Maybe your family has had a loose morning routine throughout the year. Perhaps you eat breakfast together and spend some time doing chores a few times per week. Maybe your aging parents have recently moved in and now you want to include them in your daily roll call of habits. With the holidays just around the corner, it may be the perfect time to work on finally getting that morning routine going—this stressful time of year is when you may need it the most. Here’s how to make it happen.

Good mornings begin with good nights

For a family morning routine to work, every member of the family has to wake up at a reasonable hour and wake up well-rested.This can’t happen if your household is working on an irregular sleep schedule. Stick to regular bedtimes, and while you don’t have to wake up super early in order to have a solid morning, you do need to wake up at a relatively consistent time each day. If you share custody of children with a former spouse or partner, work together to ensure the kids have a set bedtime at each home.

Make a meal the backbone of your morning routine

Whether you prep for breakfast the night (or week) before or make it on the fly every morning, a sit-down family meal should be the backbone of any good morning routine. It’s simply healthier for families to eat together. That’s because it forces the whole family to slow down and communicate with one another. If you can make it part of the routine to get the whole family involved in the cooking process, that’s even better!

Make sure the parents are focusing on boosting their energy

Kids are always full of energy, but we all know that vigor can create a madhouse during the holidays. There’s just something about the season. Unfortunately, you can’t spearhead a successful morning routine if you don’t have the energy to keep up with your kids. Focus on lifestyle choices that maximize your energy throughout the day. Some energy-boosting ideas include loading your plates with fruits and vegetables of all colors (eat the rainbow), staying hydrated at all times, and taking some healthy supplements to boost energy and avoid that all-too-familiar mid-day crash.

Morning is for structure and chores

Did you have a chore checklist on the side of your fridge when you were a kid? Have you tried it before with your own? Well, now is the time to bring it back. A checklist (or chore chart) helps kids keep track of their morning routine, and kids respond well to the structure of a list.

“Include things like ‘brush teeth,’ ‘get dressed,’ ‘wash face,’ ‘pack backpack,’ etc. If your kids aren’t old enough to read yet, you can use pictures as a way to identify the tasks,” suggests

Lists can also be fun for the whole family, and you can include rewards as well for extra incentive to keep with the morning schedule of tasks.

Start your day well before the kids do

The family’s morning routine will be better if the adults can truly focus on the kids once they are awake. To do this, parents must start their day well before their kids do. Not only will this help the routine, it will also be better for you and your partner’s health. Mornings are the perfect time to enjoy some peace and quiet, get in a good workout, catch up on some reading, or get some work done.

If you put the effort into establishing a solid morning routine for yourself and your family during the stress of the holidays, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to carry it into the next year and beyond. A family that works like a fine-tuned machine during the morning hours is a family that’s healthier and happier overall.

>> Contributed by guest writer Daniel @ Dad Solo

Photo credit: Rhone on Unsplash

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