strategies for the morning routine

At our house we have 2 types of kids –  an early bird


and a night owl.


The 10 year old wakes up at 6am religiously, no matter what time she goes to bed. The 12 year old is hard to wake up because he is at his best after 9pm…homework, making music, etc.

These differences make the morning routine a bit challenging. I am sure some of you also share this issue, so here are some of the things I do to make the morning run more smoothly. You are welcome in advance!

  1. Have a set time that all screens go away each night. This was easier in theory for us. We started off having a time that screens (i.e., phones, tablets) came downstairs. But one of our sneaky kiddos would come down after we went to bed and retrieve said screens. Sigh. So, I went to Wal Mart (a necessary evil from time to time) and purchased a lock box. Not a box with a key, but 2 codes that only mom knows. Screens go in at 9pm and can only be retrieved once all morning expectations have been completed.
  2.  Make coffee the night before. It makes SUCH a difference folks. You wake up and that magical liquid is immediately ready for consumption.
  3.  When it is time to leave, simply set the house alarm which means that children only have 60 seconds to get themselves ready and out the door.  At our house, this might mean that one is exiting the house while still dressing. But we are out the door in 60 seconds.
  4.  If you are doing school carpool, pack breakfast and other morning routines to be completed in the car. Examples: lotion, vitamins, deodorant. We have lotion and deodorant and lotion, and chapstick, on hand at all times in the car. These preteen years can be tricky.
  5.  I tell my children that they have 5 mins before carpool even when they actually have 10 minutes. Lying is a good strategy sometimes. Don’t judge. My heart is always happy when both kiddos are ready to go to school right on time….but they think they are 5 minutes early.

I hope I can one day be a mom that does not have to yell in the morning. Right now that seems like a lofty goal 😉


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