Creating a Successful Morning Routine

Creating a Successful Morning Routine

As a new school year starts, so does the morning chaos. You’re back to starting your day frantically looking for a missing shoe, two lunch boxes, and a permission slip while arguing with your 13-year-old that you don’t care if “everyone else” gets to wear pajamas to school. Fifteen seconds before the bus arrives, everyone is dysregulated, and the dog is barking to go out. It can be anxiety-inducing for everyone – especially a child/youth who has experienced a lot of chaos and instability.

Fortunately, with some prep work and an established routine, you can shift the chaos to calm and set a positive tone for the day. Here are some simple pro-parent tips for a less-stressed morning.

Prepare the night before (and have the kids help)

  • Pick out outfits
  • Check homework
  • Sign permission slips
  • Pack lunches
  • Take a bath or shower

Wake them up gently

  • Allow enough time so waking up isn’t abrupt and rushed (e.g., allow time to snuggle, talk, sing, listen to music, dance)
  • Let the first sounds they hear be your cheerful and encouraging voice

Create a checklist (including visuals for younger kids)

  • Include tasks for getting out the door on time (i.e., eating breakfast, getting dressed, brushing teeth, washing up, making beds, taking vitamins)
  • Assign tasks to encourage independence and share the responsibilities (i.e., feeding the cat, walking the dog, checking the weather forecast)

Strive for predictability and consistency 

  • Consistent wake-up time (as well as bedtime)
  • Regular sequence for tasks (e.g., eat breakfast, then get dressed)
  • Give advanced notice of any changes to the routine

Recommended Resources

From the Champions Classrooms

For Parents

For Younger Children