Are your mornings chaotic and disorderly, despite your best efforts to keep a calm, orderly household?
I’m a mom and I know how frustrating and defeating it can feel when a hectic morning leads to you being late — again. If you’re constantly helping your child find his shoes, complete “forgotten” homework or get out of bed, remember this:
If you are doing more for your child than he is doing for himself, he will not learn to perform tasks on his own.
So what can you do to help your child take responsibility and become more independent? As a 1-on-1 Coach here at Empowering Parents, I recommend these three tips for establishing structure and routine in your home:
- Many parents are surprised to learn that the most effective time to discuss the morning routine with your child is in the afternoon or evening — not in the morning! As described in “Our Morning Routine Isn’t Working” — 6 Ways to Fix It Now, it helps to talk with your child when you’re not in a stressful situation.
- For some kids, having a visual reminder of their morning responsibilities can be useful for keeping them on track. Using a behavior chart as an aide can also be incredibly helpful in reducing power struggles. For free templates, check out our Downloadable Behavior Charts.
- Lesson 3 of The Total Transformation, our award-winning child behavior program designed for parents to use at home, outlines three roles an effective parent plays in guiding a child’s behavior. One component of being an effective parent is presenting yourself as an authority. Not sure how? We have some great tips to get you started in In Over Your Head? How to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Regain Control as a Parent.
Kids with diagnoses such as ADHD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder might need more specialized approaches for creating a morning routine. You can find support for these unique challenges by visiting our Empowering Parents Store.
Still want more? We have a whole section of resources for establishing routine and structure! In my experience working with parents, daily routines go a long way for getting out the door in the morning!
“Remember, your child is the one who needs to work harder at getting to school on time or finishing their assignments on time. You’ve been through this in your own childhood — you don’t need to do it all again.” — Megan Devine, LCPC
Rebecca Wolfenden is a loving Momma to her son and a dedicated 1-on-1 Coach. She earned her degree in Social Work from West Virginia University and has been with Empowering Parents since 2011. Rebecca has experience working with children and families in home settings and schools, and has extensive practice working with people of all ages who have survived significant emotional and physical trauma.