How to Have Happier Mornings

Take Charge on 02.05.13
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Photo: Steve Lambert/Creative Commons

My husband and my daughter hate mornings, my son is a naturally early riser, and I just want everyone to leave the house without too much bickering. Not every day in our house starts with sunshine and rainbows, but I do have a few tricks for coaxing my family into a good mood in the morning.

Start the night before. I find that my mornings are often a reflection of the night before: Did everyone get enough sleep? Well-rested kids are less likely to wake up crying, while an over-tired parent is more likely to hit snooze and start a domino effect of rush, rush, rush. Another nighttime ritual that can ease the morning panic is picking out clothes, packing bags, and making sure everything that needs to be is signed.

Allow time for slow wake ups. You may be tempted to let everyone sleep as late as possible, but kids who struggle with early mornings may actually do better with an earlier bedtime and waking time. My daughter is a notoriously grumpy riser, but waking her up slowly with hugs and kisses allows her to ease into the day and usually puts her in a good mood.

Keep calm. My mood is often a barometer for my household. If I make an effort to pour myself a cup of coffee, stretch, and put a smile on my face before ringing the morning bell, everyone else seems to follow suit. Unfortunately, they are just as inclined to mirror me if I’m frantically rushing around hollering, “hurry up!” I try to keep morning activities to a minimum and allow ample time to get everything done so that I have a better chance of setting a happy example.

Take a moment to connect. While I keep the AM to-do list short, I do think it’s important to make intimacy a priority. That means everyone gets a hug, a kiss, an “I love you,” or some kind of, “hey, remember you matter to me” moment before they leave the house. I do this because I want my husband and kids to know how I feel about them, but also because it makes them nicer – which makes my day a whole lot better.

What are your tried and true tricks for happy mornings?

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