How to Take the Stress Out of your Morning Routine!

The Top 5 things to do to prepare you and your child for back to school in the mornings.

Although we are still in July, somehow back to school is right around the corner. Can you imagine what a perfect back to school morning would look like for your home? Does that include your child getting out of bed and getting dressed on their own? Is it about your child knowing where their backpack is and being prepared for their day? The best way to support you and your child in the transition back to school is to start creating what your morning routine and rituals look like now. The more you can create a plan and practice this with your child before school starts, the easier this transition will be.

1). Every successful morning routine begins with a good sleep schedule. A well-rested child is more likely to “get up and go” in the morning. Help your child get back on track by slowly moving their wake time by 15 minutes earlier, every three days, to get them back on track and waking up at the same time they would once school starts. Practicing with this much effort might sound tedious to do as summer winds down, but this will pay off once back to school arrives.

2). As the parent, identify which morning rituals are non-negotiable (e.g., making their beds, washing their face, getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing their teeth, getting their backpacks from their designated space).

3). Once you have identified what those rituals are, let your child choose the order in which they get ready. For example, your child might decide to eat breakfast first, get dressed second, brush their teeth third, and get their backpacks from their designated space last. By having your child choose the order, you are getting their buy-in and involvement in their morning routine.

4). Once your child has identified the order, create a simple visual aide. For example, a word checklist, image checklist, or if you’re in the creative spirit, take actual pictures of your child doing each of these activities and put this together with them as a project. The checklist will not only set them up for success but will also guide them through each of these steps to ensure independence without your constant prompts and assistance.

5). Next, practice, practice, practice! It is essential to start practicing your morning routine before the school year starts. Making this into a game and rewarding your child for their involvement will go a long way. It might sound silly, but practicing our morning rituals can prepare us to accomplish our plans and work out all the bumps now before you are crunched for time on a typical school morning.

Having a morning routine that is successful and productive can set up both you and your child for happier more joyful days. Stay tuned for our next blog on how to create and master your evening routine!


Julianne Guinasso, LMFT