A morning routine can be a struggle for any household. Having four children, two with autism, morning can be rather hectic around here. Most morning, something will happen. Beds aren’t made, someone didn’t brush their teeth, or someone was late to school. It never seems to fail! There had to be a solution to the morning routine struggle!
Over the years, we have developed routines that help a lot. We have a magnetic chore chart for each child to move their morning routines to the done side. We lay out clothes the night before and set book bags by the door. These steps have helped a ton, but there was something missing. When I figured it out, it seemed so obvious! Our routines were missing love and compassion.
As adults, we can reason in our head why we must get up and get going. We don’t want to be late for work, miss the bus, or forget something while in a hurry. This reasoning capability gives us the motivation to get moving. Children just aren’t able to think things like that through yet.
I had to take a step back and imagine myself in my children’s shoes. Why aren’t they able to do the things I see as so simple. How are they feeling when Mom and Dad are rushing them through? When looking through their views, the most impact was that through my nine-year-old, autistic daughters view.
From her view, she saw chaos. She was tired from having a restless night, tossing and turning and waking up tired! The first thing she hears when she gets up is parents telling her to hurry up, get out of bed. We were rushing her through the morning steps and out the door.
As we hurry her through, she can’t focus on everything at once so she often misses steps. Her knowing that she was missing steps caused anxiety and more upset. This not only doesn’t work, but sets her up for a rough day at school. Something had to change. That’s when I realized she needed to start her day off with love!
The solution to the morning routine struggle
So now, we start waking the kids up calmly. We say something sweet, loving, or inspirational. We focus on one exciting thing about the day (sometimes it’s that we cut her sandwich & cheese in fun shapes!). This has been the best solution to morning struggles!
The goal every morning is a smile. Sure, we still are occasionally late or forget something at home, but that’s okay. I would much rather have a happier, stress free child than to have a bed made perfect. It may seem like the simplest of answer, but some answers are just that simple!
That solution to the morning routine struggle is showing love and compassion. So, starting tomorrow morning, wake your kids up a with love and compassion and see what difference it makes in your home!