Maintaining harmony in the mornings

It’s hard to keep the peace in the mornings, but there are a few things we can do...
Maintaining harmony in the mornings

Mornings can be a bit fraught at times, but it's all about being organised. Picture: PA

“MORNINGS do tend to be rather fraught, and something of a flashpoint for many families, as we’re all in a rush to get ready and out of the door in time for school and work, and with everything we need,” says Liat Hughes Joshi author of six parenting books, including 5-Minute Parenting Fixes (Summersdale).

“You might well be feeling a bit groggy and tired at that stage of the day”, Hughes Joshi adds. “Likewise for kids, if they didn’t sleep well – and particularly for teens, many of whom would happily sleep until lunchtime if left to their own devices.”

If you’re looking to cultivate a bit of family harmony in the mornings, these tips might help…

Focus on communication

Child communication expert Kavin Wadhar from KidCoachApp has some advice.

 “Work together the night before and have a family conversation about how you want the morning to look, how it should sound, and even what everyone wants to eat and drink for breakfast is great for mental preparation.”

Check in with how everyone thinks the mornings are going - over the dinner table, an informal debrief ‘learn and grow’ session is always useful.

Kavin said: “Daily micro changes and habits mean both parents and children can improve each and every day, with conversations being at the heart of everything”.

Lead by example

Hughes Joshi says it’s “crucial to set the example yourself by keeping calm and authoritative, rather than shouty – kids absolutely take their cues from us, so if you tend to get stressed and shout every morning, they’re much more likely to be like that with each other”.

Have a solid routine

“If you have a fairly set routine, children will know what to expect and when, and it’ll help keep things organised,” advises Hughes Joshi.

Prepare as much as possible

A bit of work in the evenings will help make mornings smoother. Wadhar says: “Getting everything prepped the night before is essential. Create the right environment for children to self-serve themselves, such as them getting uniform ready and breakfast bowls – this promotes much greater independence and frees up time for busy parents.”

Wadhar is a proponent of the ‘call and check’ method, saying: “Someone shouts out that they have got different things before shutting the door, such as keys, wallet, water bottles and bag, and the other person, shouts check – this can be a fun thing to do between parent and child.”

Lists and timetables are also your friend – like a weekly schedule stuck on the fridge of who has what activities each day as a reminder.

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