Sunday, August 26, 2012

Getting Off to a Good Start: How to Have a Stress Free Morning

Organized! (Photo credit: mgstanton)
A lesson that I often teach early in the year is one on organization;  We talk about what it means to be organized and even young children can look around the room and give great examples of organization. They point out the books on the shelves, the jackets hung up together on the coat rack and sometimes even supplies stacked in their desks.  We talk about the benefits of being organized: being able to find things quickly, keeping up with stuff rather than losing it. I've even written a book about Wyatt being organized.  If you've read it you know it's mostly about establishing a morning and evening routine and the advantages of that.  An interesting note is that frequently when I have sold it to other parents they inform me they are buying it for their child or grandchild but secretly hoping that the adult in their lives will read it and take note.  Many adults tell me they need to read the book.

One of the most stressful times of the day for many parents and children is the early morning rush of getting to school on time.  I recently read a great blog written by a parent outlining several things to do to make the morning more stress free for parents and children.  Here's the blog post:  Simple Life Habits

Here's a few of Jonathan's ideas that I really like and although my children are now grown and on their own, I still follow these suggestions (most of the time) myself:

  1. Plan ahead by getting things ready the night before.  I'm a big fan of this approach and I often discuss it with children.  When my children were little we got clothes out and backpacks ready the night before.  Even now I prepare the night before for my next day.
  2. Leave yourself enough margin  to arrive on time.  While I follow this advice for work, (I'm always early), I'm not so good at following this advice for other activities.  The idea of margin is a good one and so often I find myself not planning on the needed amount of time with some extra  time added in for unforeseen difficulties.
  3. Spend some quiet time in devotion. This is a definite part of my morning and I think this is a great idea for families as well.  I love the thought of sharing a devotion with the family as you eat breakfast.  Pretty different from the rushing out the door, pop tart in hand approach that often characterizes the morning routine.
  4. Share a positive affirmation that sets the tone for the day.  Jonathan's suggestion is: "Make it a great day for someone."  Sharing a positive thought at the last good bye can create a positive mindset.
What about you?  What suggestions do you have for creating a stress free morning?

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  1. being organized is a lesson i need to learn myself, lynne. i am the type of person who is so used to trying to get things done during the last minute. and yes, that kind of lifestyle is absolutely stressful. these are great pieces of advice. :-)

  2. yeah, i need to be organized as well. i can't find many things i have lost somewhere in the black hole of my life.

  3. @irene--we all need to work on creating time margins!
    @fifileigh-I know what you mean!!