Every mom will agree with me on this one — mornings are the worst.
I’m tired, the kids are tired, and I have exactly one hour to get them out of bed, fed and ready to head out the door.
Nothing like starting the day with a little stress, right?
Fortunately for all of us, all hope is not lost. It actually is possible to drag your littles out of bed with less difficulty than you’re used to and to motivate them to willingly get ready in a timely fashion. Are you as excited as I am? These are my favorite kid hacks for the a.m.
1. Give them their own alarm clocks
Having an alarm clock is a pretty grown-up thing, and lots of smaller children covet them. Take them to the store, and let them choose their own alarm clock, under one condition — you don’t use it, you will lose it. Listen up for the clock in the morning, and be sure to step in after a few snoozes. Chances are, though, that they’ll be so excited at this taste of independence, they’ll actually wake at the first sound.
2. Skip the screen time
You’re trying to get your kids to move faster, right? Don’t give them a reason to zone out over their cereal. Keep the TV and tablets off until everyone is completely ready to go.
3. Make the mornings rock
Just because the TV is off doesn’t mean the house has to be silent. Turn on some kid-friendly music with a good beat, and you’ll notice them bopping through their morning routines at a pace that’s much faster than what you’re used to.
4. Wake up first
I know, you need shut-eye too, but try getting up and ready before you get your kids up. If you stumble out of your bedroom and straight into theirs every morning, you’re probably not approaching them in the cheeriest of moods. That’s going to affect their morning mood and how motivated they are to help things go smoothly.
5. Build in snuggle time
No matter how down you have your routines, mornings are hard. You need your kids on your side. Build in five to 10 minutes of time to talk and/or cuddle before you really get moving in the morning. It’ll help you reconnect with your kids after a night of separation and ensure you start your day on the same team.
6. Make a chart
Does it seem like you spend your entire morning hounding your kids to do the same things, over and over? Let them be in charge of their morning by creating a chart that lets them know what needs to be done before they head out.
7. Have a designated school stuff spot
How much time do you spend every morning trying to locate everything your kids need before they leave? Stop the madness by creating a place to keep all those essentials. A large bench or a set of cubbies is the perfect place for backpacks, shoes, jackets, lunchboxes, homework, library books, coats, gloves, umbrellas and more. Keep it all there anytime those items are not in use, and never have to go hunting in the morning again.
8. Appoint a leader
All those kindergarten teachers must be on to something. Pick one child every day to be the morning leader, and give them tasks to make sure get done, like gathering coats and shoes or filling water bottles. It’ll also be their job to help motivate the other kids. You’ll always have at least one kiddo on your side, right?
9. Let them be late
It may sound counterproductive, but if your kids just aren’t cooperating in the morning, then let them set the pace. If she doesn’t get her hair done or hasn’t changed out of her pajamas before the bus arrives, send her to school as is. She’ll be super embarrassed (and let’s face it, you will be too), but it’ll probably be the last time she moves so slowly when she should be hustling.