Are you looking for ways to help your kids do better in school? It starts at home with your school morning routine. Here’s the one back to school tip every mom should know.
Ever hear a radio jingle in the morning that kept you singing along forever? Whether your favorite song or the most annoying, you just couldn’t stop yourself from humming its tune. No matter what else you heard, you couldn’t erase it. For better or worse, its notes stayed with you, dancing through your thoughts for the rest of the day. Just like those radio jingles, our first morning moments often stick with us. They can motivate us to do great things or bury us in negative thoughts to weigh us down.
When I taught school I realized just how important it was for kids to have a great morning start. If a kid was late for school, received bad news, or fought with his mom before she dropped him off that morning, his schoolwork would show it.
It wasn’t easy to shake those bad morning attitudes, either. Good or bad, the way a kid started his morning usually carried with him throughout the rest of the day.
That’s why our family morning routine is so important. As a mom, I want to fill my kids with positive thoughts and encouragement setting them on a successful path from the start. It’s the one routine where I can choose to set my kids up for failure or send them out the door each morning ready and prepared for a great new day.
There are 5 essentials to our family’s school morning routine and, though it hasn’t always been easy, my husband and I have guarded this part of the day in an effort to do our part as parents to set up our kids for school success.
5 Essentials to the Best School Morning Routine
1. Plan Ahead
Just as mentioned in the 5 Powerful Tools to Organize Your Kid’s School Routine post, taking a few minutes to get organized before bed will save tons of time–and arguments–later.
Go to bed early. I let my boys stay up later on weekends and during the summer months. However, on school nights we all go to bed early. We all need sleep. End of story.
Gather lunch items, outfits, and everything you’ll need for school the night before to avoid the morning rush. Then, get up a few minutes earlier, so that everyone can enjoy their morning together without feeling scattered and unprepared for the day ahead.
Organizing goes a long way and helps everyone feel better prepared and ready to accomplish our daily tasks and goals.
2. Set the Tone
As moms, we often set the tone for everyone else. Greet the family with a cheerful “Good morning” voice to encourage the same response. Believe me. There have been days I didn’t feel like being friendly, but I smiled and offered a friendly, “Good morning,” just the same. It makes a difference and helps all of us, including my own attitude toward the rest of our day.
Be available and present those first few morning moments and try to offer the best of yourself to your family before those distractions take over the rest of your day.
3. Avoid TV and Computers
Designate each school morning as a tech-free zone.
Save video games and cartoons for after school hours or for the weekend. Keep kids away from TVs and computers to protect them from hearing breaking news–that’s usually terrible–or viewing violent images that will weigh on their minds throughout the rest of the day. Instead, spend a few quiet moments together around the breakfast table enjoying a bit of family time before everyone rushes out the door in different directions.
Parents, avoid your own first morning Facebook temptation. It’s amazing just how much Facebook can determine our attitudes and set up the success or failure of the rest of our day. Guard your morning. Social media and the rest of the world’s news can wait.
4. Offer Encouragement
For kids, bad morning attitudes can be disastrous. As moms, we can help them begin each day on a positive note.
Begin with a motivating message. Share an encouraging Bible verse, a whimsical poem, or even a joke. That way, your kids are filled with good thoughts instead of worries. A parent’s encouraging words and funny sayings build great memories offering security and emotional support.
5. Send them off with a Smile
Bad mornings are hard to shake and can easily stick with us to ruin the rest of our day. They set us up for failure by filling us with negative thoughts about ourselves and others.
As tempting as it has been especially with a teenager, my husband and I try our best to keep all morning conversations upbeat and light. Arguments and heavy topics can wait until after school. There’s not enough time to start some deep discussion, so we put those conversations on hold until later when we all have time to process our thoughts and our response.
Never take those quick hugs, smiles, and words of encouragement for granted. They can easily give your child just the little nudge he’s needing to give his school day a successful start.
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Jennifer at Making Our Life Matter says
These are some really great tips, Mitzi! Mornings are not my kids strong suits, so I am definitely going to put some of these tips in practice!
Great ways to motivate your kids in the morning to set them up for a successful day!
Barb @ A Life in Balance says
I’ve been known to put classical music on when a few of my kids come back tired and grouchy in the morning.
Love these strategies – especially the ones about starting the day off right with a happy good morning – and sending them off for the day with a smile!
Crystal Green says
These are some really good tips to get them motivated in the morning for sure. Thank you for these suggestions.
Tammy @ creativekkids says
I need to be more positive and encouraging in the morning! This was helpful to keep me on track!