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Back to School Advice: Morning Routine

Hoping for seamless mornings this back-to-school season? These parents have some great advice for a stress-free morning routine.

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-My secrets for a calm morning routine are have your children pick out their outfits the night before so that they don't say in the morning, "Mom, I don't like this skirt. I don't like this. This is not what I wanted to wear today." So, have those battles sorted out the night before. Have their snacks prepared and ready in time, set the breakfast table the night before, make their lunch the night before, and have their backpacks ready to go the night before. And no morning TV. -To have a calm routine in the morning, what we try to do is make sure there's plenty of time. Because at that, you know, at 7 or 8 years old, they're kinda slow and distracted easily. So, we try to make sure there's plenty of time, but we kinda set to the same routine. So, it's you know, dressing first, breakfast second, brushing hair, brushing teeth last, and then we're out the door. -My advice is put the responsibility on your third grader. They are old enough to take charge of their own mornings. So, together we got a stopwatch, and she has a bunch of alarms that go off, and she got a schedule, and she's now responsible for it all. -One of the things that I use for my kids in the morning is a checklist, so they can self-monitor themselves to work through the morning to figure out what they need to do, task by task-- which helps us get out of the house on time and get to school. -The morning is such a critical time, and it's very cliché. But I see such a difference with her eating a really good breakfast. We spend half an hour having a breakfast. Eating gives her the energy so that she can go to school and actually have a really productive day. -My advice for breakfast in the morning is, yes, you want it to be healthy. But sometimes, like on Fridays, just make it all about French toast sticks and pancake syrup. Have fun. Your kids will be happy, and you don't have to set such a high bar all the time. You can do other healthy whole-grain cereals and eggs during the week, but make it fun on Fridays.