Parenting our sassy and strong-willed kiddos is the most important and hardest thing we can do on this planet. As the happy little ones transition to school-aged kids, a morning routine becomes even more important. When we turn the focus away from the activity accolades, external appearances, and what the Jones’s kids are doing, it is life-giving for the next generation. This simple morning routine, which begins the night before, will bring peace to you and your kids.
Set consistent times
Have a regular window of time planned for play and homework so your child’s evening makes the next morning easier. An hour before bed, check in to make sure all their homework is finished.
Do next-day task reminders before bedtime
Keep the questions simple. For example, “Do you have your uniform in your backpack for the sports meet after school?” Before they go to sleep, have all tomorrow’s important items ready.
Remove phones from the bedroom
Yes, you read that right. Spend $15 on a real alarm clock for your children and have them wake up without a phone. Kids (and adults, for that matter) are not mature enough to set their phone boundaries, and the all-night chats and phone notifications impact their health. Steady sleep is critical while their brains are developing. This is the hardest step but is the most rewarding when put in place. Mama, you can do this.
Enter parent morning-warrior mode.
Wake up 30 minutes early to put on strong coffee, light a candle, and play low-level, soothing music. Christian worship and folkie spa playlists are the favorites around here. Get your act together so you can be fully present during the important breakfast time. Put your phone and other distractions away. This way, you can set the tone for your family and a peaceful day.
Let preteens and teens choose their clothes
Focus on what is going on internally with them and try not to care so much about what they wear, unless
it is inappropriate. Let it go. It’s not a battle worth fighting. The school halls are filled with teens in shorts when snow is on the ground. Chances are they will wise up on their own eventually.
Set a consistent breakfast time
At our house, food is a big motivator, so when I told the kids they couldn’t eat breakfast until they were completely ready, they complained, rolled their eyes, and then, of course, got ready quickly. I’m not above bribery!
Read a devotion
Once our wild kids sat down to eat, I took the opportunity to read to them, instilling peace and wisdom with a two-minute Bible devotion while they were shoveling down their eggs. It didn’t seem like it was making a difference, but it was soaking in and making way for questions and conversations later in the day…and later in life.
Gather for hug and prayer time
When the kids were dressed and fed, school bags ready, I would say, “Give me a hug.” Then I prayed a quick prayer out loud over them while we hugged. Here is an example: “Lord Jesus, keep them safe and healthy today. Let them be kind, feel your presence, and hear your voice in their ears.” Then I’d add something about what they’re dealing with, such as an upcoming math test. Humor never hurts. Start singing “Jesus, Take the Wheel” after a minor fender bender the week prior. Your kids will act like they don’t want this hug prayer. Do it anyway. When you intentionally make this part of the routine, they’ll start coming to you when they need to leave. Bless your babies and tell them you love them. Every. Single. Day. Even when they are taller than you.
The above excerpt is from The Grace-Filled Homestead by Lana Stenner. Lana’s charming snapshots of life on the farm invite women to incorporate the heart of homesteading—slower living rooted firmly in faith and family—into their everyday lives. You can experience more grace and authenticity right where you area. Learn more at lanastenner.com.