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How to organize a stress-free routine in the morning with children?

How to organize a stress-free routine in the morning with children?

Parents who did not know it until then are confronted with it at the latest when their offspring start school: The 8 o’clock dictate of the school bell knows no more goodwill. Gone are the days when you could perhaps treat yourself or your offspring to a bonus nap in case of emergency; instead, hectic, sometimes even chaos, is the order of the day. Organizing a stress-free routine in the morning with kids isn’t easy. Here’s how you can try:

Morning routine with children

Where is the indispensable favorite dinosaur shirt of the son? Where’s the math notebook and the cell phone? There’s hardly any time for more than a quick coffee while standing up, when the search for the day’s equipment begins just before the end of the day. Even if life beforehand was a real lottery and the child a real night owl, it’s still possible to tame the chaos in the morning. The old-sounding adage that “organization is everything” helps a lot in this respect. But what exactly does this organization consist of?

Changing the biorhythm: How do I get my child to bed on time?

One of the most important points is certainly that the child goes to bed in good time the night before so that he or she can start the day well rested when the alarm clock rings much earlier. Children who did not fall asleep until 9 p.m. or sometimes even 10 p.m. during daycare hours now have to adjust their biorhythms – a point that causes many concerned parents the most concern in advance. However, these fears are usually unfounded. This is why fixed bedtimes are important for children

It is often sufficient to let the child get up a few days before with the new wake-up time, then falling asleep in the evening usually succeeds earlier and often also significantly faster. It is only important that there are several days in a row on which these times are tested, otherwise it usually works less well. There should now also be fewer exceptions when the child is allowed to go to bed later – unless he or she can compensate for lack of sleep better than average.

What you can do today: Prepare the most important things the evening before

If the child is in bed early, there is still some time to prepare a few things that will make the start the following morning more relaxed. While you should pack the school bag together with the child before going to bed (from the third grade, most are also able to do this alone) and perhaps also the clothes that the child would like to wear the following day, choose and prepare together, you can also make other preparations at this time. Preparing your own adult clothes has the advantage that you don’t fall into the trap of having to iron or shine shoes in the morning. You can also set the breakfast table as far as possible, put your cell phone on the charging station and, if necessary, take a shower in the evening instead of in the morning. The hardliners even already put the filter including the powder into the coffee machine and only pour the water in the morning. Of course, this sounds exaggerated to some ears, but it’s also a fact: Every minute gained in the morning is worth its weight in gold. At least this is true for all those whose children belong to the slow-go kids who are slow to get going in the morning. If, on the other hand, you’re one of the lucky ones whose kids get up to speed right away, you can naturally manage with less time. In the end, however, one thing always remains true: Hectic is stress, and stress is not a real bringer of happiness in the long run for very few people – even for turbo-risers.


Schedule time buffers and strategically avoid compressed multitasking

If you’re used to compressed multitasking at work, you shouldn’t be tempted to inflict this on your own child. Between getting dressed, combing hair, and – importantly – having breakfast together at the table in peace and quiet, a small buffer should be built in that allows you to react to unplanned minor incidents. If, on the other hand, you calculate in the evening that you can get the child from the edge of the bed to the doorstep in ten minutes if need be, and that instead of walking or biking, you can rush to school in the car while the child quickly eats a banana in the back seat, you won’t be able to get any lasting peace into the morning program anytime soon.

Important for the morning routine with children: Regulated bathing times in the morning

Whereas in the past you could dress the little ones – especially the boys – in whatever you thought was chic and appropriate for the temperature of the day, older children are becoming increasingly picky and sometimes need longer in the bathroom in the morning. The older the children get and the more they want to “style” themselves, the more important regular “bath times” become. It can therefore be helpful to draw up a plan together as to who is “entitled” to which time slot in the bathroom in the morning and when, and who can possibly transfer activities such as putting on makeup or blow-drying hair to the living room or bedroom.

Speaking of setting up a plan: Once the schedule for the morning is set, it can be a good support to visualize it in the form of a poster or drawing – ideally as part of a collaborative painting activity. If this works well, after a bit of training it will be enough to simply point to the poster instead of having to constantly recite the schedule like a mantra and exhort people to hurry.

Focus on the good side of perfectionism

Finally, a word of reassurance for all stressed-out parents: the chilled-out model families, where everything runs very smoothly and relaxed, are extremely rare. It’s only the idea of these picture-perfect people that causes archaic fears of failure to flash up in us when, once again, nothing in the morning routine works as it should. It is therefore better not to strive for absolute perfectionism in the first place. Even if it is good to have the clock in sight in the morning, you should weigh up which sides of perfectionism are the good ones and which only fuel your inner dissatisfaction. If you still have the opportunity on the way to work – for example in the suburban train – to think about new thoughts for a while with a book or just pause with your eyes closed instead of immediately thinking about the presentation later, you will feel a little less driven. Read also: Stress in the family


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