Updated: Jan 24, 2019
Getting an entire family up; washed, dressed, fed in the early morning is no doubt a minefield for potential meltdowns. And let's face it - these breakdowns aren't limited to just your children.
The mornings can be tough. After a December holiday, getting your family back to a routine can prove even more challenging. However, there are a couple of things you can try to manage the morning madness effectively.
Don't let your expectations get the better of you. For example; many parents have this fantasy of pleasant children eating a healthy breakfast at the table every morning. However, as we all know, the reality is entirely different.
Your one child lives on cereal; the other won't eat at all. Nagging, arguing, or force-feeding will get you nowhere. It is more likely to end up in more tension and a bad start to the day for everyone.
Instead be sure to pack a full and healthy lunchbox so your children can fill up when they finally feel the need to do so.
Problem-solve recurring issues
You are allowed to voice your concerns about, for example, your children's morning eating habits, your toddler having a meltdown over which clothes to wear, or your teenager always being late. Basically, any issue that keeps on popping up in the mornings.
However, we recommend that you do it at a time of day when everyone is relaxed and in a comfortable space. Trying to address problems in the morning before school and work will without a doubt put more pressure on the household.
Instead, plan a family get-together at a time of day that suits everyone. Also, remember to allow everyone wants and needs, no matter how insignificant it might sound to you. You might be surprised at some of the underlying issues that come out, and are the root causes of your child's behaviour in the mornings.
"In your relationship with your child, you will have one of two attitudes toward everything you hear her say or see her do – acceptance or unacceptance. Some of your child’s behaviors are indications that her needs are not being met; she is sending out signals that she is feeling troubled or upset." - Linda Adams, President and CEO of Gordon Training International
Involve every person in the family
Your entire family is experiencing the morning chaos - not just you. It is, therefore, necessary to involve each member of the family in planning a solution for calmer mornings.
Your children need to feel active in the process. By having them brainstorm solutions with you and your partner, will make them feel more involved, equal, and motivated to comply.
Remember, you will most likely have to return to the drawing board as needs and priorities change. The trick is not to feel disheartened about it but instead embracing it as a positive process in your household.
Start the night before
Prevent future problems by sending clear messages to your children well in advance. If you have a big meeting the next day, start planning and communicating this to your household the night before.
Prep as much as you can the night before.
Help your toddler to decide on an outfit - pick something together, and again express how you really need her/his help the next day. Be sure to check in with everyone before bed and remind them of your big day the next day.
When it comes to dealing with the chaos in the mornings, remember that as the parent you are the expert. You have been dealing with the same unpleasantries we all experience from time-to-time for far longer than your children. You have a better grip on how to express your emotions and should, therefore, be setting the example. Breathe and remain calm. This too shall pass.
Learn more: www.parents.co.za
Disclaimer: The information contained in this communication is not to be construed as medical advice. Consult a professional on any medical or psychological concerns. The articles and blogs are posted only as opinion or ideas, and are general in nature. The administrator takes no responsibility for any action or outcome a reader may make as a result of reading a post.