reliance if you run into opposition.  The priority is for a smooth, harmonious flow through the morning routine and a punctual departure.
  9. Use the success technique of visualization to help you. The night before, spend some time visualizing the morning routine going well. For children around 5 years old and up, you can have them practice this visualization with you at bedtime, if they are willing.  You can explain what you are doing to make it a lesson in self-direction wisdom.

In sum, do not underestimate the importance of harmony in the morning, nor your ability to achieve it on a consistent basis.  When things go awry, reflect upon what happened and consider how may handle things differently for improved results.