How To Help Kids Get Themselves Ready in the Morning

Haven't we all lost it completely at one point or another trying to get our kids out the door in the morning?! But power struggles create distance and don't change the results much in getting kids to school on time. Whether you have toddlers taking their time or teenagers giving you grief, here's a list of tips and tricks to help you and them out.

1. Involve kids in creating a morning routine. Even if they are really young, you can guide them through creating a list of tasks that need to happen every (school) morning. You can use this list to put together a chart. Keep it as simple as possible. In our house, we created a photo chart of the kids actually going through their morning routine. We laminated it and they can check each photo with an erasable pen. They are so eager to check each photo that they go through their routine without any help. We have one for their nighttime routine as well.

2. Start getting ready the night before. Help them or have them lay out their clothing the night before right down to their socks or accessories for their hair. They can help you prepare lunches and backpacks and even come up with a breakfast plan ahead of time.

3. Give them an alarm clock. When you let them choose their own wake-up time and begin using an alarm clock as young as possible, it helps them create the habit of waking up on their own and teaches them that this is part of their responsibility.

4. Ask questions to move things along. Jane Nelsen, the writer of Positive Discipline, suggests asking questions instead of nagging. Once again, it puts the responsibility back into the kids' hands, which empowers them. When they go through their routine, you can always nudge them towards their next step by asking them things like "what's next on your routine?" or "How are you going to do this next step?".

What are your best tips to get kids motivated in the morning?

(Image credits: Carrie McBride)