Back to school can be an extremely stressful time. After summer break, it can be really hard to get back into a normal morning routine, but I believe that it's the most important time of day for parents and kids. Starting out your morning in a happy, calm manner paired with a healthy breakfast really sets the tone for the entire day. My children are in middle school and college now, and we have been following the same morning routine since each of them were in pre-school. I'm so excited to share our fool proof morning routine with you along with some tips to keep mornings calm, and a great healthy breakfast idea too!
If you would like to download your own copy of my morning checklist, you can click HERE to print your own! (The printable version doesn't include the check ;)
In my opinion, the absolute most important thing you can do in the morning is set the tone for the day by having a positive attitude. We have a very strict no yelling policy in our home, especially in the morning. Now, everyone isn't going to wake up happy every single day, but teaching your children that keeping their emotions in check will not only make your mornings better, but will help them in all areas of their lives, especially at school. The best way to keep things calm is to keep calm yourself. As parents, this can be extremely difficult, especially when dealing with a child who doesn't want to cooperate. The key is to not engage in yelling or fit throwing. I know that there will be times when you can't help it...I sure have my mornings, but if you keep calm most of the time, your kiddos will follow your lead.
When my kiddos wake up, they sit alone in their beds for a few minutes and slowly wake up. I have always tried to wake them up gently. No one wants to be screamed at in the morning or woken up by a bright light. This all ties in with keeping things calm in the morning. If you have a child that constantly falls back to sleep if you leave the room, a better alternative may be to have them sit in a chair in the living room for a few minutes to wake up. Once they have had a few minutes to wake up, they make their beds. We do not expect perfection here...they just pull their sheets and blankets up and place their pillows at the top of their beds. This helps make their bedrooms, where they get ready, a little less chaotic feeling. When things feel less chaotic, kiddos brains stay calm and they are less likely to lose things or freak out.
Once my kids are awake, it's time for a healthy breakfast! A healthy breakfast will give them a nice energy boost and help them get their day started in the right way. Sugary breakfasts can lead to energy crashes, and nobody needs that, am I right? My kids are huge fans of El Monterey's Breakfast Burritos.
El Monterey Breakfast Burritos are packed full of real food like fresh-baked flour tortillas and real scrambled eggs, which makes this mom feel like a champ! Side note...my husband and I love them too! They can be ready in less than two minutes in the microwave or can be oven baked. I like to serve them with salsa or some cheese sauce and fresh veggies. They are also delicious with some fresh fruit! And...they make a great snack or dinner paired with some rice and vegetable sautée!
The El Monterey Breakfast Burritos come in a wholesome array of flavors to fit all palates. My favorite is the Egg, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Cheese. Matt loved the Egg, Sausage and Cheese. Kate loves anything with a little kick, so she prefers the Egg, Cheese and Jalapeno, while Cam craves the Egg, Sausage, Cheese and Potato. Everyone is happy, which makes momma happy!
Once breakfast is finished, it's time for the kids to brush their teeth...don't forget the flossing! If they start young, they will keep that routine forever. Once they have brushed their teeth, encourage them to brush their hair. For little kids, it's perfectly fine to brush and fix their hair. I like to have them do all of the steps that need to be done in the bathroom at once, so if someone else needs a turn, they won't disturb them.
Now it is time to get dressed! Have their clothes set out the night before so you don't have the added stress of trying to figure it out in the morning. Picking out clothes in the mornings is one of the top causes of arguments, so get in the routine of having them ready the night before...just add it to their bedtime routine! Once they have their clothes and shoes on, your kids should be ready to grab their school supplies and head out the door. My kids always tried to see if they could get ready in time to have a few minutes of free time before they left for school.
I hope that this morning routine helps you and your kids get off to a great new school year and