Last updated on Jun 21st, 2021 at 01:43 pm

There is no ‘quick fix’ or magic formula when it comes to avoiding the morning madness

Do you feel like you’ve lived 1 000 lives by 9 a.m. every day? You’re not alone…

In most households (with school-aged children), weekday mornings are stressful, to say the least.

Teens need to be bribed out of bed, fussy eaters need to be cajoled to eat, un-cooperative kids need to be dressed – all while trying to keep your sanity in check.

By the time your child shoves a reply slip under your nose on the way out the front door, you’re ready to blow a gasket!

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By then, a negative tone has been set for the day: You’re agitated because there are just too many ‘to-dos’ and too little time, weary from nagging your way through the morning routine and your kids – well, they’re rolling their eyes in the back seat because mom is in a bad mood. Again.

Now there is no ‘quick fix’ or magic formula when it comes to avoiding the morning madness. In fact, like anything that has to do with kids, a ‘perfect’ morning routine just. doesn’t. exist.

Having said that, there are things that you can commit to doing, to help turn things around and get your mornings off to a better, less stressful start.

Here are five ways to de-stress your ‘back-to-school’ morning routine:

1. Prep what you can at night and before the kids wake up

Avoid the morning scramble (and we’re not talking about eggs!) by doing everything you can do, the night before.

Things like packing lunch boxes, laying out school clothes, signing reply slips, laying the breakfast table.

When it comes to getting yourself ready, try to get up a little earlier than your kids, so that you are ready and dressed by the time they roll out of bed. Mornings are chaotic enough, without you trying to apply your make-up while making sure that your child wolfs down his cereal.

By focusing on yourself first, you are able to give your full attention to getting your child ready and out the door once his alarm clock goes off.

Avoid the morning scramble (and we’re not talking about eggs!) by doing everything you can do, the night before

2. If mom is stressed, the whole household will be stressed

Kids tend to take their cue from us, which means if you start your day stressed, so will they.

A good mood can be infectious. So, be happy, even if you’re not – and try your best to tackle the morning as positively as you can.

3. Unplug at the breakfast table

It’s tempting to check e-mails and scroll through social media feeds in the morning, but, the breakfast table is not the place.

Spending time on your phone (especially on meaningless media) can contribute to you feeling unaccomplished and frazzled. Your child is also more likely to ‘switch off’ and not focus on the task at hand (which is eating breakfast and getting ready for school) because mom is on her phone, again

Similarly, children should be discouraged from playing on tablets or watching TV in the mornings – as it is distracting and just eats away the time. Rather leave electronics for after school.

4. Start the day with an “I love you”

One of the most important things I’ve learnt on my parenting journey, is that children respond to love. They are more co-operative when they feel loved and valued.

Tell your children you love them, smile right at them, praise them for completing small tasks; like putting shoes on or brushing teeth – you’d be surprised at how a ‘softer approach’ can turn your morning routine around.

5. Say ‘yes’

“No, you can’t go to school with your hair looking like that!”

“You’re brushing your teeth the wrong way…”

Sound familiar?

Most moms are control freaks. But, try giving your inner control freak a break – at least in the mornings, and say ‘yes’ to something your child wants.

By saying ‘yes’, you will avoid an unnecessary argument and empower your child, by allowing her to make a choice on her own. Wearing mis-matched clothes or rocking a funky hair-do to school is not going to hurt anyone!