Ever had one of those mornings when, after pushing the snooze button several times, you jumped out of bed, quickly showered, dressed, and then realized you’d forgotten something extremely important? Perhaps you forgot to shave, or brush your teeth, or even—heaven forbid—your phone as you rushed out the door?
Days like those remind us that a specific morning routine helps our days flow much smoother. A solid morning routine not only streamlines our start, but also sets the tone for our day.
We all know the power of establishing such good habits. But the benefit isn’t just for adults. The whole family would enjoy the benefits if we would instill these habits in our children as well.
A morning routine for your child not only helps build responsibility but also gives a smooth start and a purposeful direction to each day .
As a mom of five young children, I didn’t want to constantly remind each child before school about his morning tasks. So I formulated a list of five items that needed to be accomplished every morning and in a specific order. I relied on my husband to make a pictograph (a child’s hand with a simple icon on each finger as a reminder) so that even our preschoolers would be able to follow the steps and form great habits.
Here were our “5 Things”:
- Make bed. The easiest time for a child to make his bed is right as he slips out of it in the morning. No need to go back and do it as a job—just pull up the covers as you get out of bed.
Get dressed. To expedite this process, lay out your child’s clothes the night before. Then, it’s a quick change and he’s ready to get some fuel for the morning’s activities.
Breakfast and devotions. There’s nothing like your children showing up for breakfast already dressed and having their bed made! Having breakfast at a specific time allows the whole family to gather for a meal and to share a thought for the day as well.
Hands and face. This is a good reminder to head to the bathroom after meals, especially for little ones who may need to wash up.
Teeth and hair. Last but not least, brushing teeth and combing hair completes the personal care routine.
Establishing these habits in our children at a young age provided a lot more peace in our home and also helped train them to be responsible adults. I’m confident it would bring the same benefits for you and your family.
Question: What would be—or are— your 5 Things for your child? Share your answer in the comments below.