Talk Back: Morning Routine Battles

Okay, Mamas.  How do you manage the morning drama that comes with picking out clothes, getting hair combed and out the door without drama?  We've tried choosing clothes the night before, but it just seems impossible to be happy with that decision the next day.

What are your tips and tricks for morning routine magic?


  1. Choices, Choices, Choices. I find that if I give my 3 year old Diva a few choices in the morning "jeans or slacks", "pink or white", "one pony or two"...getting to pick one or the other makes her feel "in control" and things go much more smoothly.

  2. My near four year old wants nothing to do with my choices, or my opinion at all. If the weather is bad (I live in CO) I put a stipulation out there about wearing pants (she'll insist on thick tights instead), but that's about it. She dresses herself, I deal with it. Sometimes she picks clean clothes, sometimes she doesn't. She changes clothes throughout the day so if she doesn't match, she probably will in an hour or two.

    I give 2 choices to my 2 year old, but like her sister if I say "pick, pink or white." She'll most likely say, "Mot that one, I want green!"

  3. Mine are nearly four and nearly 2, we don't have to much morning structure yet. But on preschool days, I let Miles know what I expect and give him a couple of minutes (I start waaaay ahead of when he needs to be ready) Then I only give one reminder and explain clearly that he's going to miss play time at preschool if he doesn't finish up. He hates missing play time, so this usually works. Natural consequences and all that...

    I have friend with an 8 year old son. She lets him know what she expects and checks on him only once and then says something like "It looks like you aren't quite finished, but I see you did do this or that. We have fifteen minutes left." (instead of constant reminding and nagging.

    Sorry for the novel comment.

  4. I meant TOO much, not TO much...
    I hate that :)

  5. For my four-year-old, we use a timer and he has to get dressed before he can play. If the timer goes off, he gets a consequence. I lay his outfit out the night before, but he doesn't seem to care that I pick.

    Now my two-year-old is another story, because she wants to wear her own choice every day, and it is usually something opposite of the weather. I am starting to disallow choice at all, which leads to some serious tantrumming. I'm hoping it will pay off in the long run!

  6. Mornings are a joke. It doesn't matter if I have 2 hours to get everybody ready we are still rushing around and often times late!
    I try not to tell my 2 year old to hurry all the time.
    I make sure that me and my baby are fully ready before I get my son up. Then I can only focus on him. If we are running late I give my son a drink and dry cereal in the car. I try to have the diaper bag packed and in the car the night before.
    **I try to have a few lazy mornings a week. I is nice to not always be rushing out the door! It is fun to stay in PJ's and have a big breakfast.

  7. We call it "Do Your Five". This has worked well for age 5, 6, and 9 year old kiddos who have to be on their way to school. I picked the same 5 things that are to happen everyday (brush teeth, eat breakfast, get dressed, make bed, put away jammies). If they do their 5 without being asked more than once, they get a ticket. End of the week, trade in tickets for allowance. Simple and fair and consistent.

  8. I am a big fan of charts! And so are my kids. Typically, what I will do is choose a behavior that we are working on (Sharing, morning routine, bedtime, listening the first time, etc.) and make that the focus of our chart. We will draw a certain number of squares (choose a number for YOUR kid and THEIR agethat will keep them motivated) - right now my 5 year old does well with 5 - 10 squares. My 3 year old son would do well with 5 squares. So, we establish a big prize for filling all the squares with a sticker or a stamp. -A cupcake making date with mom and a friend, a trip to chuck e. cheese, a new pet shop toy, etc. Once they fill the chart we do that big thing. But, each day that that behavior is mastered, we put the sticker on that chart and CELEBRATE.

    It only takes a couple of weeks for a new habit to be formed, or like I said, I typically choose one behavior that we work at a time. And I am on the look out to notice when progress is made on that behavior!


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