Mornings are one of the busiest times for families, but a happy, healthy start can set the tone for the day ahead. Parenting expert and author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, Dr. Michele Borba offers simple solutions to help families step back from the morning chaos and make their mornings more meaningful.
- Rise and Shine: Wake your kids with a mantra that is unique to them and their activities. If your child has a big baseball game, wake them up with their mitt on your hand or by singing “take me out to the ballgame.” Even including a fun routine for younger children, such as sock puppets, can make waking up more enjoyable and special.
- Race to Get Ready:Challenge your kids to a “race to get ready.” Set a time goal for each child, if they get dressed and ready for school within the allotted time, they win! You can throw in extra motivation if needed, like picking out the next movie for movie night.
- Create a Homework Catcher: Create a special spot by the front door designated to hold frequently-lost and forgotten items, like homework and school notes. This can be as simple as a bulletin board with tacks.
- Take Advantage of the Rush: Keep a map of the world, engaging puzzles or fun books in the car that will spark conversation during rush hour.
- Create a Tradition:Create a special good-bye ritual with your kids that won’t take any extra time from your busy morning, such as a fun handshake, hug or saying that you repeat each morning, or even a sweet message left on a sticky note in your kids’ lunchboxes.
- Share the Headlines: Reading newspaper stories out loud to each other will give you the chance to engage with your children, work on their reading skills and teach them about current issues. Focusing on positive stories also will help everyone head out of the door with the right mindset to take on the day.
- Fuel the Day:Instead of rushing out the door, talk to your kids as you pour a glass of nutrient-rich 100 percent orange juice together while you pack a healthy breakfast to go.
- Unplug: A simple way to connect is by designating time in your family’s normal morning routine as “unplugged time” – without turning on the television, computer or video games. Start with just 10 minutes and gradually work your way up to more unplugged mornings.
The Department of Citrus in Lakeland, FL is promoting health and wellness by offering The Morning Squeeze Contest. Learn more - click here.