One of the problems moms tell us they have with mornings is getting up before their kids; their kiddos get up when they do no matter what!
What can we control about kids getting up when we do?
First – look at it as a compliment – they want to be where you are.
Embrace the connection. I know it seems distracting and clingy and you’d really like to go to the bathroom by yourself, Your children want to be with you, are there things you can do to strengthen the connection? These bonding times pay dividends in the long run, which brings me to
Second – this is a season.
You may not get a peaceful, quiet start every day – but by the time they’re 13 (at latest) they’ll want to sleep in. Every Day. Trust me, that causes its own frustrations.
Third – how can you a) encourage them to wait to a specific time to get up or b) bring them along with what you’re doing.
Some moms have had success with an OK to Wake clock. They teach kids to wait for the clock to give the all clear for them to be up and about.
This doesn’t work for every family.
What if you can’t encourage them to stay in bed?
Another tack may be necessary. That change will first need to be in mom’s demeanor: You set the tone! I try to remember Mystie Winckler’s statement that “Mother is the Atmosphere.” Here are some ways that have worked for other families. Creative problem solving is called for here. One of these may work, or may give you an idea to try in your own home.
Can you have quiet music and a candle and encourage them to silently read their own Bible (a picture Bible even). A wonderful habit to establish for life! I know of some moms who put the child(ren)’s Bibles at their places for breakfast so they’re just waiting for them.
Can you read your Bible or devotion aloud? Could you have a quiet morning book that you and your lark(s) can enjoy together?
Instead of reading your physical book, can you have a podcast or audio option that you snuggle and listen to together?
While you have your coffee can they have hot chocolate or tea? or juice?
Can your little one help with making breakfast?
Can you take a walk (harder when it’s dark out and/or you’re responsible for shoes and jackets!) around the block and watch the sunrise?
How can you encourage quiet and peace *with* your kids? Some kids get up raring to go – I get that! How can you harness that energy?
Brandy Vencel talks about showing your children you’re setting a timer for a limited time and training them that they mayn’t interrupt you until the timer goes off. She talks about 30 minutes, but maybe you can build.
Maybe teaching them, “you’re welcome to be up when Mama’s up, I love you, but if you’re up we have things Mama needs to accomplish and I need your help.” Maybe you make sure to run the dishwasher when you go to bed and you work on emptying it in the morning together.
Part of this is mindset – how can you take the situation and turn it to what you want it to be?
What other ideas or suggestions do you have? Remember things don’t change overnight. This will take time and repetition and practice.
So much is about how we approach the problem. I’m all too ready to fuss and order, but maybe thinking about the why can give us other ways to get what we all want: a peaceful start to the day and an opportunity to love on our children.
Remember it takes time to set the routine you want and this will not magically resolve itself today. It may take weeks, months, or years. But it’s a season of showing your children how you love and value them. What a gift.
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