Last week, I sent Cade to the bus in tears. The previous five minutes had been filled with panic (lost mittens), frustration (unfinished homework), and lecturing (he still hadn’t remembered to bring his thermos home).
You’d think I could do the morning routine blindfolded by now. (Maybe if I were, the aforementioned emotions wouldn’t be quite so routine!)
I’ve tried to analyze what goes wrong, and here’s what I’ve got: Part of the problem is Bible time. I’m usually completely frustrated before we even get started because I can’t get them to sit down, be quiet, stop poking each other, etc. And then, we start late, end late, and have to rush to get packed up.
The other part of the problem is waking a certain person up. He’s grumpy and extremely slow moving at first. He tends to clog the routine and make his room mate irritable and frustrated, too.
So, I tried something new. I flip-flopped our order. In stead of begging/coaxing/demanding my boys out of bed at 7:00, I walked in and said, “Morning, guys. Just stay put, and I’m going to read some verses to get you going.” Then, I flipped on the lamp, asked for eye contact, and began their morning with some encouragement from Matthew 6.
At 7:40 (our usual Bible time), when they were rolling around on the floor with the dog (their usual activity at that time), I didn’t have to beg/coax/demand them to sit still. I just let them roll! We even said cheerful goodbyes in the driveway at 8:03! It was glorious.
We’re only on day 2 of the revised schedule, but I’m thinking we’ve got something here! But don’t get me wrong. We’re not home free yet. We can use all the help we can get. Do you have any ideas that have eliminated the begging/coaxing/demanding from your mornings?
What a GREAT idea, Shannon. Your boys are going to remember the mornings you lovingly woke them up with encouragement from the Word with much fondness.
Hi Patricia! So great to hear from you.
My boys certainly will have many UN-fond memories from our mornings(me, too!). But yes, we had happier mornings than we have in a long time.
And I loved the fact that I could spend a few more minutes praying with the one who needed it, simply because we still had minutes to spare! 🙂
As you know we home school now, but my saving grace in years gone by, was evening prep. Before I would go to bed, I would lay out clothes for everyone, pack lunches, find milk money, pack backpacks with snow pants, sign permission slips etc. Another thing I did is to put an extra toothbrush for everyone in our powder room (right by the back door) as well as a hairbrush and a stack of washcloths. 🙂
I can see you doing each and every one of those things, Renee! I need to try to get myself more into the night before pattern. I need a thermos that I can fill the night before and have it still warm at lunch! That would eliminate about 4 steps (putting leftovers in container, getting them out in the morning, reheating smaller portion, finding the thermos, getting the thermos hot, putting food in, cleaning up the reheat pan or dish, putting the leftovers back.) Today I just sent hard boiled eggs. So easy! Maybe that's why we had such a happy morning! 🙂
Thanks for the tips. You're a great mom, Renee.
Wow Shannon. I grew up on PB&J, cheese sandwiches, tomato sandwich, carrots, apples, etc. A hot lunch from home? Whoah!
And… half the time WE had to pack our lunch! 🙂
by the way… the sandwich choices would have had more variety… but I don't like meat so the whole lunch meat route was out.
Love how you decided to wake them to Scripture (but with eye contact first!). What a nice way to start good habits.
cr8r, I get it, now! cr8r=crater! I'm a little slow… 🙂
With Cole off of all gluten and dairy, sandwhiches aren't a staple lunch for us anymore. GF bread is expensive and doesn't taste good if it's not toasted. Thus the hot lunches. I don't do them because I just love to fill my kids with good, warm food. 🙂 In fact, I have a stash of those frozen peanut butter sandwhiches (horror!) that I use for the other 2… don't tell Cole!
I can really relate to this! I get so frustrated some mornings b/c I feel like all I'm doing is hurrying my boys from one thing to the next so we can get out the door on time. And they do not do well with being rushed! So, what has helped me a little (definitely a work in progress!) is to create more “margin” in our morning. Rather than having the schedule down to the minute and then things going askew when there's a bowl of cereal spilled (my kids are 2 and 4) that I hadn't allotted time for, I have tried to get the day going 10 mins earlier. I hate to wake the kids earlier and really don't like getting up earlier myself, but 10 mins less sleep is so worth the fewer meltdowns and frustrations when we're rushing around. I know this is not rocket-science, but a simple reminder that does really help.
I love that you do Bible time with your kids in the morning. I want to incorporate that into our day too…but haven't quite figured out how yet other than saying grace and praying in the car before we leave for the day. Perhaps a bible story at breakfast could work…hmmmm
Always get excited to read your blog:)