Developing a School Morning Routine for Your Kids

Getting back to the school morning routine can be hectic if you’re not organized. Whether your morning routine needs a little adjusting or you’re looking for pointers on how to get ready for school. Here are some ways to prepare the kids for a productive, successful day the night before and use shortcuts in the morning to make your routine as seamless as possible. A few top tips below that will not only make you breathe a little easier each morning, but help set your children up for a successful day and school year.

1. Make sure everyone is getting enough sleep.

OK, before we even start looking at the morning routine for kids, we need to address the elephant in the room. It seems obvious and we’ve all heard it before, but the importance of sleep cannot be overstated. Are your kids getting enough sleep?

Here is a handy chart that breaks down how much sleep kids need depending on their age. You can determine your child’s appropriate bedtime by subtracting the number of hours from the time you need to wake them up in order to get out the door in time.

If you have little ones who refuse to sleep, check out these handy guides:

  • How to get your child to sleep
  • Bedroom colors that promote peaceful sleep
  • Gentle baby and toddler sleep tips

2. Do it the night before

“The rule of thumb is that everything that does not have to be done in the morning should be done the night before,” says Alexandra Mayzler, director of Thinking Caps, a tutoring company in New York City. ” Try to minize the number of responsibilities everyone has in the morning.


  • Prepare breakfast and pack lunches the night before
  • Choose out clothes – let your child pick out their own clothes, as involving them in the decision making process is a great way to give them a little control over their routine

3. Get Connected

“For kids going to sleep at night means they are on their own,” says Betsy Brown Braun, child development and behavioral specialist, and author of You’re Not The Boss Of Me. “I look at the morning as the oasis after the drought.” In other words, kids can be especially needy for Mommy time in the morning, which may not exactly mesh with your desire to rush everyone out the door. Taking a moment first thing to reconnect with a snuggle and a little conversation can go a long way toward quelling attention-getting behavior later. If they start acting up as the morning goes on, see what you can do to re-establish a connection. Maybe getting dressed in Mommy and Daddy’s room will be just what he needs to get his pants on.

4. Get Up Earlier

You might not like this one, but it could make a world of difference. If you find yourself consistently running 15 minutes late, get up 15 minutes earlier, says Debi Silber, a life coach in Dix Hills, NY. You’ll give yourself a cushion — and maybe even a chance to get ready in peace. Ditto for your kids; if it consistently takes them 30 minutes to get ready, don’t think they can magically do it in 20.

5. Stay Calm

Have you ever noticed your anxiety has the effect of making your kids move in slow-mo?

Your kids can sense when you are rushed and frantic and they will slow down and resist. If you are following all of the tips above you shouldn’t be rushed but things can come up at the last minute.

Kids tend to mirror your actions and tone so if you find yourself yelling a lot in the morning or showing frustration in physical ways (pointing, huffing and puffing etc.), try to really focus on your attitude and use a calm voice.

The Long-Term Action Plan

Examine your family’s sleep schedule and make sure that all members are getting an appropriate amount of sleep. If not, adjust your obligations and activities so that everyone is getting to bed on time. Spend some time as a family discussing the importance of working togeter to get everyone out the door in the morning in a joyful mood!

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