Gentle morning sunrise. Chirping meadowlarks. A toasty cup of coffee. Ah. There’s nothing better than a tranquil, peaceful morning.
Unfortunately, that picture is little more than a distant fantasy for parents of young kids.
Instead, mornings more often resemble warzones with cranky faces, homework doused in orange juice, and a Herculean struggle to file everyone into the car for school.
Fortunately, there is an antidote to this everyday nightmare — the key is routine.
While this word is often seen as negative, a well-thought-out routine can provide all the productivity, ease, and calm that we need to start our busy days.
Read on to learn four key tips to incorporate some peace into your early rush hour by establishing a routine and morning checklist for your kids.
1. Prepare Before You Wake Up
Rather than saving the most important tasks for the last minute before you’re out the door, shift half of your kiddo’s most important tasks to the night before.
If your little ones need more time to pick out their outfit every morning, ask them instead to lay out their clothes just before going to bed. If their homework and pencils are constantly strewn across the kitchen table and ruining breakfast time, ask them to organize their things every night before hopping into bed.
While they might not appreciate the extra lengthening of their nightly routine, this will definitely allow everyone to breathe easier during those crunch moments of the morning.
2. Eight Hours A Night
Maybe you think you can get by on only six hours of sleep a night, but your kid sure can’t.
All throughout their early years, children’s bodies are growing at a rapid rate and their brains are forming the connections they’ll have for the rest of their lives. The vast majority of this growth occurs while they’re catching up on their Z’s.
Of course, with all the digital distractions we have to contend with today, it’s never been more difficult to lay down with nothing but our thoughts to entertain us. The key is to think of our beds as a special place where our bodies derive the energy they need to function at their best.
Dimming your house lights once the sun sets can prime our brains and bodies for sleep and help us get a healthy restart for the next day. Instead of finishing off the day with an hour-long session in front of the TV or iPad, ask your kid to join you in the living room for a family reading session.
If you haven’t already, ask your little one to take a warm bath or light shower just before bedtime. This can signal to the body that the long events of the day are washing away and they’re ready to start anew.
3. Incentivize and Energize
Even with a full night of sleep and a healthy nightly routine, it can still be difficult to accomplish certain tasks in the morning.
For example, maybe you’ve given your kiddo all the help you could think of but they still struggle to remember to feed their goldfish Jeffrey every morning. No problem.
Identify a morning behavior your kid loves — maybe they love leafing through their comic books. Great.
Tell them that they’re only allowed to read their comic books in the morning once they’ve fed Jeffrey. This transforms an easily forgettable activity into one they’ll actively look forward to completing.
By the way, this doesn’t only work for kids! If you struggle with certain tasks every morning, brainstorm ways you can incentivize yourself to complete them.
Let’s say you love starting off your morning with a handful of fresh blueberries. There’s nothing that brings you more joy and energizes you to start your day. But you’ve recently found that your potted plants are drooping because you rarely remember to water them.
That’s a behavior you can easily change. Put the blueberry package in the back of the fridge and label the box with a cute drawing of a plant. From now on, you’ll save your blueberries as a juicy reward once you’ve gotten the hose out and had a truly productive morning.
4. Take Time To Appreciate Breakfast
So much of our mornings are spent in a frantic rush that we often speed through the most important meal of the day — breakfast.
Eating is one of the few occasions that we have dedicated time to reflect and look inwardly. Most of the hours of the day are spent completing tasks and responding to crises. While we can find great meaning and pleasure in accomplishing goals and moving at a million miles an hour, we need time to slow down.
So, take a moment before you start every meal to center yourself. Take slow breaths, countdown from ten, whatever works for you. Focus solely on the moment and the food in front of you.
This is a practice called mindful eating, and it’s one of the most important changes you can make to your morning routine and your life as a whole. Not only does mindful eating keep you satiated longer but it helps you appreciate and pay more attention to every bite of your food.
If you’d like, invite your whole family to do this with you. If you need a few minutes every morning just for yourself, that’s fine too.
Just remember to choose a nutritious breakfast to power your brain and body through the whole day. We think there’s no better choice for breakfast than Mylk Labs’ instant oatmeal.
With the signature delicious taste of toasted oats and less added sugar and sodium than every other oatmeal brand, Mylk Labs is the perfect addition to a healthy morning routine for school and beyond. Our five unique flavors provide a perfect option for every kid and adult looking for a sweet and scrumptious breakfast option that’s ready in minutes.
Invite Mylk Labs Into Your Morning Routine
No morning routine is going to completely eliminate the stress that comes with raising kids, but these five tips are sure to provide more structure and calm to your whole family’s life.
Following routines can be difficult, but once you find one that works for your family, each morning will become one to look forward to rather than dread.
Mornings are all about appreciating the day ahead, and that starts with a tasty, healthy breakfast. For a delicious, nutritious option that fits seamlessly into any morning routine, look towards Mylk Labs for all-natural, gluten-free instant oatmeal.
Providing far more sustainable energy than any sugary cereal or other instant oatmeal brands out there, Mylk Labs comes in tastefully sweet flavors like Granny Smith Apple and Sunflower Cinnamon and Cultivated Blueberry Vermont Maple Blueberry to infuse each morning with a nutty sweetness that’s ready to eat in less than five minutes.