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Meaningful Mornings

My dear friend, adoptive momma, and co-ministry leader, Molly Shockley, wrote a post about how to create meaningful moments during the morning routine. Having a connected relationship with our children is so very important. With her permission, I'd like to share her thoughts with you. Enjoy these practical tips!

1. Build in extra time: Get up earlier than your kids & prepare for your day before they wake up. This allows for you to be completely focused on them when they wake up.

2. Make sure you give each child time to reconnect with you when they wake up. Just as when they are gone to school (or out of town) they need to reconnect with you after being asleep. Hold Onto Your Kids and Peaceful Parents both recommend 5-10 minutes of snuggling before expecting your child to get up and go. One book says that every person likes to start the day in first gear, NOT 3rd! We have stopped using alarm clocks and each kid gets kisses and back scratches to wake up.

3. Keep the routine as simple as possible: Let your daughter wear a ponytail to bed so that she doesn’t have to detangle her hair again in the morning. Why can’t they skip a shower today? Why not eat a sandwich in the car instead of cereal? Be flexible and remember to compromise to share power.

4. Ruthlessly prioritize: Set aside or put down all distractions. Our children need our organized attention. Nothing on your phone is more important than this time with your child.

5. Do everything in your power to remain calm and not raise your voice: When you feel you’re about to blow, STOP talking immediately, DROP whatever the issue is for a moment until you can calm down, BREATHE deep to help yourself from going into fight or flight. In most cases, the issues is truly not an emergency…take care of the issue when you are calm.

6. Prepare the night before: Help your kids set out their clothes, pack lunches and snacks and get bags together. As you are expecting your kids to learn how to do this for themselves, always be willing to do it with them, alongside them.

7. Minimize your job as head cop: Reduce the desire to catch your child in wrong behavior. Be more committed to CONNECTING with your child than CORRETCTING them. If you need help connecting, start with play and touch.

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