Helping Your Child Be On Time


This post originally appeared on the Family Life Blog in December 2010.  It seems to always be an area that families struggle with – getting out the door in the morning.  So here is an encore presentation to refresh your routine!

Do you have one or more children in your home that seems to repeatedly run late?  Perhaps they run around looking for their shoes, coat or homework?  Maybe forgetting where they placed their back pack the afternoon before.  Does it raise the stress level for your entire family?  It isn’t a very good way to start your day, is it?  Think of this…..Do you run late?  Do you often forget where your keys are?  How about finding your purse or shopping list?  Do you see the correlation?  Maybe not if in fact you are a mom who is fairly organized and then it frustrates you even more that you have a child that seems to be in disarray!

If running late is a key component to your mornings it is time for a change.  You can help your child gain tremendous pride in their accomplishment of being prepared for their day and getting out the door on time in the morning.  You have heard it time and time again; learning by example will get someone much further than just being told what to do. [Read more…]

Simple Morning Routine Tips for Kids


Simple Morning Routine Tips for Kids
For some families, mornings are the best time of day. But it seems that mornings are often the worst and most dreaded time of day.

You do not have to feel like you are stuck in that pattern. There is always a way to change your behavior and provide tools to help your children be more productive, self-reliant, and task orientated.

I suggest beginning the idea of a morning routine from a very young age. The routine will change as they get older, but the idea that they are accustomed to a flow to their morning and the expectation of their participation will develop to be part of their nature.

Here are a few ideas and tips to get you started on creating a simple routine for your child.

Planning Is Key

Problems in the morning are often rooted in the fact that things should have been done the night before. Think about whatever you can do in advance and fit that into your “evening” routine! Helping your child discover the benefits of doing what they can in advance and ahead of time will end up flowing over into other areas of their lives later on.

If they are school age, here are a few things that can be done the evening before:

  • Packing lunches
  • Preparing backpacks with homework, fresh supplies, library books, permission slips, etc
  • Decide on tomorrows outfit – even laying out the jacket/coat and shoes
  • Setting out breakfast dishes/cereal/non-perishable items


It is not uncommon for parents to wake kids up in the morning, but often that is when the negative battle can begin. The goal with your child is to find a way where they can get themselves up so the day does not begin in a negative way. 

I found it very helpful to set up my children with their own alarm clock.  If you do not have a spare one laying around, make a special trip to pick out one that they will like 0 either with an alarm, musical wake-up, or one with a radio. Allow them to choose and be part of the solution. Telling them they are big enough to get themselves up and get their own day started gives children a wonderful sense of autonomy. Teach them how to set their alarm and fit that into your bedtime routine.

Enough Z’s

If children don’t get enough sleep, they will tend to be grouchy or angry. This should be no surprise, because I know I can be just the same if I miss out on my beauty sleep! Making sure your child gets at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night will prepare them to face their morning with a much better attitude. You may have to re-structure what happens in the evening to create the window your child needs to get enough sleep.

Back to School Morning Routine Tasks

Here are a list of tasks that we’ve incorporated into our children’s routines. Depending on your child’s age, choose a few tasks to start with and then slowly add new ones to get them to a place where they are truly taking care of a majority of their morning needs without you nagging and prompting them.

  • Making their bed
  • Getting dressed
  • Put pajamas away
  • Eating breakfast
  • Taking vitamins or medication
  • Clearing dishes and cleaning up
  • Brushing teeth

Helping your child develop a “system” for remembering their tasks is key. Is your child a verbal learner or visual? Most kids are very visual and it is very helpful to create some type of list or chart which has both words and pictures. I create my own chart with laminated task cards with Velcro on the back so they could move the tag when they completed a task, but there are several printables that I have run across lately that will work great as you decide what works best for you child.

I love these FREE Kids Morning Routine Flash Cards from Living Locurto and these Free Picture Cards at Do2learn.

When you take the time to create a routine for your child beginning early on, you are giving them a lifelong skill that will evolve as they gain more responsibility and independence. Routines free our minds up, cut down on stress, and develop patterns that quickly develop into habits.

Get more great ideas on routines and helping your child become responsible in the Back 2 School Survival Guide!

You can create an easy and fun mood to your home and teach wonderful lessons in the process.

Next week I will talk about effective after-school routines! 

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