Day 2 - Mornings with Your Kids
Why do mornings seem so difficult? For parents, especially working parents, there is typically so much to do in a short period of time. Dads, if you don’t already, it’s time to help your wife out with the morning routine. "Morning is the time in which temperamental differences may be most evident - the child who is slow to get going clashes with the mother or father who is fast paced. Or the child who is crabby clashes with the parent who is also crabby," say authors Ellen Galinsky and Judy David in their book The Preschool Years.
Mornings also provide the perfect opportunity for children to assert their individuality. With the clock ticking for work and meetings, this is the prime time for power struggles.
Whether your children are going back to school or struggling with a new morning routine, getting ready for school or daycare doesn’t have to be a struggle.
Tips for a Smooth Morning Routine for School or Daycare:
• Leave room for unhurried moments. Make sure everybody has enough sleep and rises early enough to avoid rushing. Give yourselves time for some unhurried moments together before you have to leave the house. Dads, this is a great time to remind your kids about what you expect and maybe even share an encouraging Bible verse.
• Complete chores the night before. To make the morning routine less stressful, do things the night before. After dinner, for example, prepare lunch boxes and leave them in the fridge overnight. My wife makes 90% of the lunches in our house, but even she needs a break. I try to make school lunches at least once a week and show our kids that dad is involved too.
• Give yourself more time. Add 10 or 15 extra minutes to your usual schedule. If the child is ready on time, spend it reading, talking, or doing some other activity together. Make sure you give him your undivided attention during this period.
• Set reasonable expectations. Expect your children to do what they are capable of. For example, washing and dressing themselves if they are old enough. This may be an unreasonable expectation for a younger child. Set one task at a time to make expectations seem more attainable. Setting expectations is key!
• Get out the door. If a child has not been cooperative, use the extra 10-15 minutes to get your kids ready with as little fuss as possible. Do not scold or chat; just do what is necessary to leave on time. This is a great way to team up with your wife to help get everyone out the door.
Morning Challenge: How can you as a husband be more helpful in the mornings with your kids? Pick a few things that you know your wife would value your help with and then do them each day. Talk about what's working and not working with the morning routine. Step up, men!
Bible Verse References:
Job 38:12 "Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, And caused the dawn to know its place,
Psalm 30:5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.